Opinion

Opinion: Adjust or be left behind    

By Greg Kozera

Last Sunday my daughter, Dannielle and I ran a half-marathon in Toledo, Ohio. The weather was cool, great for running. It was a beautiful course winding through neighborhoods. Dannielle and I had some great conversations. Her college roommate is now a doctor in Toledo who has a lake cottage. We spent Saturday relaxing and visiting on the shore of Lake Erie. These are the kind of trips we missed during the pandemic.

Greg Kozera

My race training was hampered by a painful injury. I was only able to do a 9-mile training run, instead of the usual 11- or 12-mile long training run. Race day I felt good and got off to a strong start for the first five miles. The pain of the injury began to come back. I was determined to finish. The question was how. Dannielle adjusted my pace at mile 7 by lengthening a walk between run intervals. It didn’t get rid of the pain but it made it tolerable. Dannielle knew I wanted to finish strong and continued encouraging me. The race finished at the University of Toledo football stadium. As we approached the stadium, with Dannielle’s encouragement I dug deep, focused on the finish line and sprinted with the strength I had. It felt good to cross the finish line and have the finishing medal around my neck.

It was a slow and painful walk back to the car, but good knowing I finished strong with Dannielle’s support. We avoided disaster. It was a slow race for me but well above my slowest race time. Dannielle and her college roommate, now doctor, diagnosed my injury and some exercises to fix it after rest and ibuprofen. I drove home with no problem. This week I played basketball with Bradley, my 10-year old neighbor. The Toledo race will be memorable because Dannielle and I as a team overcame adversity for a strong finish. To quote a friend who routinely deals with adversity when running marathons and other extreme races, “It’s going to get ugly but it’s going to get done.” It felt that way Sunday. I believe it’s important to finish what we start. Sometimes adjustments need to be made in order to finish. This isn’t limited to athletics.

In March, at the World Petrochemical Conference (WPC) in Houston, Texas we heard from companies in Europe and Asia who are adjusting because of the Russia-Ukraine War. They are seeing first-hand what happens when natural gas isn’t available and the price increases to Europe it is causing. Their focus was carbon footprint. It’s now energy security. Not a single European company at WPC reported being able to operate at capacity because of energy shortages. Fortunately, Europe had a warm winter. They don’t expect to be that fortunate next winter. If Europe has a hot summer their “energy crisis” will worsen. Energy security for me is, when I turn up the thermostat I expect heat or push the button to start my car and it starts. Europeans aren’t that lucky.

This week Shale Crescent USA is exhibiting at Select USA in Washington, DC. Select USA is an annual event put on by the U.S. Commerce Department to create foreign investment in the USA. All 50 states and territories attend and exhibit as well as economic development organizations like Shale Crescent USA. In 2022 approximately 4,000 people from all over the world attended.

In 2022 Shale Crescent USA had 4 meetings set up prior to the event. We made contacts with other companies at the event interested in coming to the USA. This year we have 12 meetings set up so far at Select USA with primarily European and Asian companies. Half of these are new contacts who reached out to Shale Crescent USA to meet or accepted our meeting request. The other 6 are companies we met previously at Select USA who are moving forward on expansion to the USA but haven’t settled on a site. Most are committed to or are leaning toward coming to the Shale Crescent USA region.     

There are many reasons why companies are interested in coming to the USA and the Shale Crescent USA. The USA has a stable government. Our laws and regulations are in code not based on how a regulator feels or how big a bribe they are given. We have a large economy for companies to sell their products to. Today, the most important reason companies are coming to the USA is energy security. They want to know their manufacturing facility will have the energy and raw materials to run 24/7 without interruption.

Most European companies want a renewable component to their energy. A couple of months ago I presented to over 140 attendees, mostly European manufacturers on a CASE (Council of American States in Europe) Energy Webinar. A large Midwest utility presented, “By 2050 we will be carbon neutral without coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear.” He never said how they will keep lights and heat on. In our presentation, I was blunt, “If you want 100% renewable energy, save money, stay in Europe and add solar panels there. If you want to take advantage of the sun and wind to run a manufacturing facility 24 hours a day, 365 days a year including nights and days the wind doesn’t blow, come to the Shale Crescent USA. We have abundant, economical natural gas to keep your facility operational no matter the weather.” The Midwest utility began walking back their statement.  

Last Sunday, Dannielle and I adjusted our plan to help me finish the race. It wasn’t my original plan but it worked. Companies around the world are now more interested in energy security than carbon footprint. They need dependable 24/7/365 energy. Without energy security carbon footprint isn’t a problem since they will be out of business. John Chambers said, “If you don’t innovate fast, disrupt your industry, disrupt yourself, you’ll be left behind.” Literally.

© 2023 Shale Crescent USA

Greg Kozera/, gkozera@shalecrescentusa.com is 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.

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