The devastation from Hurricane Harvey will be difficult to overcome, but the energy industry is making an effort to ease the pain by donating money and time to relief efforts along the Gulf Coast.
ExxonMobil Corp. has doubled a pledge to $1 million, matching $1 million contributions from Chevron Corp., Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Phillips 66 and Dow Chemical Co., among others. Many companies are matching their employees’ contributions as well.
Houston-based Phillips 66 CEO Greg Garland echoed comments from his peers and said the company’s “thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the disaster, including our many employees, friends and neighbors across southeast Texas. The solidarity of our community is remarkable, and I am confident that this unity and spirit to overcome will drive our efforts to rebuild. It is our sincere hope that this contribution from Phillips 66 will help those efforts and those most in need.”
California-based Sempra Energy, which has natural gas operations along the Gulf Coast, has pledged up to $250,000 to help victims of the historic-scale storm. A $75,000 contribution is being made to the American Red Cross and an additional $75,000 to Americares.
Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. (TPH), whose main offices are in Houston, is donating half of this week’s trading commissions to Harvey relief and recovery efforts. The donations will be directed to the Houston Flood Relief Fund established at youcaring.com by Houston Texan’s defensive star J.J. Watt.
Watt had set up the fund with an initial goal to raise $200,000 for relief efforts. As of Tuesday afternoon the fund had raised well north of $3 million.
“Hurricane Harvey has taken a catastrophic toll on our great city, while leaving many stranded and in need of assistance,” Watt said. “We must come together and collectively help rebuild the aspects of our community members lives that were damaged or lost. Any donation that you can spare, no matter how large or small, is greatly appreciated. We will come out of this stronger than ever. We are Texans.”
“We will direct all TPH trading commission donations to this effort,” TPH said of the Watt fund.
Other investment bankers with extensive ties to the energy industry also are stepping up.
Jefferies announced that it would donate all net trading commissions on Wednesday (Aug. 30) from U.S., European and Asia equity, fixed income and foreign exchange trading. It also plans to donate $1 million directly to the relief effort.
“Finally, all 3,324 employees worldwide will be given the opportunity to donate to the relief effort their salary for the day on Wednesday,” Jefferies said. The contributions would be allocated to a series of charities with the goal of quickly getting funds to relief efforts directly involved in the rescue and recovery efforts.
"All of us at Jefferies are deeply saddened and concerned about the loss of life and devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey to those in Texas, including the people of Houston where Jefferies has a long and prominent presence,” said CEO Richard B. Handler and Chairman Brian P. Feldman. “We hope this donation from Jefferies will quickly help to ease the suffering of those affected, and we encourage our employees and clients around the world to join our efforts to contribute on behalf of those in need.”
Wells Fargo also announced it would donate $1 million to support those affected by Harvey and the extensive flooding in its wake. Half of the amount is to be directed to the American Red Cross, while the other half would go to “local nonprofits focused on recovery and relief efforts in Texas in the coming days and weeks.”
Energy publications are arm-in-arm in the effort, with Petrochemical Updatedonating to the American Red Cross.
Natural Gas Intelligence has directed its donation to Watt’s Houston Flood Relief Fund. The Dulles, VA-based publisher, which has offices in Houston, provides natural gas news and market data.
“Our thoughts are with those in Texas suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey,” said NGI founder Ellen Beswick, Editor/Publisher Emeritus. “Houston and the surrounding areas will pull through and rebuild, and they will need all of our help to do so. We urge others to join us by contributing to one of the many well-vetted charities, such as the J.J. Watt Houston Flood Relief Fund.”
To donate to hurricane relief efforts, other reputable organizations that have set aside specific areas for Harvey-related contributions include the American Red Cross, the United Way of Greater Houston, Samaritan’s Purse, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, the Houston Food Bank and the Food Bank of Corpus Christi.