The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

"Oil Addict" or Intelligent Consumer?

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted July 29, 2010

Last week, I read a very interesting and thoughtful blog post by Michael Lynch of MasterResource that discusses the concept of and rhetoric behind "oil addiction."

His post, "One Person's Oil Addict is Another's Intelligent Consumer," challenges the traditional thinking behind the idea that American consumers are addicted to oil. Perhaps Lynch puts it best when he writes:

"...why say Americans are addicted to oil, but not food, housing and clothing? Or cement or steel? It is easy to compare the traditional types of addiction with the reliance on these substances to see where oil falls on the spectrum."

From the time your alarm clock rings in the morning to the time you turn in for the night, oil and natural gas touch your life in ways you may never have imagined. Consumers use it to fuel their cars and heat their homes. It's also found in the thousands of products consumers rely on every single day, including aspirin, cosmetics and even garbage bags.

Lynch concludes by saying that oil addiction is a false concept, and that "American consumers have ample choices and have chosen wisely."

There's little doubt that oil and natural gas play a critical role in America's energy security and economic wellbeing--and the United States need more of both to meet growing energy demand in the decades to come.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.