Energy rock star Chris Wright, CEO of Bakken-born Liberty Oilfield Services, will headline Petroleum Awards Banquet
Monday, November 8, 2021

Like many oil and gas companies in 2020, Liberty Oilfield Services released what is likely to be the first of many ESG reports. But Liberty took a somewhat contrarian approach in its ESG report, even while its CEO, Chris Wright, acknowledges that climate change is real and something that must ultimately be dealt with.

Wright has been tapped as the keynote speaker for the annual Williston Basin Petroleum Awards Banquet, set for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 19 in the Well at Williston State College.

The annual Williston API event offers a great opportunity for networking with members of the Williston Basin’s oil and gas industry, as well as a chance to celebrate the region’s accomplishments. For ticket information, visit online at

Those attending the awards banquet will get to hear a lot more about Wright’s vision of the oil and gas industry’s future. He believes the industry not only will, but, in fact, must, continue to play a vital role when it comes to truly fulfilling the environmental, social, and governance factors that have lately so captured Wall Street’s attention.

“Today, there is discontent among the public in wealthy nations with oil and gas, and even a growing belief that our industry soon will be and should be gone,” Wright said in the CEO statement of Liberty’s ESG report. “This report explains why the near-term disappearance of our industry is both highly unlikely and undesirable.”

As Wright sees it, there are really three big energy challenges today. They are energy poverty, affordable energy, and climate change.

Energy poverty, though, is really the most pressing of the three, Wright says. One-third of humanity still lacks access to basic modern energy. That’s more than 2 billion people, still yoked to hard labor, because they must cook their daily meals and heat their homes with traditional fuels like wood, dung, agricultural waste, and charcoal.

These sources of fuel are also far bigger pollutants to indoor air quality than cleaner, modern sources of fuel would be. The Who estimates 2 to 3 million people die every year from the indoor pollution that these sources of energy cause.

“Although we’ve seen a century of progress, air pollution, disease, malnutrition, etc. still dwarf climate change in urgency,” Wright said. “Solving these challenges is intimately tied to raising the poorest third of the world population out of energy poverty.”

The second challenge, Wright said, is keeping modern, clean energy both reliable and affordable. He believes the challenges with that, amid a rise in intermittent renewables like wind and solar, have already been clearly seen with serious blackouts in states like California, Texas and the U.K.

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