Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Inspired by Oilmen

Before visiting the Oil and Texas exhibit, I wasn't so excited about it...Was it worth the $6? Maybe not...but I would tell you I was inspired by the assertiveness of the early Drilling Engineers in Texas. For example, the invention of the "christmas tree" to control the spindletop spills was put together in nine days. While oil was gushing, these people put together what they needed to get things under control. There was no need for research and development, they simply just got to work and did what they had to do.
I also think it was wonderful that because of this Natural resource, Texas was able to develop...It created a lot of millionaires, but also lifted young, innovative people to middle class and rural areas to urban. As I read the information about the people that worked at the oilfields and the two men that discovered oil in Beaumont, I thought they probably had no idea how much of an impact that they would have in the future of Texas (and of the world, really). I'm from Nigeria, and I couldn't help but hoping that my country learned a thing or two from Texas and put an end to the complaints and all the other trouble in the oil rich areas (but that is a more political issue).
Althought nothing was mentioned about it, I couldn't help but think about the issues with job safety back in those days (Where was OSHA?). If you watched "There will be blood", you'd know what I was talking about.
All in all, it was a good exhibit, It could have been better (and free :-) ) but I wouldn't say I didn't learn anything.

1 comment:

John Losinger said...

Very good insight.

Although I was out of town (out of the country actually) since last night and have not visited the exhibit yet, I am from Texas and have certainly seen the effect oil has had on the history and development of this state.

I really like your point about the entrepreneurial spirit and energy of early Texas "oilmen" (obviously excluding much of the hyperbole depicted in There Will Be Blood).

It seems to me that there is great optimism to be found in redirecting this zeal toward (feasible) alternative energies. In some respects, Texas has already begun this process by being the U.S. leader in wind energy (RPS, etc.).

Texas has a unique opportunity to again serve as a national, and international, bellwether in energy. If done with the same zeal seen in the early days of oil, UT's marketing slogan, "what starts here changes the world," could become decidedly less cheesy.