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Opinion: Problem or Opportunity? 

Greg Kozera

Shale Crescent USA

A challenging week. Another tragic school shooting, the Russia- Ukraine war rages on, U.S.-China tensions high, storms blew through our area damaging property and knocking out power. A newly released Wall Street Journal poll found patriotism, religious faith, having children and other priorities defining our national character for generations have changed since 1998. Those saying patriotism is “very important” fell from 70% in the Journal’s 1998 poll to 38%. Only 39% said religion was “very important” compared to 62% in 1998. Those saying money was “very important” increased to 43% up from 31% in 1998.

Greg Kozera

It is easy to get frustrated and negative. We can’t control the weather and many other major issues. We can control our attitude and our actions. The many people I know who are successful financially are also successful in other areas of their lives, like relationships. They don’t focus on money first. Most are religious. All are people focused.

Nido Qubein, is a man of faith, a successful businessman and current President of High Point University. Nido’s secret of success is, “Give with a loving heart without expecting to receive. Give your time, your talent and your money.” He did this before he was wealthy. Successful people I know are happy and fun to be with. Their positive attitude preceded financial success. I’m not sure who the WSJ surveyed. If they want money and happiness, their priorities are in the wrong place. We can influence others positively or negatively with our attitude. We can change the world for the better.

Readers brought to my attention a mistake I made in last week’s article about India. My population data was correct but I mistakenly said India and the USA are about the same size. India has an area of about 1.269 million square miles. The USA and its territories have an area of approximately 3.8 million square miles. (the number varies slightly depending on source) The USA is approximately 3 times larger than India.

According to the World Economic Forum, in 2022 India had 1.417 billion people and is expected to increase to 1.515 billion by 2030. China’s population is expected to fall from 1.426 to 1.416 billion by 2030 which will make India the most populated country in the world. By comparison according the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. population in 2022 was 333 million. The USA has 3 times more land than India with over 1 billion less people. Nathan, Shale Crescent President, saw this first hand in Mumbai. People are everywhere. Slums appear within feet of 5-Star Hotels and even the homes of Indian movie stars.

Food and energy are big issues for India today. Imagine the challenge if India adds 100 million people as expected by 2030. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2022, 52% India’s electricity comes from coal, 15% from solar, 13% from hydro, 10% from wind, 6% from natural gas, 2% from nuclear and 2% from oil and other sources. India’s energy consumption for all uses comes from; Coal 44%, Oil 24%, Biomass & waste 21% (includes wood & animal waste), Natural Gas 6%, Hydro 2%, Wind & solar 2% and nuclear 1%. Many Indians suffer from energy poverty. One challenge is to replace animal waste and wood as cooking fuel sources by using more natural gas. The USA can help with natural gas and food. Energy intensive products can be manufactured in the USA by Indian companies and shipped back to India for their growing population and middle class. 

Last Tuesday I was at the airport on my way to Houston and the World Petrochemical Conference (WPC). I got a text from a company who was referred to Shale Crescent USA by a friend. The company wants to close their manufacturing plant in China and outsource its production to North America. I called immediately. They asked if I could connect them to companies in our region who could manufacture their products. Reshoring is real. The prospect commented, “We are looking for real emissions reductions not offsets. We’re convinced companies are buying more offsets than actually exist. If we outsource Chinese production to the USA and sell it in the USA, we will be lowering our costs and global emissions.” SCUSA has started making connections. This can be a win for jobs in our region as well as the planet’s environment. 

WPC this year had over 1,000 attendees. The majority were from outside the USA. Some things we heard; Indian economy expected to grow 6% in 2023. China expected grow 5%. U.S. growth expected to be 1% or less. European growth flat or negative. Most European plants have restricted production because of their energy crisis caused in part by Russia shutting off natural gas to Europe. This was a mild winter. Concern is 2024 may be a typical winter. No expanded LNG deliveries to Europe until 2026. European companies are moving manufacturing capacity to the USA.

Other WPC information; Supply chains going back to normal. Containers are available. Backups at ports gone. Shipping costs down but higher than pre-pandemic. Energy poverty a global issue for 3.6 billion people who are using wood & animal waste for cooking and heat. New focus on energy security, dependability and affordability ahead of emissions, except Europe. Hydrogen as a replacement for fossil fuels will take decades.

European companies tend to allow government regulations to lead. But regulations “Not a replacement for good science and engineering.” U.S. companies coming up with creative ways to reduce emissions, recycle and reduce virgin materials in products.

Shale Crescent USA left Houston with several leads to bring jobs. We have opportunity to be second U.S. location for a company turning mixed dirty plastic waste into a building product getting it out of the environment. Challenge is to collect 16 tons per day of plastic waste needed to operate. We have lots of challenges and opportunities. Keep a positive attitude. All is possible.

© 2023 Shale Crescent USA

Greg Kozera, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. www.shalecrescentusa.com (You can follow SCUSA on Facebook) He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg

is a leadership expert, high school soccer coach, professional speaker, author of four books and numerous published articles.