Posted August 4, 2016
Part of industry’s commitment to the country and its future growth and prosperity is supporting the educational needs of the next-generation workforce that will bring that future to life.
With experts saying much of that growth and prosperity – as well as the accompanying careers – will be built on a foundation of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, a major part of industry’s outreach is focused on developing students’ interest in these topics as early as possible.
Posted July 29, 2016
Summer is the best time to enjoy all that delicious, movie theater air-conditioning, because the majority of big Hollywood blockbusters come out between May and August. According to the Economist, summer releases earn an average of $15 million more than releases at other times of the year. (Check out the Economist’s neat interactive graphic here.)
Whether it’s superheroes (Captain America: Civil War, X-Men: Apocalypse), super villains (Suicide Squad), adorable animated features (Finding Dory, The Secret Life of Pets), or a newly re-energized and CGI’d reboot of Ghostbusters, there’s plenty of movie magic on the big screen this summer in particular.
Big movies are very big business. The crop of 2015 movies brought in a record high $11 billion in box-office revenues. In fact, as the Economist graphic above notes, the number of films that earned more than $500 million from theaters worldwide increased from just five in 2006 to 14 last year.
What might surprise you is that the very process of transforming a movie from mere words in a script to a “coming attraction at a theater near you” takes a whole lot of energy from a variety of sources.
Posted July 22, 2016
Democrats will gather at Wells Fargo Arena in South Philly – nearly 4,500 delegates led by contingents from California (476), New York (277), Florida (238) and Texas (237). As was the case in Cleveland, energy will keep the show running.
Delegates will be glad for modern transportation that gets them to and from the arena, on excursions to the Betsy Ross house, the Franklin Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s famous steps – decorated for the convention with one of the 57 painted fiberglass donkeys scattered around town, representing the 50 states, five U.S. territories (Guam pictured), the District of Columbia and Democrats Abroad.
They’ll also benefit from generated electricity for lighting, sound systems, Jumbotrons and modern telecommunications – a collection of new fangledness no Democrat could possibly have imagined when the party staged its first convention at The Athenaeum in Baltimore in 1832 to nominate President Andrew Jackson for a second term.
Posted July 8, 2016
We use chemicals and products made from chemicals every day – and lots of chemicals are derived from oil and natural gas. And also natural gas liquids. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), natural gas liquids – a co-product of natural gas and crude oil – are used to make lots of things.
It’s difficult to pull on a garment, lace up a pair of sneakers, store kitchen leftovers, build a home – and on and on and on – without involving chemicals from oil and gas.
Posted July 1, 2016
Big Data needs big energy. Commercial development of the internet – the greatest advancement in information technology since the printing press – is possible because of energy. Each of those 2.78 million YouTube views per minute, each of the 700,000 Facebook logins, each of the nearly 350,000 tweets and all the rest depend on energy. Our lives are easier (and shareable) thanks to the internet, thanks to energy.
Posted June 23, 2016
There’s just something about spreading out a blanket on a patch of grass, pulling out a nice, cold beverage of your choice and eating a tasty, mobile meal in the open air with your favorite people. You know, “It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy.”
Even in button-downed D.C., it’s pretty common to see people in their workday best, eating on a park bench or taking off their high heels and tucking their ties in their shirts and sitting under a tree to enjoy their lunch al fresco. The fresh air makes everything taste better, even if it’s a humble turkey sandwich from home.
Our love affair with picnics is long and storied. Although people have been eating outside since folks first emerged from caves, the formal idea of the picnic most likely was invented by the French. Shortly after the French Revolution, the Royal Gardens were opened to the public for the first time. For the French it became the new common pastime – visiting the gardens and taking along a meal. Its name is believed to come from “pique-nique”—a rhyming combination of the Old French “piquer” that means “to pick, peck,” and “benique,” or “thing of little importance.” The French also are responsible for the largest picnic gathering. In 2000, the entire country held a 600-mile-long picnic to celebrate the first Bastille Day of the new millennium.
Sure, a picture-perfect picnic seems like a humble affair, but there’s actually a lot of energy behind this simple summertime pleasure. From the production of the food and beverages you enjoy to the pesky ants we’re forever trying to keep at bay, energy plays a big role in your portable feast.
Posted June 17, 2016
From the fuels that get artists and their fans to the shows, to the power for electricity to run lighting and sound systems to the materials and processes for recording and producing music compact discs and more, energy is there. It’s the essential element. Without power from natural gas, without fuels and byproducts made from oil, we’d still have the melodies. But the concerts would be smaller, limited to far less-traveled troubadours. And much less enjoyed.
Just consider the power needed to record a song. Virtually all of the equipment in a recording studio is powered by electricity, which is increasingly being generated by clean-burning natural gas. Thanks to advanced hydraulic fracturing and modern horizontal drilling, the United States is producing increasing amounts of natural gas for power generation, heating homes and cooking our meals. If we could write a song about it, a good one, we might book some time in John McBride’s Blackbird recording studio in Nashville
Posted June 9, 2016
I’m a big fan of breakfast, especially a long, leisurely weekend brunch with eggs, bacon and mimosas. But, most days, my breakfast is a bit quicker: a piece of fruit, a bowl of cereal (with milk, of course) and a cup of that nectar of the gods—coffee.
And I’m not alone. While restaurants, particularly fast-service restaurants are increasing their breakfast offerings, 70% of breakfast meals still are eaten at home. The average annual number of breakfast occasions per person in 2015 was 361, which was up 11 occasions from 2010.
While my humble, weekday morning repast provides more than enough fuel to get me through the long day ahead, it actually takes a lot of energy--from a variety of sources--to get this simple breakfast from the fields to my table.
Posted June 3, 2016
Since the days of our hunter and gatherer ancestors, farmers have fed society. But in the last 150 years, energy-based technology has revolutionized how they do it. With the introduction of tractors, harvesters, automated feeders and milking systems, the ability to produce food has exploded. This has allowed our land to yield more, a vital necessity as our country’s population more than tripled in the last century. And as we grow our farmers and their technology grow with us. Crops like barley grew in production from 20.9 bushels per acre in 1916 to 68.9 bushels today. Corn has increased from 24 bushels to an incredible 168 in that same time period. But this wealth of harvest has only been possible because of farmers’ access to plentiful and affordable energy.
Posted May 26, 2016
No matter where you want to go, there’s probably a road, a drive, that can take you there. Whether you were born to run or find yourself running on empty, the road beckons – and historically we Americans answer the summons. Truly, life is a highway.
This Memorial Day weekend, AAA estimates more than 38 million Americans will be on the road, taking advantage of gasoline prices that are at their lowest levels in 11 years. The national average price for a gallon of gasoline is around $2.26, 45 cents lower than last year, AAA says. Already this year Americans have saved more than $15 billion on gas.