CEO Joe Hamrock led a delegation of NiSource leaders at the 27th World Gas Conference in Washington D.C. in late June. He participated in a panel discussion on the perception of natural gas. Here he shares his reflections on the conference, which was held in the United States for the first time in 30 years.
Attending the World Gas Conference reinforced my belief in our industry and the important role we play in the quality of life around the world.
It was an honor and privilege to share the stage with so many leaders focused on advancing the role natural gas plays in serving the needs of customers, building strong communities and enhancing economic development.
While each company serves distinct customers and geographic areas, the forum demonstrated the industry’s progress and underlines that our shared path forward is dependent on our commitment to taking advantage of several key opportunities.
In the years to come, we will look back at World Gas Conference 2018 as a transformative event that joined the present and future of the industry. Here are a few of my key takeaways:
- We have a strong story to tell and we must be proactive in sharing it with customers and stakeholders. Our industry enables progress and improves lives and economies. We must engage broadly – with our employees and customers at the core – in sharing the message on the critical role natural gas plays in providing essential energy throughout the globe. Natural gas is now the No. 1 power source in the U.S. – an unimaginable shift from just a few years ago. Beyond the power sector, natural gas is the hidden ingredient in almost everything we use daily – it’s the primary fuel used for heating and cooking, and is an unmatched energy source in our industrial and commercial processes.
- While telling our story, we must proactively and transparently engage stakeholders in an ongoing dialogue, even in the era of digital media. These actions are key to our industry’s reputation and our ability to act as a trusted broker in the energy conversation.
- Innovation and progress are happening at a rapid pace and we have significant opportunities to embrace these changes in ways to help our customers, the environment and our employees. We are safer, more reliable and cleaner than ever before, and we continue to challenge each other to get better. Let’s celebrate the progress we’ve made, sustain the pace of innovation, and accelerate the acceptance and integration of new technologies and data into our businesses.
- Lastly, natural gas IS a critical part of the future of energy in the U.S. and across the globe. As BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley said, “we’re a destination fuel.” We are all working towards a clean energy future and natural gas has been a key partner in the growth of renewable energy. Natural gas will play a larger role in the energy mix because our industry will continue to make it accessible, affordable and abundant. It’s also the major reason the energy sector has lowered emissions while growing more reliable, resilient, safe, and ultimately, sustainable.
This is a pivotal moment for our industry. Now is the time for us to capitalize on all the benefits of natural gas, while enhancing safety, reliability and the value we deliver.