Williams may be a common surname, but our company is anything but common. For more than a century, we’ve provided the energy infrastructure that Americans count on every day. Our time-tested values run deep, thanks to the legacy of the Williams family and thousands of employees who have displayed integrity, dedication, and heart in their jobs and communities.
While our company’s Core Values & Beliefs were penned in the mid-1990s, they were forged in a time when horses outnumbered automobiles and radio had yet to be widely heard. David and Miller Williams founded their construction company in 1908, immediately making a name for themselves as reliable and ambitious builders who simply promised “a good job on time.”
Following in their footsteps, leaders of our company think big. Like John Williams, our president, CEO and chairman from 1949-1979 who had the vision to raise funds and develop a decaying downtown Tulsa in the 1970s with the 52-story tower where our company’s headquarters reside, the Performing Arts Center, a hotel, mall, ice-skating rink and movie theater.
And his cousin Joe Williams, chairman and CEO from 1979-1994 who as director and chairman of The Nature Conservancy’s national board of governors pushed for the conservation of Oklahoma’s Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. Today with 40,000 acres, an ecological research station and a herd of nearly 2,700 bison, this is now the largest protected remnant of tallgrass prairie left on earth. In 2015, to honor Joe’s leadership and personal contribution, the preserve was renamed the “Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.”
In my 31 years with the company, I’ve been proud to be part of a company that is so tightly woven into the fabric of the communities where we have operations. Whether we’re underwriting the School of Energy at San Juan College in the Four Corners, supporting researchers at Georgia State University to treat bats threatened by a deadly disease, providing disaster relief funds for employees in the Gulf Coast, volunteering with Trout in the Classroom in West Virginia, supporting salmon habitat conservation in Washington, or donating more than $4 million to local United Ways – we’re seen as active, involved and passionate community leaders.
Our vision is to be the premier provider of large-scale infrastructure connecting U.S. natural gas and natural gas products to growing demand for cleaner fuel and feedstocks. Our company’s mission is clear:
- Operate safely in everything we do, every day.
- Execute on our commitments exceptionally well.
- Collaborate to rapidly deliver our best solutions.
- Grow our businesses, our people, and our industry.
- Improve our operations and business performance continuously.
You’ll notice that safety is at the top of this list. In addition, our employees carry a safety coin that includes the words “You see it. You own it.” The safety coin is just one way we keep the well-being of our colleagues in our thoughts at all times, taking responsibility for each other and the public we serve. I carry mine every day.
Since 2013, we have refocused the organization to drive a Process Safety mindset. While all forms of safety are important, and we continue to drive to reducing and eliminating incidents related to recordable injuries, lost time injuries, lost work days and preventable motor vehicle accidents, in 2017 we began measuring Process Safety incidents – those that can result in the most profound or severe impact to personnel, the company and the community.
Securing good data is the first step to understanding root causes, implementing effective mitigating measures and driving these numbers down. We plan to share more next year on our progress toward Process Safety.
Natural Gas and the Environment
Clean, low-cost natural gas is the leading fuel source for electric-power generation in the United States, surpassing coal and resulting in U.S. carbon emissions hitting their lowest levels since 1988. New Yorkers are breathing the cleanest air they’ve breathed in 50 years, largely because of the city transitioning to natural gas for heating. As an industry leader touching more than 30 percent of the nation’s natural gas, we support effective, voluntary programs to reduce emissions.
Natural gas is the key to adding more renewables to the power grid in large volumes and serves as a reliable source of energy when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. Besides its environmental benefits, natural gas keeps millions of families warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Natural gas is fueling a manufacturing renaissance in the U.S. and provides nearly 3 million jobs in the U.S.
During the past several years, we’ve engaged in collaborative studies with industry peers, government agencies, the Environmental Defense Fund and Colorado State University to produce valid data on actual emissions. We also have participated in GHG Roundtable discussions led by the U.S. Department of Energy and worked with other companies to design programs to identify and reduce methane emissions.
Our strategy to connect the best supplies to the best markets means natural gas is traveling shorter distances to get to market, significantly reducing emissions. Our Atlantic Sunrise project is a great example of this concept – connecting abundant Marcellus gas supplies with markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern U.S. instead of transporting natural gas from the Gulf Coast.
We’re pleased to play a vital role in our country’s energy future and are fully committed to continually delivering the economic, social and environmental benefits of natural gas.
President and Chief Executive Officer