If you are reading this blog from your mobile device or computer, you are currently using a product of the oil and gas industry. Oil and natural gas are used in the deodorants we use, many fabrics in which we wear, plastics, and all forms of transportation including the manufacturing of cars, airplanes, helicopters, boats, bikes, skateboards, scooters, and yes… even electric cars! Most of us are affected by the oil and gas industry every single day.
Life Saving Products
Petroleum products are utilized in the healthcare industry. Just some examples include pacemakers, IV bags and tubes, MRI machines, stethoscopes, and surgical instruments. Some of us use glasses and contact lenses which are also a product of the oil and gas industry. Even wheelchairs, prosthetics, and hearing aids fall under this category. Soaps, aspirin, antiseptics, and many pharmaceuticals are used every day for emergency care and are derived from petroleum.
Paving The Roads
The oil and gas industry truly paves the way. Tars and asphalt that come out of the refining process pave the roads in which we travel. Asphalt is a residue from the distillation of petroleum or from natural deposits. Asphalt can be found in a natural stage, but the asphalt that is typically used today to pave our roads comes from petroleum.
But Wait There’s More
Here’s a list of a few more products you may not have known come from the oil and gas industry:
- Oral products such as toothpaste and dentures
- Sporting equipment including golf balls, soccer balls, basketballs, and skis
- Your comfy clothes like pajamas
- Credit cards which many of us couldn’t survive without
- Mascara, nail polish, hair dye
- Lip balm, moisturizer, shampoo, and shaving cream
- Stuff for the kids like crayons, candy, and gum
- Toilet seats, bathtubs, shower stalls, and curtains
- VelcroTM, Gore-TexTM, and Kevlar®
So Why the Bad Rep?
There are many reasons the oil and gas industry has a bad reputation. For example, large profits from climbing prices at the pump, oil pollution and spills effecting our climate and wildlife, and government influence. The former President of Shell USA, John Hofmeister believes the government is mostly to blame.
“The oil companies are doing their job in producing the oil that keeps our economy afloat and keeps people’s lifestyles being what they are. That is why we use oil, it’s part of who we are as a nation. Why we hate the oil companies comes about largely in my judgment, because our government has consistently and continuously failed to create energy policies which enable Americans to have the benefit of affordable energy, energy that comes from much lower risk locations. We have to ask ourselves, why are we in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico to start with? It’s because our government will not allow the oil companies to drill in places that are less risky. So the oil companies go where the oil is and that takes them into the deep water Mexico.”
Hofmeister is the author of “Why We Hate the Oil Companies: Straight Talk from an Energy Insider.”
We need the oil and gas industry to continue to have a thriving economy, drive on the roads to our desired destinations, travel in the means of transportation we choose, and use more than the 6,000 products made from oil and gas. The oil and gas industry supports employment with close to 219,000 employed as of 2022. The oil and gas industry is projected with an impactful 1.6 trillion dollars in state tax and federal revenue between the years 2012 to 2025. This impact benefits public programs and their communities. As painful as it can feel to currently fill up the tank, domestic oil and gas productions saves our nation billions on industry products. The Department of Energy stated that the United States’ trade deficit was 305 billion dollars lower than it would have been relying on foreign oil and gas. There’s a lot to be thankful for from the oil and gas industry, but by no means is it perfect either. Hopefully, your takeaway is to understand the impact this industry has on your everyday life and give you some insight on the reality of the importance and reliability of oil and gas companies.
I told my friend I drained all of his oil out of the car without him knowing…but it was a crude joke!