Remarks to the Olympic Club

David J. O'Reilly

By David J. O'Reilly, Chairman and CEO
Chevron Corporation

Olympic Club

San Francisco, California, September 9, 2009

Thank you very much. Rich, I appreciate the kind introduction and the chance to be with so many friends and members of the Olympic Club.

I spent many years working in San Francisco, and I've missed the city since our company made the move out to San Ramon. I don't get into town nearly as often as I'd like, and I can't think of a better reason to make the drive than to spend some time at one of the city's oldest and most respected clubs.

You have 5,000 active members from around the Bay Area. I have a feeling that most of you came to the club looking forward to lunch, not a lecture. Today you're getting a little of both. And after you've heard from me, I hope to hear what's on your mind when we move to questions.

The Olympic Club brings together a lot of men and women from the professions and from industries of every kind. We each have our own work to do but also have some of the same concerns on our minds. One of these concerns is the state of the economy across the world, and especially here in the United States.

This summer, we Californians watched our state just barely escape bankruptcy. We're hoping for signs of economic recovery, yet there are many mixed signals about the road ahead.

But we shouldn't let pessimism get the better of us. When I look at the big picture, I'm an optimist. So much growth and prosperity in recent years has been driven by the dynamic economies of China, India and, of course, the United States. I'm confident that the productive energies of these countries alone will bring recovery in the future.

Drawing from many years in the energy industry, I am even more certain of this: the long-term stability and success of America's economy will depend, as much as anything else, on energy security. Every enterprise represented in this room depends on a reliable supply of energy at an affordable cost. We're talking about a prime mover behind sustained growth of employment, productivity and wealth. Take that away, or even throw it into doubt, and in short order we'd all be on pretty shaky ground.

Updated: September 2009