We need low-cost energy in the United States, and I love talking with people about the energy market. Shane Stolp, CEO at Wescom, and I had a great talk about all forms of energy. We talked about Wind, Solar, Electric Vehicles, Nuclear, Bitcoin mining, natural gas, oil, and protests. Yes, I just said protests.
We need to have a balanced discussion about energy. And we are taking care of the environment without printing money to achieve the lowest kWh delivered to everyone on the planet. But it seems like the “green” energy side will not discuss physics and finance.
Shane and I covered one of the biggest problems: the next generation coming into the energy market. He has wonderful discussions about total energy. Westcom installs solar and oil field services. They understand energy.
Sandstone Group is working on a home school and curriculum initiative to get all of our original content turned into tests and syllabuses and help the alternative education markets that are underserved markets. This podcast would be wonderful as an example of discussion around the real-world aspect of energy.
Thank you, Shane, for what you and all of your employees are rockstars at delivering all forms of low-cost energy. I am looking forward to our next visit! – Stu
Follow Shane on his LinkedIn HERE: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shane-stolp-49454711/
Check out Wescom’s website HERE: https://wescominc.com/
Energizing America Podcast HERE: https://wescominc.com/energizing-america-podcast/
Highlights of the Podcast
2:30 – Shane Stolp discusses “Energize in America,” covering various energy aspects, including solar, oil, gas, and EVs, emphasizing dialogue on energy misconceptions.
06:58 – Shane talks about challenges in renewable energy adoption, highlighting practicality in extreme weather and diverse energy perspectives between Minnesota and North Dakota.
10:04 – The rising energy costs in Minnesota due to a net-zero goal are discussed, emphasizing the need for realistic approaches and educating children on energy complexities.
12:42 – Challenges in finding employees are discussed, and Shane shares the success of his company through pride, education, and employee ownership.
16:11 – Shane highlights his company’s environmental responsibility, mentioning Bitcoin mining projects as solutions for stranded gas in North Dakota.
20:40 – Shane expresses optimism about Bitcoin’s growth, especially in addressing gas takeaway capacity issues.
23:22 – The importance of considering the lowest cost per kilowatt-hour is emphasized for humanitarian efforts and poverty alleviation.
27:23 – Shane shares his journey from humble beginnings to a successful business, urging action and impact.
32:34 – Shane encourages listeners to visit west.com, highlighting the Energizing America podcast, and expresses gratitude for contributing to the industry conversation.
Other great resources from Sandstone and Energy News Beat
Real Estate Investor Pulse
ENB Top News https://energynewsbeat.co/top-news/
Energy Dashboard https://app.sandstone-group.com/enb-dashboard-version-2
ENB Podcast https://energynewsbeat.co/industry-insights-2/
Stuart Turley [00:00:08] Good morning everybody. Welcome to the Energy News Beat podcast. My name’s Stu Turley president and CEO of the sandstone Group. We got some really, really interesting conversation today. Uh, I have been on this gentleman’s, uh, podcast before. I absolutely love everything that he is doing. I’m going to introduce him here in a second, but let’s tee this up. 2024 is shaping up to be one of the single best, most entertaining years of our lives. There’s a lot going on. We just had Cop 28, in which there was a lot of big oil showed up, and there was a lot of green. People showed up and their heads were exploding. David Blackman just put out. There’s going to be a resurgence in nuclear around the world. In my opinion, I think we’re going to have nuclear not really in the US because of the legislation through regulation, but we’re seeing a, uh, resurgence in nuclear like Dubai just put out or excuse me, the UAE just put out a nuclear reactor. So then you’re going to have natural gas. Natural gas is really kicking off around the world. And I’ve got a van tastic energy expert here today. I’ve got Shane and he is absolutely the CEO of West Com. And they know energy. They know solar. They know oil and gas. And I love them. Welcome, Shane. And thanks. I’m so glad you’re here today.
Shane Stolp [00:01:51] Well, thanks to you. I’m excited to be on here and talk about energy in America and how we need all these forms of energy. And boy, there’s an untold story behind the headlines. And unfortunately, as Americans and folks around the world, we just love the headlines. And it’s so easy to buy into that headline, isn’t it? It’s incredible that even the things you just said, there’s so much behind all of that to unpack and what you and the sandstorm group are doing and including David Blackmon, all the folks that are out there using the Substack and getting this message out, we can’t get enough of it. It’s awesome. So thanks for having me on to tell the story.
Stuart Turley [00:02:25] And then I’ll tell you, um, a couple things. You also are a podcast host, and this is really awful, Shane, because you had me on your show and it got I got real busy because I was going to have you back. But tell us about your podcast. And then we’re going to go into what you’re seeing in the energy space.
Shane Stolp [00:02:40] Yeah. Right. So our podcast energy is in America is just how we need energy in our life in all forms of energy. And sometimes we talk about business energy, just different business tactics. And, you know, I’m part of a group that grew from zero to a few hundred employees out in a little patches. And I love to tell a story about blue collar workforce. So that’s a big piece of it. We talk about solar. I have solar at my house. I got solar at my shop. 90% of my work though is comes from oil and gas. So, you know, we got an EV. Of course we talk about EV vehicles. Sometimes we just talk all things energy. Sometimes we get politicians in, uh, to talk about their opinions and blab what they have to say about things. We have. Pete Stauber is a representative of ours from Minnesota. He’s been a great guest on our podcast. And then sometimes we get lucky enough to get people like you come on and talk about some of the world events around oil and gas and and just all in energy approach to our podcast, energize in America really started just with the mission of sharing the need for energy and and sharing the story behind the folks who produce it, because there’s so many awesome people out there talking about the human part of energy and how important that is. And sometimes it gets forgotten that it actually takes humans behind the energy to even produce it. Right? Uh, I love this idea of, oh, let’s just go all electric. I love electricity, I mean, I’m my my electrician, right? This is great. The problem here is, is that folks forget we have to produce the electricity. So somehow they think if they’re not using their gas vehicle, the electricity just magically shows up. None of them, very few of them actually understand that electricity has to be generated by the way, which is oftentimes most affordably done via coal, natural gas, you name it. It’s very rarely done by a renewable source. There’s some of it, right? If we could have more nuclear like you started with, we’d be great. But there’s that untold story of the humans behind there that are producing that energy, all forms of it.
Stuart Turley [00:04:31] Hug your linemen. Uh.
Shane Stolp [00:04:34] They’re going to need those hugs.
Stuart Turley [00:04:36] Absolutely. Because, you know, the FARC just put out a chain that the U.S. grid is not doing too hard because of the sustainable, uh, or the sustainable or the renewable energy that is not sustainable. Uh, being put on Texas is having to put in we’re using more coal now than we’ve used. Kerry is trying to shut all that down. And you were just talking. You’re up in the middle of the tundra up there and. And you are having snow. You’re not getting any solar today, are you?
Shane Stolp [00:05:11] No. And so this is this is the cool part about actually having solar, right? Uh, when we started our podcast of energies in America and really trying to get the message out. People ask me about solar, and I didn’t I didn’t have enough details about it. And I’m a reader. I can read a lot about solar, but I love when I get to experience it. So we made an investment here to shop, put solar, and I got a monitor. All running shows how much solar energy we’re producing. I got it at my house on my roof. Same thing. But I’m telling you, in July and August, right up in northern Minnesota. December, January, February. Not so great. We get a lot of snow. And, uh, it’s it’s not cool unless you get your solar panels off and then it’s only six hours of sunshine. So unless you have a big battery billing system, which is totally unaffordable. And oh, by the way, we just did on the biggest copper deposit in the world pretty much up here in the northern half of the US. But guess what? We can’t mine it. That’s a whole nother matter. So we don’t have we don’t have affordable ways to storage the energy. So it’s awesome to have real data still to talk to people about that. You know, when they say, oh, you’re not only on gas. What’s wrong with you? What do you mean, what’s wrong with me? I’m actually making sure that you get to get up this morning. Like, for me this morning I woke up first and it is hit my, you know, oil produced phone started up because it’s 80 degrees out there at the lake. Started to pick up at the floor. Ooh, I like that nice tile heat, you know that I have. Obviously my propane boilers work in a way out the door I go and get my that fossil fuel ridden pickup, which is a really, really nice way to drive compared to the electric vehicle in northern Minnesota. With this temp is not so warm. The electric vehicles are so fun. Still, I’m sure you’ve read them. They’re still fun, but when it’s 20 degrees out they’re not very fun.
Stuart Turley [00:06:55] You know, home and they don’t.
Shane Stolp [00:06:57] Get rings.
Stuart Turley [00:06:58] Because my in-laws, uh, the green side. Why is it you and I can have this conversation? I love all forms of energy. Has to be sustainable. You can’t print money where the global economy is now facing horrible things. But do you see, up in northern Minnesota, this conversations of religion around the quote unquote renewable side? Uh, and I love my oil and gas folks love oil and gas because they’re they’re, uh, the Texas Rangers of energy. As far as I’m concerned. I don’t care where you are in the U.S. if you’re drilling a rig, I love you. I don’t care if you got mud all over you. I’m going to come hug you. And it’s because I realize that as low cost energy. But what kind of conversations do you have when you’re talking to folks? Is it just.
Shane Stolp [00:07:53] They answer fascinating conversation stew. And people are so uneducated in this. They’re so opinionated on something that they have no knowledge of. For example, I’m at the local elementary school. We’re getting set up for a carnival. Me and this girl open up conversation. What do you do for a living? She says, I protest, I should really what do you protest? She says, oh, things like the Enbridge Line three project. And I say, oh really? This is going to be fun. And you could, you know, politeness. She asks me, now what do I do? And I say, well, I run out. I run into energy services company that primarily works in oil and gas in North Dakota. Uh, exactly what you’re protesting against us trying to transport. And so then we have this lively conversation. But super, you know, if you if you try and meet them where they’re at, like, hey, so tell me why you’re protesting, right? Well, I believe I take care of the waters. Oh, you do realize most of the oil and gas that we import comes from overseas over the beautiful ocean? Does that not concern you? Because if it does, it seems like you would want it to go on a pipeline underneath American soil where we have good regulation and good things in place. Right. And eventually by the end of the night, she’s actually coming around. And that, boys, when we get in the pickup, they go, boy, dad, I wanted to wring her neck, you know, but yet by the end of the night, she’s totally understands it. Yeah, that’s true. She didn’t. She actually drove her car to the event. You know, if you didn’t walk to my question. Because why didn’t you walk here? If you truly believed in it, you got to be all in. And so you have to somehow meet folks where they are. Here’s what’s fascinating, though, is a conversation over in northern Minnesota terrible. There’s so many environmental groups with just the one sided agenda that are all focused on climate change. Without knowing the facts of it, you get over to North Dakota, which is one of my favorite spots in the world, and there all the time you can have real conversation with real people who, by the way, this is what never is told. The oil and gas folks out there, they’re some of the best environmentalists you could ever find. Because guess who’s out there hunting? Guess who’s out there fishing? Guess who’s out there using the outdoors? It’s those folks. While the environmentalists are chaining themselves up to some painting somewhere about some forsaken thing that no one even cares about. They don’t use what they were trying to protest with.
Stuart Turley [00:10:04] Did you see the one that glued their hand? To the pavement and had to cut the pavement out. And then he lost his hand.
Shane Stolp [00:10:14] And it has a weird way of taking care of things, doesn’t it? But there’s this idea of just trying to meet folks where they’re at that. Minnesota came out with this big, you know, net zero goal by 2030. So local utilities increasing their cost by ten, 20% a year. You can get a handle on it. And finally, it seems like people are getting hit in the pocketbook where it counts. And obviously maybe this isn’t the best strategy, right? Maybe we need to do something differently. But unfortunately, the train has departed the station and we’re too far gone in northern Minnesota. I don’t know what’s going to happen, and it’s in the whole state. It’s terrible. One of his tax states and energy cost is not. Again, they don’t consider that a tax. If they did, we would be worse in California and we’d be one of the top in the nation. It’s terrible. But I do believe with the right set of circumstances, which is one cold weather that has a way of keeping things very real when it comes to energy. You guys experienced it in Texas a few years ago. I think it’s cool. Yeah. When it gets cold, people pay attention. So cold weather that that’s that’s one thing. The second thing is cost people in the pocketbook. And I’m telling you up here, the energy costs are getting out of control. And we have oil and gas all over. There’s no reason for it.
Stuart Turley [00:11:27] I did not know that. Uh, I knew that the the legislation through regulatory action is now weaponized against the American citizen. And it said, look at New York.
Shane Stolp [00:11:42] So we try and get, you know, even one of the things we’ve tried to do is try and get these kids, they’re in an education system where this stuff is being they’re being told from day one that, you know, oil and gas is any fossil fuel. We don’t even have to say oil or gas, right? It’s fossil fuel, just an absolute attack on any natural resource use, right, other than solar and wind. That info bad bad bad. So we we grab a solar panel, we grab our west content, we head to the local elementary school every spring. We have the kids outside. We got a little fan and a light on the thing. We we have it out in the sun. The kids get to touch it. They get to learn about raceways and electrons and everything. And then we shove it under the tent and they realize what happens when the sun goes down. It’s a very real thing. And I tell them, we don’t have a windmill because we don’t have enough wind up here. But it’s the same exact thing with wind. So what I’m trying to what we’re trying to do is give these kids a little opportunity, even at a younger age, understand that there’s probably more to it than what they’re being told.
Stuart Turley [00:12:38] How cool is that?
Shane Stolp [00:12:40] It is one of the funnest days of the year.
Stuart Turley [00:12:42] I’ll tell you. Um, I’ve got a I’m trying to get. We’re just covered over with work, but, uh, we have a homeschool initiative at sandstone that we’re trying to take all of our podcasts, put tests on them for the high school students and, uh, and junior high, junior high and high school for energy, because a lot of the talks of the guests that we have are phenomenal. I learned so much. You know, I even though I went to Oklahoma State and that’s a little bit of a handicap sometimes. Uh, I’m kidding. I love my college, but they didn’t graduate people that couldn’t read. But that’s a whole nother story. Um, but we’ll leave that alone. Uh, so. And anyway, but I love the idea of giving back and educate the next generation as a big employer. Shane, are you having trouble finding energy employees out there?
Shane Stolp [00:13:40] Well, you know, we we’ve struggled with employees overall, just like everyone has in today’s world, right? It’s a tough deal. I’m pretty proud those two we’ve had when my brother and I got going in this, we had five employees. We now have over 250. And these folks are so committed to the energy industry. One of the one of the secrets we’ve done, though, is and it’s not even a secret, we just have the conversation. Guys, don’t be ashamed of what you do. Let me tell you. I interviewed Luke warts. He works for Marathon Oil, a massive producer over in the Balkans. He’s a children’s author. He’s got the coolest kids books ever. So I give it anyone. Anytime someone has a baby around here, they get a little baby outfit from me and they get a couple kids books about oil and gas and how important it is, and I try and help everyone else come embrace what you do. Because guess what? We wouldn’t be where we are without you. I would not be warm in my bed at night without oil and gas. I just simply wouldn’t do it. I would not have this nice shirt on without oil and gas. I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t have nothing. It. Look at the difference between the Liberty CEO does such a great job and this is in his annual reports.
Stuart Turley [00:14:43] Hearst right.
Shane Stolp [00:14:43] Love is phenomenal in this. In talking about the the low cost affordable energy, what it does. And that’s why America is what it is. And it’s a shame that we’re not allowing other countries to follow suit once we got it. We don’t want other folks to do so. We try and tell our employees, embrace what you do, go home, brag about what you do, tell your coworkers or your your copy to members. Tell the folks at the football game embrace what you do because and learn the facts about it. You know, a lot of folks just don’t even realize how impactful their work is. So that’s why even our model of energy in America came to be. We used to just like, I don’t know what our model was ten years ago, maybe safely serving the best oil companies right online. Know what are we actually doing? We’re like saving lives. We’re energized in America. Think about how cool that is and embrace that. And through that, I think our folks feel very fulfilled at work. And then, oh, by the way, we happen to of this year, uh, became employee owned. So my brother and I yeah, I put all the shares of the company into a trust fund. And you earn the share through your efforts of working. You don’t buy the shares, you can only earn them. And so, yeah, we’re an employee stock owned company, and, uh, folks get to own the company. They work for us. So that’s also been very helpful for those those employees.
Stuart Turley [00:15:56] You know what I’m about to tear up. Uh, I, you know, I feel like I could.
Shane Stolp [00:16:00] Be a first.
Stuart Turley [00:16:01] Yeah. Uh, Lee Greenwood merc, uh, you know, I I’m breaking into my my Texas America here. How cool is that, man? Well, it’s true.
Shane Stolp [00:16:11] Here’s the thing. See, this is what we get to tell now about this. Everyone who has this agenda, we we kind of lump people together, right? Uh, green initiative, uh, the, uh, ESG, all those folks kind of get thrown in this big pile. Right? But once you start stripping that pile out, you go, wait, you care about ESG? Let me tell you about environmental social governance, at least from a company of a few hundred people doing several million dollars a year in revenue. Our employees own the company. Go find me a green. Company that only does solar whose employee owns you, will not find them. You will not find them, okay? You’re not talking to them, right? Oh, uh, you care about taking care of, you know, the environment. Go find a company that has 90% of their staff. Oh, they’re hunting, fishing and doing all the kinds of things that we should be doing with our natural resources. And by the way, I got 20 people, one set of folks out in North Dakota. You know, all they do for a major producer is go back and fix burn back and flares to do better for the environment. That particular producer spent over $10 million last year.
Stuart Turley [00:17:18] 9.
Shane Stolp [00:17:19] Million in the Balkan chocolate. So if you want to talk about people who care about an environment, we’re all in.
Stuart Turley [00:17:25] Oh, isn’t that great? Hey, let me ask this, and I’m sorry. Uh, I would give you a man hug right now because I just love everything that you got going on your humanitarian first. Um, let me ask this, because Bitcoin, uh, I love bitcoin. And there’s, uh, there’s a whole political reason behind it. And when you sit back and take a look, uh, I love the Bitcoin miners because it gives the ENP operators additional income if they put a mining operation on stranded gas or if they’re flaring out and they can’t get a pipeline out because of the regulatory kind of issues. I mean, this is a round robin. Aren’t you seeing any Bitcoin mining up there? And I do love bitcoin mining.
Shane Stolp [00:18:14] Yeah we are. We’ve seen um, we were involved in a fairly large project last year and a lot of uh, taking stranded gas, uh, you know, North Dakota about 25 to 30% of their production comes right off the Indian reservation. Uh, the energy has some power. Uh, they have some takeaway capacity issues from the from the natural gas. And then subsequently they also have some, uh, political issues in getting the local utility to bring power in.
Stuart Turley [00:18:42] So there’s a bit about that. Yes.
Shane Stolp [00:18:44] There’s a perfect storm going on where they can use this gas to create, like, little mini power grid and, and do something. Right. Um, one of which could be putting it back on the line or Bitcoin mining, I would say 20% of our sites we find bitcoin uh, mining anymore on because of one of our producers is really into it. They’re using it some of that gas some some constraints with its due, you know, um, you know, how it is in the oil and gas. Sometimes the gas is coming out, it’s flowing perfectly. And then all of a sudden the well runs into an issue. The gas shuts down. You got a lot of infrastructure costs in that Bitcoin. Um, North Dakota state regulators have been a little bit, uh, tough on the bitcoin miners. Uh, a lot of the bitcoin miners want to import, uh, their computers and different components from China. They’re not unlisted. That that makes sense if you a little bit. But I think we’ve worked through a lot of those challenges. There was just one project last year that out of all the ones we’re involved, that didn’t go as quite as well as they would have hoped. So now they’re moving that set up. The beautiful thing about that Bitcoin mining. And so you know when in the shall we we start the well up right a lot of oil comes out. And as it ages more and more gas starts to come out. What do we do. North Dakota has a massive takeaway issue. It’s it’s brewing. Then on February 28th, we’re going to be in a world of hurt. They’re going to have to curtail production, which would be terrible.
Stuart Turley [00:20:05] So as regulations are coming out changed.
Shane Stolp [00:20:07] So it’s so bad. You talked to Lynn Helms, a director of Mineral Resources there. He’s done phenomenal. I think it by uh, in 20 years, you know, they used to produce 100,000 barrels of oil a day there and all of our one point almost hitting 2 million. And he says by the time it’s 2:00 in the morning, they produce more oil than when he first started in his job. Right. And what they did in a 24 hour day. But this, this Bitcoin mining is a great way to take care of some of that natural gas take away capacity issue. At the same time, reduce revenue for folks.
Stuart Turley [00:20:40] And get rid of the emissions. And then, uh, so here’s I, I get excited when I’m talking ESG, making money and saving and putting power and all that. I would love to interview your customer that you did do that and you and really kind of educate our listeners more about the goodness of Bitcoin mining. If we can get that kind of a thing scheduled because people think, oh, Bitcoin mining is bad. Uh, and I’m if the digital currency from a government kicks in, it’s not good. And I’m, I’m sorry, but you’re going to see here’s a prediction and I, I want your opinion on this too I think bitcoins are getting ready to run to the races.
Shane Stolp [00:21:24] Uh, I think it’s went through enough of its cycles that it has to test the highs and the lows. It seems like it’s within the next couple of years. It’s going to be here to stay, and it’s going to be a growing asset. The thing is, we have to. This is where it gets so complicated for folks to get. So singular minded rather than taking this all in approach. And this is why all the podcasts at sandstone Group does, and all the publications and everything are so important to be involved in. It’s an all in approach. We’re considering all the elements and pulling it all together, of which Bitcoin mining as a place and can do phenomenal things. I had an employee one time who well, he still works for me and he works over in Minot Or he lives over in Minot, North Dakota, and he was back in mining in his basement, and he was telling me his electric bills were out of this world. Right? Meanwhile, 65 miles away, there’s a well that’s just has nowhere to put the gas which is flaring off into the atmosphere, right, in all kinds of energy. They could put a harness right there with some computers in it. It’s in Bitcoin mining. Gone. It’s a win win for all parties involved. There’s some infrastructure costs. But here’s the thing. They’ve gotten so good with Bitcoin mining. Now we can basically this is modular. You can pick these things up as it goes bad. And it doesn’t have the gas take away anymore. Pick it up move it down the road to the next. Well that does have some take away issues right. What I wish is that we could get that bitcoin mining going down in the Permian Basin, and very slow adopters in the Permian Basin to us. However, they have a lot better takeaway capacity. They don’t have the same issue with flaring as we have up north. But they’re they’re headed there. Right. If it’s the same. Uh, of course, the geology always depends where you’re at, but more than likely they’re going to start experiencing what the Balkan basin has experienced, which is gas here. Wells over time. What do we do with this take away capacity.
Stuart Turley [00:23:12] Right. He said gas here you have seven boys. So I figured.
Shane Stolp [00:23:21] We. Yes.
Stuart Turley [00:23:22] Yeah I get, I get, I just I’ll tell you uh, bit deer we’re working on and, uh, maybe signing up as a sponsor of the show. And I’m trying to get the executive in here, and we’re working on a nice marketing budget for next year, and I, they’re the biggest, uh, bitcoin miner out of Singapore. And they are not really in the investor market, which we’re trying to help with. So, uh, you know I’m I’m really looking forward to visiting with you. More about the Bitcoin up there because I think that’s a huge win for ESG. I didn’t think about it that way a couple of years ago.
Shane Stolp [00:23:59] No. Well you know, it’s funny I was in a hotel in Utah, North Dakota. This is back in 2016. We did a Christmas party at this hotel, is headed up to my room. A guy gets in the elevator and we start talking. What do you do? He says, Bitcoin mining. I said, what? And he starts talking about, oh he’s going to do this, I engineer I told my brother that night, that guy is crazy. By the morning I told him, you know, Jeremy, I wonder if that guy, you know, on to something. Four years later, in 2020, he had over 30 wells that he had bitcoin mines set up on and he was doing very, very well. Now we know that bitcoin mining you know profitability in Bitcoin can go up and down right. But if you if you’re if you’re producing it for free then it’s just a matter of how long you’re willing to hold it. And when you’re willing to sell it like any investment.
Stuart Turley [00:24:43] Oh, you know, the, um, uh, cost per kilowatt hour. So this, this conversation, Shane goes back around, humanity needs the lowest cost kilowatt per hour to get it out of humanity, to get it, uh, to elevate out of poverty. Kind of like Chris Wright said over at Liberty that you mentioned. Um, I mean, he’s the one that set the tone for the Energy News Beat podcast humanitarian. And then Alex Epstein was also the same way. You know, I got to interview, uh, both of them a couple times, and I love both of them. So, you know, they helped set how I was, like, going, uh, a light went off. So this conversation of the lowest kilowatt per hour for ESG, for Bitcoin mining, for finances has come back around to this circle of humanity to in order to elevate people out of poverty.
Shane Stolp [00:25:39] But and because it’s so important to people, again, they’re not thinking about every kilowatt of energy has to be produced. And so what does it cost to produce it? Who’s paying for it? Newsflash the government doesn’t just give you free energy. Now that’s not very creative in in tax credits and everything else, but we have yet to see where they go to the local homeowner and they say, you know what, due to our added regulation, we’re just going to go ahead and start taking care of your power bill. It’s not going to happen, folks. You’re going to take care of your own power bill. Are utility over here in northern Minnesota tells us when we’re talking about payback to a solar system relying on a 3% annual rate hike from here until 2050. But you know what they do every year when they go to the legislature, they ask for a 13 to 22% rate increase. Wow. That’s the reality of what thereafter. And folks are going to just they’re going to cost themselves right out of affordable energy. And you might not think it doesn’t matter. And this is one other thing I always tell our elementary kids when we’re talking to them in our our coworkers, okay. For us in the oil and gas. Business or us who have able bodied minds and healthy bodies, we can go make a living and we’re maybe middle class or a little above. You probably really don’t. It’s easy to say you don’t really even hardly care. Oh well, your power bill went up 4%, right? What I’m talking about is the same people, when lumping in this pile who are after ESG are the very. People that oftentimes can’t afford that rate increase. We do energy scholarships as part of our ESG o movement. We do every year. We call a couple of the elementary schools we say we want for families who can we pay their power bills for a for four months. We send a thousand bucks to the local utility company for that, for that family to help out with their energy costs. Right.
Stuart Turley [00:27:22] Because cause that where.
Shane Stolp [00:27:23] It’s bad, those folks that are living in right on the edge. And guess what? That’s most of us living right on the edge financially. And now we’re going to go ahead and increase your price. Because why?
Stuart Turley [00:27:35] But, uh.
Shane Stolp [00:27:36] Yeah, there’s no reason for it. In today’s world, with this abundance of energy we have, there’s no reason for it.
Stuart Turley [00:27:41] You nailed what’s happening in New York right now. Uh, Governor Hochul put out four months ago. Shane. Uh, they are having to increase. She she said you’re going to have a 20% increase in energy, uh, this year. Then you’re going to have another 20% and then you’re going to have 100%. So I like I said, we I went to OSU 20 plus 20 plus 100 and gets expensive. I don’t care who you are. I mean that’s bad when.
Shane Stolp [00:28:14] It’s 20 on top of 2000 on top of that 40. Right. Exactly.
Stuart Turley [00:28:19] Yes.
Shane Stolp [00:28:21] It’s bad. We don’t even have to go to college to know that. But I think that’s that’s the cool part about this podcast that we can do think about the medium we have today to help share the story. Yes, but there’s action required on everyone’s part and that’s even better. Christmas Party is this year, as we’re all talking about where we’re headed as a country and what we’re doing even as a company, as part of this, you know, we’re just a small little speck, but you get to decide how big your speck becomes. How many people are you sharing your story with, how much of an impact are you making? And each one of us has a role in your pocket.
Stuart Turley [00:28:55] I love what you do chain, because you are, uh, the epitome of the backbone of the US. Uh, I am serious. If we can help you and and everything else, I’m surprised by the success of our podcast. I’m humbled by it. We have so much great feedback. And and it’s podcasters helping, podcasters helping spread the word. People are tired in the mainstream media. Uh, you need to interview, um, uh, JP Warren. He’s also written a book I love, JP. JP is Coolcat and you. So you need to interview him. And, uh, I guarantee I want to interview the other author that you have about his child’s book. And maybe we get both of them, all four of us on a, uh, child’s book, uh, panel. I think that would be absolutely a fun hope.
Shane Stolp [00:29:51] Well, you know, I have had this conversation also with our team. Here’s the cool part about being in America. There might be in today’s world, ways that we get stopped or tried to be stopped. But we’re a country of ingenuity. There’s always a workaround. There’s always a workaround. I grew up in I was born in North Dakota, grew up in Duluth, Minnesota. My my dad never went to college. He was a boiler operator, which was often and just a fancy title for a generator in a mall. They raised all nine of us kids, seven boys, two girls. I end up with seven boys and two girls myself.
Stuart Turley [00:30:25] And here’s the water up there, dude.
Shane Stolp [00:30:28] It will be tough because I’m telling you, it’s an awesome life. You imagine? Last night I was out on the lake with my seven boys playing hockey. We it was magical. And the girls are inside with mom. It’s a wonderful life. Here’s the thing, though. You know, Mom and Dad hardly had any ability to even pay for all nine of us. We grew up in an environment that was tough. It was bumpy 1980s economy stuff. We went out, dad. The only way he survived the 80s was by moving us out to North Dakota, being part of the coal gasification plant, you know, before he came back in the 90s to Duluth here and raised all of us. My point is, is I started with nothing, absolutely nothing. And my brother and I got involved in this business when there was five of us. We just loved oil and gas. We loved the industrial field. We loved the American strap on your boots. And the people we’ve been able to meet in this industry are just phenomenal. It doesn’t matter if you’re in North Dakota, New Mexico or over here in Minnesota. We got an office in Wisconsin that’s all across every single state, nearly. We had West Coast pipeline this year. We had an East Coast pipeline that we worked on. We’re all over the place, and there’s such incredible people that are just like me. All they’re doing is putting on their boots and giving it their best. And some of us get really, really lucky. We end up owning a business, which is some of the most incredible people ever. And then the cream on the top is that we get to give it back to them. We get to give the company to them so that they can take the future rewards. There’s so much of that here, and we forget that we can get frustrated with all the noise and all the headlines and everything else. Go turn it into action. Do something about it. Get involved. Listen to that podcast or somebody about it. Whatever you do, we can do it.
Stuart Turley [00:32:08] I’m fired up. Okay. This is we’re going into 2024, and I’m fired up for our podcast. Host Shane lean forward into his chair and we are getting ready to run down that road. I guarantee you we are going to have a blast. Shane, I cannot wait to see you again.
Shane Stolp [00:32:28] Thank you Stu. It’s been awesome. We got to keep this message alive.
Stuart Turley [00:32:31] Oh, I’ll tell you what. Preacher and preacher.
Shane Stolp [00:32:34] And. Well, my wife, my wife always says, settle down. Now, don’t go in church as much as you do. And you know, they do just have not ignited their passion. See that? That’s the thing, everyone. Everyone wants the same thing. A nice, safe home, right? At the end of the day, we all enjoy that, right? What is what are some of the critical components of that? A good job, boy. Get in the energy business. Because if you want a growing business, a growing industry over the next ten years, no matter if you’re in fossil fuels, green movement, whatever you want to call it, linemen, think about the transition that we are under. Whether you agree with it or not, there’s like massive.
Stuart Turley [00:33:09] Beautification is here.
Shane Stolp [00:33:11] It’s here. How we how we’re going to produce electricity. That’s where the fun is. But there’s tons of future in that. Right? So how easy is that to talk about. Everyone likes to be warm. Well that requires an energy. That’s an easy conversation. All of this is such an easy conversation and everyone has the same goal. We just got to learn how to ignite that passion within them. When we do well, you can move mountains.
Stuart Turley [00:33:34] I’ll tell you what. You made my day to day. Shane and I will keep a pledge to you is keep heckling you and, uh, bugging you on, uh, LinkedIn, sharing your stuff. And, uh, I want to help you out in any way that I possibly can. Let’s do some of these other panels. Uh, I really am excited to to do some of those. And let’s get the word out there. How do people find West Con and how do people find your podcast?
Shane Stolp [00:34:03] Yeah, let’s con income is where you’ll find everything about West. Com, including our Energizing America podcast. Energizing America podcast is on every platform you can find. Come join the conversation. It’s a fun one. We need everyone involved in that. And I really appreciate the opportunity to sit down with you again, your passion for the industry and everything you guys are doing. Please keep it up because we just want to be a small piece of the conversation.
Stuart Turley [00:34:26] Oh, you’re a huge piece. So thank you very much I appreciate you. We’ll talk soon. Jane.
Shane Stolp [00:34:32] Thanks to.