My time in the oil and gas industry has given me an appreciation on how dependent our modern world is on petroleum, but has also given me hope that we can transition towards a green economy. While there are many negative aspects of the industry that it must answer for, I have seen firsthand how ingenuous and responsive it can be given the right incentive structure. California has put strict regulations on its refineries, but I have seen how they can adapt to become profitable and valued partners in the community. I have been to over a dozen refineries in four states and by far California has the cleanest and least polluting ones I've seen.
My experience in seeing how an old and dirty industry such as oil and gas can be pushed to do better gives me great hope that our country can go down the right path. The transformation of our economy from being extractive and destructive into a sustainable and equitable one is doable and must be done if we want to leave a habitable world for our children.