The Carlsbad Mayor’s Energy Summit returned to the heart of Eddy County on October 19, 2023, marking its 11th year as a platform for community members and industry leaders to engage in discussions about the state of the energy sector and its future. This year’s theme, “Carlsbad: Much More Than You Expect,” celebrated the area’s rich diversity, innovation, and the profound impact energy has on the region’s economy. 

The journey of the Carlsbad Mayor’s Energy Summit began back in 2013, initiated by the rising presence of the oil and gas industry in the region. It served as a response to the growing curiosity and questions from Carlsbad residents regarding what to expect. Over the past 11 years, this summit has evolved into a significant window into the energy epicenter of the Delaware Basin, offering a unique opportunity to foster dialogue between the community and industry leaders.

This year, the summit’s focus on “Carlsbad: Much More Than You Expect” was underscored by the recognition of the people who make it special. Mayor Dale Janway emphasized that the essence of Carlsbad’s success lies in its community’s enthusiasm and commitment. Speakers from the event included Secretary Jeff Witte, Mayor Dale Janway, Representative Cathrynn Brown, George Stark, Director of External Affairs at Coterra Energy, and many others representing the energy industry and government organizations. These speakers covered a myriad of topics, including economic development, produced water, and education. 

Stark echoed the sentiments of the theme by stating, “Carlsbad is one of the few places where people are still happy to be nice to you. And I see that every time I come here.” 

This appreciation for the local community is not just a platitude; it is deeply rooted in Coterra’s operations in the area and through their guiding pillars of Community, Agriculture, Veterans/First Responders, and Education (CAVE). 

Stark also highlighted the commitment to education through multiple channels, including the Mobile Energy Learning Unit, a partnership with the Energy Education Foundation. This effort has brought energy education to 2,500 students across Southeast New Mexico in the last two years. This effort not only provides valuable knowledge to students but also supports the development of local talent in the heart of the Permian Basin.

As Stark puts it, “At Coterra, we’ve challenged ourselves to be the energy education company.” His sentiments reflect the company’s dedication to instilling ambition in parents and students to work in the energy industry and making STEM and other pathways more attractive to potential future professionals. The most rewarding part, he continued, is “seeing how ambitious our employees are about being engaged and enthusiastic about telling their stories.”

The summit provided a platform for leaders to discuss the intricate relationship between the energy and agriculture sectors. New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture, Jeff Witte, highlighted the synergy between the two, noting that “Agriculture and energy are partners. We can’t have one without the other.” Coterra’s involvement in agriculture through CAVE priorities demonstrates its commitment to strengthening this partnership. Support for organizations like New Mexico Agriculture in the Classroom, local 4-H chapters, and the New Mexico Future Farmers of America. These opportunities serve as ways to deepen the relationship between the two industries and support Coterra’s holistic approach to community building.

The 2023 Carlsbad Mayor’s Energy Summit provided a glimpse into the unique blend of community, innovation, and industry that defines the Carlsbad region. Coterra’s participation and commitment to education and community development continue to make a significant impact on this thriving community. As the energy landscape evolves, companies like Coterra remain at the forefront, working hand in hand with local communities to drive progress and opportunities for all.