I have the privilege of talking to women at the highest levels of the energy industry, and I learn something new with each interview – the cover story feature for this issue is no exception. In the course of my conversation with our interviewee, Katie Mehnert, the founder and CEO of ALLY Energy, she mentions that after seeing the Jeff Bridges narrated documentary, Living in the Future’s Past, she was motivated to measure her carbon footprint – and was “aghast” at what the number revealed.
The Nature Conservancy defines a carbon footprint as “the total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) that are generated by our actions,” and goes on to say, “The average carbon footprint for a person in the United States is 16 tons, one of the highest rates in the world. Globally, the average carbon footprint is closer to four tons.”
In her efforts to educate others, Mehnert now feels compelled to ask people if they know what their carbon footprint is. As she says jokingly, “It’s like standing on a scale; nobody wants to see that number! But when you don’t know your number, you cannot measure success or progress.”
Needless to say, I took the challenge. There are a number of online carbon footprint calculators geared to measure an individual’s personal footprint. In addition to the Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others offer calculators that measure emissions generated by home energy, transportation, waste, as well as additional categories. I would urge everyone to know their number. As Jeff Bridges says in Living in the Future’s Past, “Ask yourself, ‘What am I willing to contribute that comes naturally to me? Something that I can sustain until the challenge has been met.’”
Speaking of the Academy award-winning actor and environmental activist, we hope you will go over to our companion site, Energies Magazine, and read our cover story feature with Jeff Bridges, as well as Oilman Magazine, where we talk to four-star general Wesley Clark about the intersection of energy independence and national security. Our three cover interviewees are connected by their participation in the 2021 documentary, Hot Money, and offer a fascinating diversity of thought about how we can address one of the biggest challenges facing everyone on the planet today.
We are already looking ahead to our 2023 line-up of the best and brightest minds in the energy industry and hope you will join us again in the new year.
Rebecca Ponton has been a journalist for 25+ years and is also a petroleum landman. Her book, Breaking the GAS Ceiling: Women in the Offshore Oil and Gas Industry (Modern History Press), was released in May 2019. For more info, go to www.breakingthegasceiling.com.
Oil and gas operations are commonly found in remote locations far from company headquarters. Now, it's possible to monitor pump operations, collate and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the internet and related applications enable a greater multidirectional flow of information – and control – than ever before.