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 21, 2016
There’s a reason pro-energy messages and objectives enjoy overwhelming support from the American people: Americans recognize that domestic energy production is nonpartisan and that it leads to prosperity throughout the land.
In this election year, the key is getting the folks running for office at all levels to get onboard with the voting public, for them to hear the strong pro-energy message voters are sending – seen in a new Harris Poll released at this week’s “Energy and the Election” event.
Posted June 20, 2016
New polling information that details American voters’ views on energy issues in this election year will be unveiled during an event tomorrow morning hosted by API:“Energy and the Election: What Voters Think.” You can watch the event live, starting at 9 a.m., at www.vote4energy.org.
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.
Posted May 19, 2016
It’s a fundamental question before most, if not all, of the 2.83 million graduates (associate’s and bachelor’s) in the college Class of 2016: What do you want to be?
More to the point: Where do your interests lie, how might what you learned in college be applied and where might career opportunity be found?
Think energy. Here’s why: The U.S. – and the world – will always need energy.
Posted May 17, 2016
The United States in 2040 will be more energy self-sufficient, a net energy exporter and a lower source of energy-related carbon emissions as clean-burning natural gas becomes the dominant fuel for generating electricity. The leading energy source 24 years into the future – as they are now – will be oil and natural gas.
So projects the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in an early look at select data from EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2016 report that’s scheduled for full release in July.
The main takeaway from EIA’s “sneak preview” is the importance of the U.S. energy revolution – primarily oil and natural gas developed from shale and other tight-rock formations using safe hydraulic fracturing and modern horizontal drilling. The United States is stronger now and will be in the future thanks to domestic energy from fracking.
Posted May 12, 2016
As an Army captain serving in France during World War I, future President Harry S Truman depended on horses to keep him and the soldiers in his field artillery battery moving. He probably didn’t realize it at the time, but the era of horse-powered combat was nearing its end after thousands of years. Modern navies, aircraft, mechanized transports and armored tanks – all powered by petroleum products – were on the scene to change the nature of the armed forces of the world forever.
Today, a century later, the U.S. military is the most technologically advanced and successful in the world. Well-trained men and women are the core of the military’s ability to defend the nation, but they couldn’t do it without modern equipment – powered by modern energy.