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San Antonio Chamber of Commerce attends Energy Summit

Last Thursday, your San Antonio Chamber of Commerce attended the Energy Summit at the beautiful Pearl Stable hosted by the Texas Oil & Gas Association (TXOGA) and the South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable (STEER) and co-sponsored by your San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Valero, AEM, Howard Energy Partners, Marathon Oil, and In the Oil Patch. The summit highlighted the significant economic impact various sectors of the oil and gas industry have on San Antonio and the surrounding region.

Valero Chairman, President and CEO Joe Gorder kicked off the event with impressive keynote remarks promoting the pivotal role Valero has played in helping drive economic growth in our state and local community. Valero’s independent petroleum refining operations include 15 refineries with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 3.1 million barrels per day, and ethanol operations include 11 plants with a combined production capacity of approximately 1.45 billion gallons per year. All the products that Valero safely produces and distributes across the world help make our modern life possible. The products they make help to turn on the lights in your room or produce the Nike® shirt you wear to the gym. “In 2018, we are investing hundreds of millions in projects that are here to stay”, Gorder said.

Gorder showcased Valero as a fortune 500 company and the largest independent refinery in the country.  The company employs approximately 10,000 employees directly and nearly 70,000 indirectly across the country, and their volunteerism in our community and communities across the nation is extremely impressive. Valero employees companywide logged more than 153,000 volunteer hours in 2017, and in San Antonio, 151 company leaders serve on 188 boards.

The Honorable Glenn Hegar, Texas Comptroller followed Gorder with remarks on how important the industry is to the Texas Economy and how strong the energy market is in San Antonio and the surrounding region. The industry accounts for a significant portion of the State’s tax base. Texas sales tax revenue in May alone was a whopping 10 percent higher than the same time last year. Severance taxes collected from the oil and gas industry have been a key contributor to state public education funding and the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF), better known as the state’s Rainy Day Fund. This fund is the largest in the Country and is expected to reach a balance of $11.9 billion at the end of fiscal year 2019.

Todd Abbott, VP of Resources for Marathon Oil spoke about how the company has become focused on using more innovative technology to help promote efficiency. They hope to use this technology to have fewer company trucks on the road and help make its drilling, completion, and production more efficient.

The summit concluded with a legislative panel featuring State Senator Donna Campbell (R-TX) and State Representative Lyle Larson (R-TX), Chairman of the Texas House Committee on Natural Resources. Much of the discussion was geared toward their efforts to ensure there is legislation that supports the continued growth of the industry, as it is a fundamental economic driver for Texas.

Brandon Seale, President of Howard Energy Mexico and the Chamber’s 2018 Energy & Sustainability Committee Chair, had this to say about the event “Last week’s TXOGA and STEER Energy summit was proof of the growing importance of the energy industry in San Antonio. Valero’s Joe Gorder remarks were a timely reminder to all of us to do a better job articulating the benefits that we create for the communities in which we work.”

If you are interested in identifying and supporting long-term, cost effective energy sources and policies, we invite you to join the Chamber’s Energy & Sustainability Committee by contacting Stephanie Reyes, VP of Public Policy at sreyes@sachamber.org.

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