In the United States, there is an ongoing war on the people who provide oil and gas to their fellow citizens. While most of the vitriol is aimed at the men and women who sit on the boards of major companies, the unwarranted assault on oil and gas is felt by everyone employed in oil and gas.
An average employee in the energy sector, whether they work in the fields or the office, tend to find their profession treated with, at best, casual dismissal. At worst, they get to listen to half-informed lectures about the damage they’re doing. Some in the press have called outright for oil and gas employees to quit if they have any ethics. So rampant is the ongoing smear campaign that the next generation has no interest in a career in oil and gas because they consider the sector, “harmful to society.”
The surprising thing is, a big chunk of those millennials are working jobs in industries supported by the men and women who ensure that the world’s energy needs are met. In 2015, the US oil and gas industry supported more than 10 million jobs and accounted for more than 5 percent of total United States employment. Yet, oil and gas employees still face hardship when going about their daily life.
Kyle Bertrand is the third generation owner of a laundromat in Louisiana, a state where oil and gas supports almost a million jobs. Though the family business has always provided the essentials, in recent years, things have become much more lucrative, thanks to oil and gas. Over the last several years, as the state has improved its infrastructure, building pipelines nearby. As the owner of a laundromat, Bertrand gets plenty of business from the men and women working for the oil and gas industry.
“They are good people to do business with,” he says. “Most of the guys are happy to have somebody to smile and be polite to them.”
In a nation where everyone relies on the fruits of oil and gas’ labor, it’s shocking to see professionals so accustomed to mistreatment, especially when they’re providing the means by which a considerable portion of the country support themselves.