As a kid, I was a huge fan of cartoons. To this day, one of my favorites is “School House Rock.” In fact, like many of my generation, I learned most of what I know today about the US government from the song “I’m Just a Bill.” As Celanese launched TCX®, our new technology to make ethanol from natural gas and other hydrocarbons, I have been fortunate to work with members of Congress to explore opportunities to apply this groundbreaking technology in the US.
For the past 10 years, I have been communicating a corporate message to Wall Street. That experience has positioned me well, I believe, to create awareness of the technology and what TCX®, and other technologies like TCX®, could do to create jobs in America, reduce our dependence on imported energy and ease the pressure on food prices around the world.
At Celanese, we think about our advocacy efforts in three phases: awareness, alignment and action. We spent a significant amount of time building awareness within the House, Senate and related organizations. We helped educate potential champions of the issues on what solutions were possible. We also worked to create alignment of often disparate groups or individuals around commons causes – finding the links between organizations like the Grocery Manufacturers of America and environmentalists in California who are concerned about water usage.
We also supported the call to action. When Congressman Pete Olson of Texas and his co-sponsors introduced the Domestic Alternative Fuel Act of 2012, we helped support their efforts (http://www.celanese.com/mr_news_fullpage?id=43302). And the work continues.
My turn as ”an accidental lobbyist” has been incredibly challenging and satisfying. I have had the pleasure of working with some of the brightest minds in our government today and while my conversations are different than those with institutional investors, they are every bit as engaging and rewarding.