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Focus pocus

Mr. K is the oldest person on the Shale Crescent USA Executive Committee. His wisdom is always appreciated. Our focus is on creating jobs for the Region. We sometimes get distracted and spend time on things that keep us from reaching our goals. Mr. K then steps in with, “Folks you are chasing bright shiny objects.” He always gets us back on track.

If we are to be successful we always need to focus on our dream or vision. My friend and Hall of Fame Speaker, Willie Jolley says, “Success isn’t about hocus pocus it is about focus focus.”

To succeed we can’t spend our time, money and energy on things that don’t move us closer to our goal.

Two of the biggest problems our country has are overcoming the pandemic and getting people back to work. The pandemic is serious. Recently I was on a conference call with a fellow speaker and friend from Cleveland. She was emotional when she told us how serious COVID is. She had lost her grandmother and several relatives to it. COVID hit close to home for Lynnda and I last week when we learned our oldest grandson in Virginia has it. He is doing okay so far but has lost his sense of taste.

My wife, Lynnda and I got our first COVID-19 vaccine shot last Friday at the Charleston Civic Center. Lynnda was persistent. She dialed into the health department over 200 times in a 5-hour period before she finally got through and got us scheduled. At the Civic Center, I was impressed with the organization and speed. The entire process of registration, getting our shot, waiting to make sure we didn’t have a reaction and getting back to our car took 50 minutes. It felt like any other shot to me. We both had a little arm soreness for a day. It didn’t slow us down. I went running later in the afternoon. There are a lot of things we have no control over. We can always control our actions.

We can’t afford to be like some in Congress. This isn’t about politics or personalities. I’m concerned about people. Why are they focusing on impeachment of a President who is already out of office instead of focusing on the pandemic and jobs? I challenge them to talk to real Americans like my friend in Cleveland who lost her grandmother or the unemployed who lost their jobs or business owners who lost their business because of lockdowns and the pandemic. How much time, money and energy will they spend chasing the bright shiny object of impeachment instead of focusing on the needs of people. They will have to answer to God for their actions.

My high school soccer players learned the lesson of focus this fall. They could have focused on the pandemic and everything they couldn’t do like soccer practice or going to school and seeing their friends. They focused on what they could control like their attitude and how hard they practiced on their own when the county was code Red. They kept a positive attitude and worked hard. Their reward was a Regional Championship and playing in the State Championship game.

At Shale Crescent USA our focus is on creating jobs. It was sad to see the Keystone XL pipeline project shut down this week with the loss of over 10,000 jobs out west. The pipeline will take Canadian oil to the Gulf Coast. Canada will still get its oil to the world market using trains or trucks creating a larger carbon footprint than the pipeline. With over 100 years of experience we know pipelines are the cleanest, safest and most efficient way to transport materials like oil and natural gas.

Engineers know there are multiple solutions to any problem. The focus should be on people. We can’t settle for the first solution. For over 30 years we heard the solution to climate change is to stop using fossil fuels and use wind and solar. Places like Germany and California have tried this and are paying double or triple for electricity than people in the Shale Crescent. California is having brownouts. Iceland didn’t buy into this solution and found their own. They are using 100 percent geothermal and hydro power for electricity. Geothermal energy heats over 85 percent of their homes at a cost of about $700 per 1,000 square feet per year. Iceland has long, dark, and cold winters. Focusing on fossil fuel elimination can blind us to better solutions.

There are always other solutions if we look for them. If the problem is increased planet temperature due to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, we should focus on solutions to the problem. My friends in agricultural engineering at Ohio State University told me no till farming can eliminate a large amount of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide emissions from China are continuing to increase. The U.S. is the only nation meeting the Paris Climate agreement targets. U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are down over 14 percent. Since 2005. One solution to climate change might be shipping U.S. natural gas to China to lower their carbon dioxide and other emissions from China’s increasing use of coal for electricity.

We need fossil fuels for their molecules to manufacture thousands of products we use everyday like healthcare PPE, cell phones, computers and prescription drugs. Also windmills, solar panels and electric cars. A better solution than shutting down a pipeline project would be to bring new industry here or expand regional industry to make products we are currently getting from places overseas like China. Products made in the U.S. using American energy and feedstock and sold in the U.S. have a much lower carbon footprint than products made with OPEC oil and shipped halfway around the world.

Avoiding bright shiny objects, staying focused and looking for multiple solutions to any problem can help us and change the world.

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Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering who has over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert and the author of four books and numerous published articles.

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