The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

All In for All of the Above

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 23, 2014

So, how about Team USA’s performance in soccer’s World Cup!

The United States men’s national team is/are on the verge of something special down in Brazil – thanks to world-class skills, great coaching and superb fitness – cheered on by thousands of American fans.

Now, imagine for a minute what this World Cup would be like without fossil fuel energy. Think about all of those U.S. boosters, as well as fans from other countries, trying to travel to South America without the energy provided by fossil fuels. As the cartoon below depicts, it wouldn’t be pretty:


Energy from fossil fuels, including oil and natural gas, is the energy of modern travel, modern living and a modern World Cup.

It’s no exaggeration to say it’s an entirely different soccer tournament without fuel for jet travel and all kinds of petroleum-based products – from the players’ uniforms to the vanishing foam referees use to position the sides for free kicks. Perhaps there's no tournament at all, at least not one of international scope.

For, as the cartoon shows, the U.S. team and its fans – and all the other visiting teams and their fans – would have had to plan for a wind-powered voyage taking 10 days, two weeks or more just to reach Brazil. Once there, Team USA and the other participants would be packed into a few venues relatively near each other, because there would be no cross-country air travel. There would be no games in the middle of the Amazon, for example, where the Americans played Portugal on Sunday, because it would take weeks to travel the more than 3,500 ground miles to Recife, where the U.S. is scheduled to meet Germany on Thursday.

Hey, but that’s life without fossil fuels. Harder, less comfortable – and a dinky World Cup.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.