The greatest reason for PBPA’s success has always been the engagement of our membership. Since 1961, our members have empowered the association to truly be the voice of the Permian Basin in Austin, Santa Fe, Washington, D.C., and in venues around the world. While our staff is in place to execute the will of our members through education and advocacy, if the will of our members is not provided the proper forum to be voiced internally, that will doesn’t make the external messaging.
The current PBPA staff is highly dedicated to ensuring our members have a wide variety of effective forums through which they can communicate their facts, views, and opinions. While I would recommend any member with an issue to discuss or a question to ask reach out to our staff in-person, by phone or by email, one of the most effective methods to solidify an overall membership position is through our numerous committees and working groups.
PBPA now has ten standing committees and numerous working groups that tend to focus on a specific issue, like the development of comments on a proposed regulatory action. While several PBPA employees engage on these committees and help them accomplish their goals, one employee in particular, our Executive Vice President Stephen Robertson, leads their execution and management. While this is only one of Stephen’s many responsibilities, in my mind it is one of his most important.
Our committees and working groups provide opportunities for a variety of members, and their employees from a variety of stations, to help craft PBPA’s positions and strategies, as well as increase the interchange of ideas, policies, and procedures. These groups truly are the petri dish of PBPA’s identity, yet without the efforts of Stephen and the rest of the PBPA staff, these groups wouldn’t function, let alone exist. Stephen’s engagement with our groups has resulted in industry-leading efforts on issues in front of the Railroad Commission of Texas, the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division, the New Mexico Environment Department, the Public Utility Commission of Texas, the Texas Legislature, and the New Mexico Legislature, as well as local, state and federal elected officials.
During his time on staff, Stephen has also helped bring both our internal and external communications forward. This is best experienced through upgrades to our website, the establishment of The Standard, PBPA’s members only e-newsletter, and his engagement with local, national, and international media on behalf of the PBPA membership. During the pandemic, Stephen helped greatly to evolve the way we provide information to our membership through the creation and management of a webinar series conducted with PBPA member OTA Compression, virtually conducted committees (which continued to meet even during the shut-down), and a virtually provided Annual Meeting.
The information, how we deliver that information, and who we are delivering that information to are vital aspects of being an exemplary advocate for our members. Stephen’s work for PBPA has been greatly focused on improving each of these areas of our operations to make PBPA the best it can be. Because of the work he and the entire PBPA team perform on a daily basis, the PBPA message (the will of the PBPA membership) is delivered in an unrivaled way as we work to protect operations in the greatest energy producing region in North America.