The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Oil and Natural Gas – Fueling American Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted July 4, 2013

Petroleum products are everywhere – from the time your iPhone alarm rings in the morning to the time you turn off the lights at night, oil and natural gas impacts almost every aspect of life. And it’s not just electronics – from toothpaste to medicines, to clothing to the roof over your head, when you stop to think about it, the oil and natural gas industry is an integral part of the American way of life. 

July-4-2013Oil and natural gas contribute to our health and well-being through a myriad of medicines, medical supplies and health and safety products. Aspirin is synthesized from petroleum byproducts, and advanced medical devices such as heart valves and artificial limbs are made of plastic. Kevlar®, a lightweight fiber that’s five times stronger than steel helps keep our armed forces safe and our police forces protected – and it all began with oil and natural gas.

American ingenuity has helped revolutionize how we grow crops, but tractors, planters, and harvesters that help produce agricultural products would not run without fuels from petroleum. Many of the foods we eat got their start from natural gas, which is used to make ammonia, a major component of the fertilizers farmers use to grow their crops.

Oil and natural gas not only keeps America moving, but ensures safety while we operate those vehicles. From seat belts to airbags, dashboard consoles to windshield wipers, none of this would be possible – or as safe – without petroleum products.

We are truly a global society, where people connect through telephones, computers and flights across the world, connections made possible by oil and natural gas. Our industry also provides opportunity in the jobs (9.2 million men and women across the United States) it supports, economic benefits and energy security.

Over the last 237 years, American energy sources have changed with innovation. Oil and natural gas supplies the energy Americans use to be mobile - literally and socially. With vision and wise development of our country’s vast reserves, they continue to do so for years to come.


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.