As we celebrate Earth Day this week, we will learn about new opportunities to contribute to a cleaner planet. But we shouldn’t have this discussion without recognizing the contributions from the oil and gas industry that help us to be “green”. Here are the facts:
- Even as energy production and use has been on the incline, at least prior to the coronavirus quarantine, America’s CO2 emissions from power generation have declined 17% since 2000.
- In addition, America’s refineries voluntarily spent more than $160 billion starting in 1990 on producing cleaner-burning fuels. As a result, the gasoline we use in our cars today has reduced levels of sulfur and toxins.
- There are many things we can do to lessen our carbon footprints, such as riding bikes or walking instead of driving. Did you know that bicycle tires are made from petrochemicals? So are the rubber soles of our walking and running shoes.
- Working from home is another great way to use less energy. Doing so would not be possible without petrochemicals either. Cell phones, computer keyboards and screens are made possible because of the energy industry.
- Even “renewable energy” is not possible without petrochemicals. Wind turbines and solar energy both have petrochemicals in their make-up.
Some will celebrate Earth Day by mischaracterizing the work of the oil and gas industry. They will cheer for a world without fossil fuels and ignore the industry’s contributions to reducing our country’s carbon foot print. It’s important to consider that not only does the energy industry take seriously their commitment to reducing emissions, as listed above, their products also provide for an improved quality of life:
- According to the World Bank, approximately a billion people in the world live without access to energy, a direct barrier to education and health care.
- Everyday products made possible by the energy industry include televisions, antiseptics, televisions, coffee makers, combs, credit cards, dishwashing liquid, toilet seats, drinking cups, sporting equipment such as footballs and golf balls, paint brushes, trash bags, clothing and carpet.
- And finally, the industry brings us lifesaving products including heart valves, motorcycle helmets, oxygen masks, surgical equipment, IV bags, stethoscopes, medicines, and artificial limbs.
So let’s celebrate Mother Earth and America’s energy industry that makes Earth Day possible.