The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Oil and Natural Gas – Powering Past Impossible

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 6, 2017

I hope you saw API’s new national TV ad during the Super Bowl on Sunday night. Just in case you were raiding the fridge or microwaving the nachos when it aired, take a look:

The Super Bowl ad and the national communications campaign it launches are a big deal for API and the more than 600 companies that belong to our trade association. The campaign (see the website, here) will underscore how natural gas and oil are a vital part of the everyday lives of American consumers … how they make the impossible achievable. It also will convey our industry’s self-view: relevant, empowering and futuristic. It will illustrate the vital services that natural gas and oil perform for our society – driving individual prosperity and our collective security – and the unmatched capacity of those energies to drive progress in America well beyond seemingly insurmountable challenges.


Though Americans acknowledge the role oil and natural gas play every time they drive a vehicle, turn on their gas cooktop or adjust their thermostat, this new campaign will reflect the connection between virtually everything we do, everything we use and every aspiration we imagine, and the energy that makes all of them possible. API President and CEO Jack Gerard said Super Sunday was the perfect occasion to launch the new campaign:

“Debuting the campaign during the Super Bowl is fitting considering the Super Bowl was in Houston this year. Houston is a global energy capital, and the Super Bowl is a great opportunity to highlight the city, as well as the men and women who work in the industry and contribute to U.S. energy leadership. The new campaign is focused on a broader public audience than previous campaigns, and no program matches the Super Bowl in its ability to reach an audience, particularly one that is as focused on commercials. Besides, so many of the products promoted during advertising’s biggest night would not be possible without oil and natural gas.”

“Power Past Impossible” builds on past API initiatives to raise Americans’ awareness of energy’s role in their daily lives and the clear reality that their energy needs and those of the entire country are inextricably linked to securing the energy resources to supply those needs. America’s energy security depends on the two being in careful balance.

Though oil and natural gas are primarily thought of as essential fuels – which they are – their role is much broader and just as essential. The Super Bowl ad points to products made from oil and natural gas – too many to count. Our lives would be harder, colder, more static and less convenient without them. Oil and natural gas support our health care system, from cutting-edge medical technologies to life-saving pharmaceuticals. They’re foundational to life itself – and good lives at that.


Natural gas and oil also are keys to a cleaner environment. U.S. carbon emissions from electricity generation are at 25-year lows thanks to growing use of abundant, cleaner-burning natural gas. Cleaner gasoline and diesel fuels, produced by a world-class refining sector, combined with advanced vehicle technologies, mean that compared to 1970 models, today’s cars, SUVs and pickup trucks are 99 percent cleaner for common pollutants (hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particle emissions), while Annual Vehicle Miles traveled has increased significantly. EPA’s chart:


Less carbon and cleaner air. Years ago, few thought this could be possible in a modern, growing economy. Yet, it is – largely because our industry imagined, invested and innovated to make it so.

This continues. As depicted in the Super Bowl ad, our view isn’t confined to what’s possible, to what’s near and within easy reach. It extends to the next horizon and envisions reaching new frontiers – where abundant, reliable energy will be as important as it is today.


At its core, that’s the message of the new campaign, from our industry to you. Gerard:

“While our previous campaigns focused on policymakers and elected officials, our new campaign opens a broader conversation with all Americans about the reach and magnitude of natural gas and oil, the products that come from them and their contributions to consumers' everyday lives. … Through this multi-year, nationwide education and awareness campaign – including digital, TV, radio and print advertising, as well as advocacy and outreach to our 35 million strong grassroots network – API’s goal for the next 10 years is to raise awareness of the many ways oil and natural gas help Americans power past the impossible every single day.”


Mark Green joins API after spending 16 years as national editorial writer in the Washington Bureau of The Oklahoman newspaper. In all, he has been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years, including six years as sports editor at The Washington Times. He lives in Occoquan, Virginia, with his wife Pamela. Mark graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in journalism and earned a masters in journalism and public affairs at American University. He's currently working on a masters in history at George Mason University, where he also teaches as an adjunct professor in the Communication Department.