Posted February 26, 2018
Where do you want to go today, what do you want to do? Natural gas and oil get you there, and there’s a great chance they’ll be a part of whatever you’ve got planned – from the routine to the extraordinary. As fuels and as the essential elements in so many products, large and small, natural gas and oil help Americans power past the seemingly impossible every day.
As we look around us, there are very few aspects of modern living that don’t involve natural gas and oil in some way. Products made from natural gas and oil help make us healthier and more comfortable. Certainly, our mobility is closely tied to the fuels they provide. Those who advocate doing without them are basically in favor of a return to the 19th century – more difficult, colder, less mobile, riskier.
Natural gas and oil, safely and responsibly developed, are essential for medicines, health care, transportation technologies – here and in space – clothing, equipment for first responders and the list goes on. They serve the greater good.
Our 2018 State of American Energy Report discusses the role of natural gas and oil in the manufacture of things all around us. It also introduced Bergan Flannigan, a retired U.S. Army captain who was injured by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2010. In this video, Bergan talks about overcoming adversity, helped by the lightweight plastics in her modern prosthesis:
Bergan’s is a remarkable story of service and courage in the face of severe challenge. She talked about it in the API report:
“It’s hard, and it’s going to be hard, but it comes down to you. You’ve got to get up and get on with your life. In spite of what happened to me, I’m proud to have served my country. I’ve got no regrets.”
Our industry is glad to play a small part in helping Bergan Flannigan get on with her life.
Below, just a few of the ways natural gas and oil are involved in life today (more in our report):
Air Bags: Made from nylon, air bags contain the first mass-produced synthetic fabric, which is made with chemicals found in crude oil. This safety feature is estimated to reduce the risk of dying in a direct, frontal car crash by as much as 30 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Almost 40,000 lives were saved by air bags during the first 25 years as required equipment in U.S cars.
Exoskeleton Technology: Carbon fibers and other components derived from oil enhance safety and production, helping workers lift heavy loads. Other exoskeleton technology provides power and torque to joints that reduce the burdens on soldiers carrying gear in the field.
Solar Enhancements: The first commercial land-based solar cells were developed by ExxonMobil in 1973. New work on solar cells involves development of copolymer resins for photovoltaic cells that form a protective layer between the cells’ electronics and glass.
Artificial Heart Valves: Up to 1.5 million Americans suffer from a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve. For many, a stent offers the best remedy. The most advanced stents are sheathed in a thin, flexible layer of polyethylene terephthalate, a petroleum product similar to polyester.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.