2016 Was Actually a Solid Year

I have heard from many friends that 2016 was a terrible year that can’t disappear fast enough. While I had my own tough year, saying goodbye to a marriage I cherished and getting beat up in the oil and gas business, I have to say 2016 had quite a few positives. For one, I’ve grown. No, I’m not any taller, but I’ve grown in my Christian faith and trying to put God first in everything, which, as you understand, has created more peace in my life.

IN MEMORIAM 2016

While I respect people mourning departed celebrities like Zsa Zsa Gabor and Muhammad Ali, we can certainly thank death for taking one of history’s worst dictators, Fidel Castro, out of the picture. While liberals fawned over him in death, just as they had in life, the Cuban people he oppressed over the years have a much brighter future ahead of them if Fidel’s brother doesn’t double down on the dictator routine.

ENERGY 2016

The oil and gas business was weird this year. Prices fell from approximately $140 a barrel in early 2014 to nearly $27 a barrel in January 2016, then slowly rose to about $50 a barrel this Fall on “hopes” OPEC will in fact cut production. A lot of companies and their people got hurt, including my company and its good people. But there’s the beginning of a “new optimism” in the oil and gas market, a “good fever” that I haven’t seen in three years. If the oil and gas business were the NFL, I’d say there is parity, with more .500 teams, and more folks qualifying to compete, no matter how 2017 unfolds. Throw in the fact the U.S. Congress lifted the longstanding ban on American exports of crude oil, and the potential for future success is brighter.

PRESIDENCY 2016

I don’t remember who said it, but I like the old saying, “If the right people are complaining, something good is happening,” because it applies to President-Elect Donald Trump in spades. I really enjoyed watching liberal Democrats tie themselves in mournful knots as the will of the American people crystallized in the form of a Trump victory. For whatever differences I had with his style, I’m glad I traveled Texas over the second half of the year encouraging Texans to vote for Trump. In my view, he was the only candidate who would nominate conservative strict-constructionist Supreme Court Judges, cut taxes to jump-start our American economy, prioritize national security and promote American Exceptionalism. As liberals forgot their calls for a “peaceful transition of power,” and marched in the streets before working to sway the electoral college vote, the whole country saw just how much the Left benefits from identity politics, the redistribution of wealth and defending the status quo. Their rage is a pretty clear sign they understand we Republicans, conservative Independents and Democrats, and our “new sheriff in town” are going to shake things up.

And, so, as a new year dawns, we are positioned to build on this past year and unite in our effort to “Make America Great Again.” In 2017, my three categories are primed for something even better.

PRESIDENCY 2017

It’s no secret that President-Elect Trump tossed the traditional political playbook out the window with his electoral effort, and I expect him to govern the same way. Whether that includes replacing Obama’s academics with actual experienced leaders or maintaining his direct connection with the American people through Twitter, President-Elect Trump has shown he is about effectiveness over window dressing. I’m excited to see him drain the swamp.

ENERGY 2017

Since OPEC has essentially cried “uncle” in the energy production and pricing competition, the stage is set for a healthier energy market. As foreign entities continue to bid for American crude oil, those prices will likely improve as well. Throw in improvements to Texas ports that will allow them to accommodate the bigger ships transiting the newly-expanded Panama Canal and things look promising.

IN MEMORIAM 2017

Given the holiday time in which I’m writing this, I’m reminded that no one knows the day or time of their own passing, but we must always be ready. None of us are perfect, and we are all sinners. So, I hope we as a people can refocus ourselves spiritually in 2017. Like you, I don’t want to find myself at a later date wishing I had spent more time and effort on earth honoring God in my thoughts, words and actions. Jesus said it best when he commanded us to “Love God with all your heart, your soul and your might,” and “love your neighbor as much as yourself.”

And so, in the spirit of the season, I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. Let’s stay grateful for the freedom and opportunities that come with living in America in general (and Texas in particular, if you’re especially fortunate), and have a great New Year!