The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Choices

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted March 21, 2011

At API, we've been saying for many years that the United States needs a broad portfolio of energy, including oil, natural gas, nuclear, coal, and a wide variety of alternatives such as solar and wind. Some are best used to generate electricity with the existing infrastructure, while oil is necessary to provide liquid fuels for transportation.

In fact, there is no other energy source that provides as much bang for the buck as oil. It is energy dense, portable, and flexible. It can be refined into gasoline, diesel, and petrochemicals that provide feedstocks for a myriad consumer products, including medicines.

As consumers, we often take energy for granted, but it makes sense to pause a moment and consider how fortunate we are. The United States has natural resources that have kept this country sound and strong, and the nation will continue to benefit as long as the United States has policies that encourage the ingenuity, engineering, investments, and hard work that brings America's own energy supplies to market.

Recently, the Chevron Corporation produced a video showing how oil is brought to market from the wellhead to the gasoline pump. It is well worth a look:

If you'd like more information about oil and natural gas exploration, production, and marketing, check out the self-directed instructional program at API.org. It's called Energizing Life: The Story of Oil and Natural Gas. And if you're wondering about the importance of oil and natural gas to the U.S. economy and way of life, check out this primer on our Scribd page.

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.