Spring has sprung, everyone is praying for rain and it looks like another hot dry summer is on the way. That’s the bad news and now the good news. Jobs are so plentiful that someone would have to work at remaining unemployed. The Wolfberry resource play has leaped the Midland Shelf to the Wolfbone play and the far western communities of the Permian Basin such as Monahans and Pecos are experiencing the growth that has accompanied resource plays around the country. Not only is our industry creating a lot of jobs, we are creating a lot of very good jobs.
Don’t think I have mentioned my grandfather Jack Robison. We have a photograph in our ExL conference room of him standing on a rig floor in 1935 wearing a straw hat (before the days of OSHA), with a chaw of tobacco set squarely in his jaw and a drill bit cradled in his arms. Grandad Jack was farming in Mitchell County and got tired of looking at the rear end of a mule. He noticed some oil crews working in the area and decided that he would try that for a while. He spent the next 40 years as a tool pusher working rigs all over West Texas. As a result of that job my father Frosty Robison was the first in his family who was able to go to college. He ended up with a 39-year career with the Cosden/Fina refinery in Big Spring. Each generation of our family has had ever-increasing opportunities thanks in no small part to Grandad Jack being able to get that first job working rigs almost 80 years ago.
Our industry is making available the same types of careers and opportunities today. Men and women, many of whom have not had the opportunity for advanced education, have well paying jobs with quality companies that offer the type of career that can make the difference for them and generations of their heirs. The Permian Basin is a career market that is literally a pathway to the middle class and is doing so in a national economic environment where similar opportunities are hard to come by. The privilege of giving people these types of opportunities is what motivates me and many others to do whatever we can to prevent misguided or ill-intentioned regulatory policies from crushing the job climate we have in West Texas. One of the greatest privileges we have is the ability to give someone a job that gives them opportunities far beyond what they would have otherwise experienced. I know our industry does not buy into the sentiment that is expressed in so many other parts of the country that our country’s best days are behind us and that future generations will not be able to enjoy the quality of lifestyle as prior generations did. There are good days ahead.