Oil and gas is known for being a boom and bust industry. Its leaders and employees are no strangers to dealing with dramatic fluctuation in commodity prices due to factors outside their control. Now, the combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia have created a dual negative impact that is hitting the industry especially hard. In spite of this combination of challenges that have led to lay-offs and billions of dollars in losses, industry members have stayed true to their roots and continue to provide philanthropic support to local communities.
Highlights of the industry’s COVID-19 response to-date:
Addressing Food Insecurity
Recognizing that food security would become increasingly difficult for the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, the newly unemployed and children and families who lost access to free or low-cost meals due to school closures, the industry rallied to provide support to organizations working on the front lines to provide food.
- The Colorado Oil & Gas Association* (COGA) launched industry employee donation campaigns for Food Bank of the Rockies on the West Slope and the Front Range. There has been a great response from employees at companies of all sizes, and the campaigns have raised more than $10,500 to-date.
- PDC Energy contributed $5,000 each to the Weld Food Bank, Food Bank of the Rockies and the West Texas Food Bank.
- QEP Resources* contributed $10,000 in the Denver Metro Area to Food For Thought, MetroCaring and Project AngelHeart. Additionally, they provided $10,000 to Meals on Wheels America to support vulnerable seniors nationwide, and $10,000 to support four local food banks serving the Williston Basin in North Dakota and the Permian Basin in Texas.
- Employees from High Point Resources have been volunteering to sort and package food at the Weld Food Bank while wearing appropriate PPE and practicing social distancing. High Point has also matched $1,050 in employee donations to Food Bank of the Rockies.
Supporting Collective COVID-19 Relief Funds
- BPX Energy* joined companies from multiple industries, private foundations and individual donors in contributing to the Colorado COVID Relief Fund launched by
Governor Polis and the State of Colorado.
- BPX and QEP expanded their support of the Denver Public Schools Foundation to include contributions to their COVID-19 Emerging Needs Fund, and Noble Energy contributed new funds to support general operations.
- QEP joined other companies and individuals in contributing to the Children’s Colorado COVID-19 Relief Fund and High Point Resources provided general support to be used where it’s needed most.
Safely & Creatively Engaging Employees
- High Point Resources employees are supporting Turn Around Bikes (TAB) by picking up donated bikes and repairing and refurbishing them at home with their families. The bikes will be donated to Greeley area kids in need once TAB is able to safely re-open for its regular youth programming.
- QEP employees are “connecting” with isolated seniors at the Life Care Center of Littleton, providing virtual companionship and support to alleviate loneliness. PDC is developing new remote opportunities with existing partners who serve youth and seniors.
- The COGA Community Outreach & Investment Committee provided members with resources and ideas for engaging employees in “virtual” and other remote volunteer work from Points of Light.
- The Colorado Chapter of the Women’s Energy Network is featuring the American Red Cross during its April Virtual Happy Hour to provide members with an update on how the Red Cross is responding to the pandemic and how they can help.
- Many companies are leveraging their employee matching gifts programs by providing special COVID-19 campaigns and increasing matching amounts for organizations responding to urgent needs related to the pandemic.
- In addition to providing support externally, companies are supporting the health and wellbeing of their own employees with resources and assistance to help them through this crisis.
In-Kind Support of PPE & Other Supplies
With its focus on health and safety, companies of all sizes have responded to shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) with in-kind donations of critical items for hospital workers, first responders and other vulnerable populations. Donations are occurring at a grassroots level throughout communities, and as in the case of Suncor*, on a large scale to support national efforts.
This piece is written and shared by Shanda Vangas, Principal of Fourth Wave Strategies LLC, and B:CIVIC Board Member.