Energy Influencers #61 – #65

Energy Influencers #61 – #65

Here’s the next group that you’ll get to meet:

  #56 Trevor Rees-Jones (Founder, President & CEO at Chief Oil & Gas) 
  #57 Barack Obama (President of the United States)
  #58 Kenny Mercado (Sr. Vice President of Regulated Operations Technology at CenterPoint Energy)
  #59 Bill Limbrick (CIO & Vice President of Organizational Development at IESO)
  #60 Chris King (Chief Regulatory & Strategy Officer at eMeter)


 #61 Jim Keffer

Texas State Representative

Austin, Texas

Texas State Representative, Jim Keffer was nominated on Twitter for passing the nation’s first Hydraulic Fracturing Public Disclosure Bill (HB 3328).

Filed in March 2011, the bill requires operators to disclose chemical ingredients of hydraulic fracturing fluids on a well-by-well basis using the website.

While House Bill 3328 received early resistance from some companies, like Devon Energy, Keffer was later able to gain the support of most energy companies like Talisman…and Devon Energy.

In July, Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 3328 into law and gave Keffer, Chair of the Energy Resources Committee, a lot of respect and influence in 2011.

But it seems influence may evade Keffer in 2012 just like HB 3328 may help operators evade “full disclosure”.  The bill protects confidential business information (trade secrets) while still disclosing the information needed for research, regulatory investigations, and medical treatment. 

There are public concerns however that the bill was watered-down and allows energy firms to withhold disclosure of some key ingredients.  This makes for inconsistent analysis and interpretation of the fracturing process and nearly impossible to predict how the undisclosed chemicals are reacting, and whether they are doing any good…or harm. 

 #62 Jeffrey Hildebrand

Founder, Chairman & CEO of Hilcorp Energy

Houston, Texas

Jeffery Hildebrand knows how to make money…for himself, his investors, his employees, and his community.

Hildebrand left a safe career at Exxon and founded Hilcorp Energy in 1989, a company that started with just three guys and a telephone.  It bought proven fields that were too small for the super majors, and then used advanced technology to boost efficiency.

Today this independent oil and gas exploration & production company has over 600 employees and interests in more than 3,000 wells along the U.S. Gulf Coast, offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, and in the Rockies.

He made [lots of] money for himself…Hildebrand is the 59th richest person in America ($5.3 billion), the 2nd richest man in Houston (#1 Richard Kinder $6.4 billion).

He made money for his investors… turned a $100 million investment in the Eagle Ford shale of Texas into a multi-billion-dollar payday, with a $3.5 billion sale to Marathon Oil.  Partner KKR made money too by turning its 40% stake of $400 million into over $1 billion in less than a year.

He made money for his employees… Hilcorp is ranked as one of the best places to work (#1 mid-size in Houston, 20th medium-size in America).  In 2010 every employee got $50,000 to buy a new car because the company met 3 milestone targets within 5 years.  In 2015 each employee gets $100,000 if the company again doubles its production, reserves and value.

He made money for his community…not only does Hilcorp match donations made by employees through The Hilcorp Giving Program, but Hildebrand himself donates to Texas Childrens’ Hospital, Star of Hope Missions, Boys & Girls Clubs and the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo.

Like his company, Hildbrand is private but has lots of public influence…on his investors, his employees, and his community. 

#63 Dave Heineman

Governor of Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska

This quote from Bloomberg says it all: “Many Americans hadn’t heard of Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman until his sparsely populated state blocked a $7 billion Canadian oil pipeline.”

On August 31 the 39th Governor of Nebraska sent President Obama a letter urging the federal government to deny TransCanada’s permit for the 1,661 mile Keystone XL Pipeline which crossed over the Ogallala Aquifer.  Obama responded by postponing his decision until 2013.

Then in November Heineman signed two bills to reroute the Keystone XL pipeline away from the ecologically-sensitive Sandhills region.  But ultimately Obama was forced to play his hand and confirm his rejection of the application until a full assessment could be made of the pipeline’s impact.

TransCanada has offered to work with the Department of State on new Keystone XL route options through Nebraska.  But the political gamesmanship will surely continue in 2012, in large part because of the influence of someone many Americans hadn’t heard of…until 2011.

#64 Jim Hackett

Chairman & CEO of Anadarko Petroleum

Houston, Texas

As the CEO of Anadarko Petroleum, Jim Hackett was nominated on twitter “for his continued success in employee relations, PR and being consistently voted1 of best companies to work for.”

While all that is true, Hackett is probably better known outside of the industry as one of the most highly compensated CEOs.  While Hackett has stepped down recently from the boards of Halliburton (oilfield services) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, he remains on the board of Fluor (engineering & construction) and has recently joined the board of Bunge Limited (agribusiness).  He also serves on several college, cultural and foundational boards.

While truly a busy man outside of Anadarko, Hackett continued to turn around a company that was struggling on the inside.  In 2011 Hackett repositioned & refocused Anadarko operations and strategies with the $1.55 billion KNOC Eagle Ford deal, its growing interest in Africa, and its $4 billion settlement with BP for the Macondo disaster.

Hackett, who is largely credited for bringing back the “company luster”, is handing the reins in Anadarko to his successor Al Walker in 2012.  Hackett decided to pursue “other avenues for personal and professional growth” which may include running for public office…maybe he can bring back the luster there as well. 

#65 Jack Gerard

President & CEO of the American Petroleum Institute

Washington, D.C.

Jack Gerard, recognized by industry publications and peers as one of Washington’s most influential advocates, thinks he can get Americans to support, even root for, Big Oil.

Gerard is president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), the national trade association that represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry with members ranging from the largest major oil company to the smallest of independents.

API has influence in all 50 states and globally and, according to Forbes magazine, Gerard’s effort may be “showing signs of success” through its outreach to workers and non-traditional allies.

Since taking the helm at API in November 2008, Gerard has focused on making the public case for an industry that is frequently villified on Capitol Hill, and organizations such as Greenpeace always have their eye on him.

Not one to back down from controversy, Gerard seems to thrive being on the hot seat and nothing makes tempers rise more than oil spills, ‘astroturf’, fracking, tax subsidies and high gasoline prices.

So, Gerard wants to know, will you “Vote 4 Energy” in 2012?

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