"There's a long future in fossil fuels because there's no infrastructure for the alternative sources of energy. I think they're gonna be important at some point. I don't know what source of energy is going to be the most important, but I do think there's quite a future at least for most of my career in oil and natural gas," says local landman Doug Schmidt.
And with low unemployment rates here in West Texas and a booming oil industry, the Basin is attracting young professionals from across the country. Justin Clark, a corporate and tax attorney, says "I was working in Chicago and after surviving the recession for the better part of 2 1/2 years, I got a call from a head hunter in Houston asking me if I wanted to move to West Texas."
Michael Dorff was working for the Bush administration before he moved to West Texas. "I worked for the Bush administration for five or six years. I worked for six different federal agencies."
But Dorff never had the chance to work for the Department of Energy. Now he's getting to learn about the industry first hand. Although he doesn't have a wealth of experience, he can see why this industry is important for future generations." Even a layman like me can see that developing oil and gas in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, the Dakotas, developing offshore, is going to make a big difference for my generation, for my little girl that I'm having in a couple of weeks. It's going to make a big difference."
Although they may be energy's future, they value the knowledge of their peers. "I'm constantly amazed at how warmly we're received by people who want to see us succeed and mentor us and basically give us a chance," says Schmidt.
And when they get that chance, they're bringing new ideas and innovation with them. Local landman Amanda LeBrie, who's been working in the industry for a few months now says, "A lot of us are coming in with fresh ideas and a lot of energy, so hopefully we can keep the industry moving and put some more spark back into it. "
Young Professionals in Energy currently has over 850 members in Midland. If you want to join their ranks, log on to http://www.ypenergy.org/en/users/selfadd.asp. And if you have an idea for a future energy report, you can post them on my facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mycah-Glover-KMID.