The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Fueling American Life

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted May 22, 2013

Today on National Maritime Day, let’s salute the merchant marines who operate the tankers that deliver the oil that makes our modern lives possible.

Think about it:  From the gasoline in our cars and trucks to the asphalt in our roads, from bicycle helmets to medical equipment, 60 percent of energy used daily by Americans is delivered by tanker.

The men and women of the maritime industry and the vessels they operate – around the clock and across the world - safely deliver the energy we need. Smaller tankers transport gasoline and other specialized petroleum products throughout the United States, while tankers  as long as the Empire State Building is tall transport crude around the globe.

Over the past decade, more than 99.9997 percent of oil delivered by tankers to the U.S. reached its destination without incident. Today's cutting-edge tankers are the product of a commitment to safety, combined with the power of computer-assisted design. As a result, the new ships traveling the seas are stronger, more maneuverable and more durable than their predecessors. 

We met one member of our merchant marines, Janet DeCastro of Polar Tankers, last year. She represents an important group of people playing a vital role in the  safe delivery of oil and protection of the environment: 

Tankers and the people who run them work hard to provide the energy resources that power American industries and fuel our domestic economy every day. 

Note: Since the filming of this video, Janet DeCastro is now a Master with polar Tankers.



Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.