Sound Bites From the 2014 NEI Shale Energy Conference

Ed BurghardThere is an energy revolution taking place in America due to shale gas and renewables. It can serve to revive the American Dream and it’s already doing so, but the challenge is overcoming a lack of appreciation for the industry driven by a lack of understanding.

Tom Shepstone Natural Gas NOW

 

Each year the Nemacolin Energy Institute hosts executives from the Shale Energy industry to discuss the challenges to and opportunities for America becoming energy independent. The following are paraphrased sound bites from this years conference.

Energy Independence

  • Energy independence is the new horizon for American exceptionalism.
  • Exporting LNG will have a very positive impact on the geopolitical environment.
  • The Coast Guard has a new rule that will make it difficult to move hydraulic fracking waste water on the Ohio River.
  • The President and liberal environmentalists do not want the world using fossil fuels.
  • The problem is you can’t fuel America’s energy needs with alternative energy sources.
  • Current regulatory and tax burden makes America a business unfriendly environment.
  • We need to continue to find ways to cost effectively go after our energy resources and need to get the government out of the way.
  • Energy independence is tied to the American Dream.
  • A strong national economic policy with a strong foundational energy policy translates to a strong world policy.
  • The national energy policy needs to be comprehensive, and we need to figure out a way to fund the infrastructure to move energy from source to consumer

Energy Industry Internet Security

  • The world will confront on a permanent basis two challenges that won’t go away. First is the global scourge of terrorism. Second is cyber attacks (the digital forevermore).
  • The ubiquity of the internet is both its strength and weakness.
  • The internet was never designed to be secure.
  • The global cyber war is ongoing.
  • There are only two type of companies. Those that have been breached and know it, and those that have been breached and don’t know it.
  • The US is a target rich environment.
  • Insiders ignorance represents the biggest threat to company security.
  • Compliance does not mean security. You have a drivers license but that doesn’t mean you are a good driver.
  • Energy and national security interconnect.
  • The Russians would have far less traction if Western Europe didn’t get 40% of its natural gas from Russia. They are subject to energy blackmail.
  • Having energy is a big piece of a strong national economy.
  • Energy means sustainable jobs directly and indirectly.
  • Energy means self-reliance.
  • The energy sector is a big target for cyber attacks.
  • The is a very systematic effort being taken by entities focused on the energy industry.
  • Intellectual theft is a big deal. The Chinese are very sophisticated in stealing technology.
  • Malware can sit for a long period of time before being activated.
  • Attribution is a challenge, particularly if proper records are not kept.
  • Absolute certainty is not something you find in security breach investigations.
  • It is important to have a documented plan in place that describes what to do in the advent of a cyber security breech.
  • There is a growing trend of increase concern and importance in the US on the threat of a cyber attack. There are new tools bring created daily.
  • Hacktivists want to disrupt your business operation and get press for it.
  • An advancement in management systems may lead to creation of a new security threat.
  • CEO of Target resigned, in part, because of a cyber security breach. CEOs can no longer hide behind ignorance.
  • NIST framework is a technology neutral application to help infrastructure providers achieve resilience. http://www.nist.gov/cyberframework/
  • Red Teaming – Creating an artificial threat to test the vulnerability of a system.
  • The biggest value of threat assessments is to review what was learned.
  • Insiders who are recruited and directed by organized cyber groups are a big threat. The tools and techniques to do damage are readily available on the internet.

Energy Education

  • We are in a paradigm shift from scarcity to abundance of energy.
  • It is imperative that the industry gets engaged in the communication process. Give regulators access to your in-house experts not just your lobbyists.
  • He said – they heard. What matters is what people hear, not what you said.
  • Regulators are genuine when they ask for input from industry. They very much want knowledgeable discussion and debate to create informed regulations.
  • Communication with all parties is crucial.
  • The industry impact on communities is unbelievable. Transparency is so important.
  • Get local officials and leaders involved early to educate and avoid restrictive positions created by misperceptions.
  • Give local leaders access to experts to answer questions with facts.
  • Help communities manage their future.
  • Have communities see that you are investing in the area and are not simply taking their resources.

Energy Politics

  • EPA is seeking further disclosure of Fracking fluid components. This is problematic because of the potential for liability exposure. This is one more area where EPA is trying to portray the industry as environmentally unfriendly. The EPA will eventually require companies to be held accountable for protecting the public from the potential of harm even if the amount of the component is below known harmful levels.
  • The EPA is not concerned about the impact on jobs from their regulations.
  • In many cases, the natural gas industry is resurrecting communities that lost coal jobs.
  • Once the EPA is done eliminating coal their focus will be to eliminate natural gas.
  • We need to open up the export market to natural gas.
  • Natural gas means National security and jobs.
  • Economic activity around the gas play is significant and the multiplier impact via supply chain is important to revive communities.
  • Washington is waging a war on coal. They hate coal, dislike oil and tolerate gas.
  • Changes to the definition of the Waters of the US act will be detrimental and needs to be guarded against. The definition needs to continue to be limited to navigable waters.
  • President Obama wants to eliminate carbon based fuels from the system.

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