Posted May 31, 2017
With the NBA Finals scheduled to begin this week, here’s an idea worth pondering: Pro basketball – and any other level of basketball, for that matter – has been made infinitely better thanks to contributions from a pair of overlooked players: natural gas and oil. Seriously.
Posted May 30, 2017
Here’s the look of summer at Chicago’s venerable Wrigley Field: lush grass, immaculate dirt infield and ivy-adorned outfield walls – and of course, the uniformed players with their gloves and bats. And one more important thing: There’s a pennant fluttering in the breeze, heralding Wrigley as the home of the 2016 World Series Champion Cubs.
To which we all may say thanks … to energy. Significant contributions from natural gas and oil and have helped make Wrigley’s iconic tableau – as well as tableaus at other ballparks – while elevating our National Pastime to the colorful, exciting, fan-friendly entertainment that it is.
For example, because of materials derived from petroleum, we may take for granted the snap-crack of a bat solidly squaring up a ball – and the resulting long, soaring arc of that ball, possibly headed “downtown” beyond the outfield fence. A century ago, the game was shorter and more tactical – a concession to the less-than-lively baseball of the “dead ball” era (1900-1919). It’s not modern Major League Baseball without a modern major league baseball, made so with the help of petroleum-based components.
Posted May 26, 2017
They’ve been running races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1909. The track, home of the iconic Indianapolis 500, a staple of the Memorial Day weekend, is still called “The Brickyard,” for the 3.2 million paving bricks that were laid down in the fall of 1909 as the track’s first modern surface. One of the first things first-time speedway goers may notice is that The Brickyard has very few bricks left.
The speedway’s modern asphalt skin is among the ways energy makes the Indy 500 the racing spectacle it is today. It wouldn’t be the Indy 500 we know today if it were still run over 2.5 miles of bricks – as it was in 1911, when winning driver Ray Harroun averaged 74.59 mph in his Marmon “Wasp” racer. That’s positively quaint compared to last year’s winning average of 166.64 mph logged by Alexander Rossi, traveling nearly the length of a football field every second. Because of asphalt, a viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum, drivers are able to maneuver over a smooth surface with much better traction than was available in Harroun’s day.
Many consider Indy cars to be high-speed works of art. With the carbon fibers and Kevlar, a polymer derived from petroleum, that go into a racing chassis like the Dallara model Rossi won in last year, you could say it’s art made possible with petroleum.
Posted May 25, 2017
“Star Wars” is more than entertainment and pop culture. I’d argue that the film helped hold Americans’ interest in space exploration at a time when NASA needed little bump. It offered an important, if fanciful, vision of the possibilities of space – bridging the interlude between the United States’ last manned lunar landing in December 1972 and its first space shuttle launch in April 1981. Now, let’s loop the discussion back to energy, because energy makes space flight (real and imagined) possible.
Posted May 24, 2017
Summer is nearly upon us. Soon the kids will be out of school, and families across the USA will start packing up and heading out on vacation.
Millions will make their way to Florida – for the magical world of Disney or one of the state’s many other theme and water parks. From the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios to the Star Wars-themed adventures at LEGOLAND, families can find activities to make everyone happy in the Sunshine State.
Energy will get them there – and it will give them the opportunity for the best vacation ever. Because that’s what natural gas and oil, America’s leading energy sources, do: They make things possible, and they make them better. Like vacations.
Certainly, Florida’s role as the nation’s leading theme-park destination has reached prominence in the 45 years since Disney World opened in Orlando. There, children (and adults) are immersed in an imaginary world the moment they arrive – from Mickey Mouse merchandise in the airport terminal to classic cartoons playing on the Magical Express bus. Behind the fairy dust, a lot of energy is making Disney dreams come true.
Posted May 22, 2017
Summer – like every other season of the year – also is about energy. Natural gas and oil are integrally involved in making our summers cooler, more accessible, safer and better in ways too numerous to count. But we can start with 50. This week we will launch a series of posts – “America’s Summer of Energy” – that shows how energy brings us summer, through the lens of the 50 states.
Posted May 19, 2017
To mark #InfrastructureWeek, we’ve posted on the broad energy and economic opportunities that come from building new infrastructure or by expanding existing infrastructure. We’ve also highlighted the essential role of infrastructure in ensuring that the benefits of America’s energy renaissance reach all across the country, helping U.S. consumers. Let’s end the week with a word about infrastructure safety, focusing on pipelines.
Posted May 18, 2017
America’s oil and natural gas industry supports commonsense regulation, but a duplicative Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rule regulating methane emissions is a solution in search of a problem. … Fortunately, the Interior Department has “flagged” the rule “as one we will suspend, revise or rescind given its significant regulatory burden that encumbers American energy production, economic growth and job creation.”
Posted May 17, 2017
The natural gas that heats our homes, and increasingly, generates electricity, is delivered through a complex, sophisticated, interconnected and largely invisible system of more than 300,000 miles of interstate and intrastate transmission pipelines, and 2.1 million miles of distribution pipelines to residences and businesses. To get a sense of scope, America's interstate, intrastate transmission pipelines, and distribution pipelines, if laid end-to-end, would stretch from the earth to the moon … 10 times.
Posted May 16, 2017
Energy is opportunity. Energy infrastructure allows opportunity to become reality by bringing the benefits of natural gas, oil and refined products to consumers – individuals, businesses and industrial users. Last week API released a new study detailing the extent of the many positives resulting from developing needed U.S. natural gas and oil infrastructure, out to the year 2035. These are measured in more than a trillion dollars in investments and economic growth, potentially generating more than 1 million jobs. This supports a vision of growth and prosperity that can touch every state in the union, not just those that are big energy producers.