By Gifford Briggs
Vice President, Louisiana Oil and Gas Association
LOGA and Don Briggs have been committed to writing this bi-weekly column for several years now as a way to educate the community about oil and gas topics. Because Don is recovering from health issues, I want to honor his commitment to the public as well as our membership by writing a column in his absence. We wish Don the best and look forward to his speedy recovery.
The oil and gas industry is not simply a job. The industry in Louisiana is a way of life. One out of every five individuals in Louisiana is directly touched in some capacity by oil and gas. Whether a parent, sibling or neighbor, someone is frequently absent from the dinner table because they are in the oil field.
As the son of an oil and gas guy, I can remember going to the rig sites as a child. The equipment looked so big, the people looked so tough, and the atmosphere was something I quickly grew fond of experiencing.
It is critical that the next generation carry on this storied tradition of the oil and gas industry. As a resident in THE oil and gas state of Louisiana, we have an obligation to pass along this respect for the industry that does so much for our state. And let’s remember that the men and women of the oil and gas industry who work through rain, sleet and snow are the very reason you and I have oil to power our vehicles and products in our house.
These generational companies are too countless to name here, but just drive down a main road in Lafayette, Houma or North Shreveport, and observe the dozens of family names that are proudly stamped on the marquee of the sign. This love for an industry does not come over night, and it will not be maintained with ease. This new generation of oil and gas will have to be taught by the previous generation how important it is to work for the love of the job and the industry and not simply a paycheck.
The oil and gas industry must remain committed to being the fabric of the society. Whether trees are planted or ball fields are built, the industry has a responsibility of constantly looking for ways to improve our communities.
In closing, I ask the next generation to join me in doing as our fathers did. Take your son or daughter out to the rig and show them where hard work occurs and respect for people begins. The oil and gas industry is the cross roads where tiresome work intersects with lifelong reward.