Oil, Gas Important in Ways Other Than Use as Fuels

The development of the Marcellus and Utica shale has put the tri-state region and the Appalachian basin in an enviable position. This region is now one of the world’s largest producing basins, which has helped make the United States the leading producer of oil and natural gas in the world.

Aside from being the source of fuel and energy, the oil and natural gas industry provides the feedstock materials needed to create many of the products we use in our everyday lives. Without this industry, many modern conveniences would not exist, including the ability to light, heat and cool our homes.

More than 6,000 common products contain refined oil and natural gas. These include shoes, clothing, electronics, toys, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and many other items the majority of us consider essential for modern life. The components that make up these items, such as plastics, fabrics and rubber, are derived from oil and natural gas. Without these natural resources and the ingenuity to develop and utilize them in a responsible way, life as we currently know it would not be possible.

Even modern medicine relies on products dependent on oil and natural gas. Many of the items used in hospitals, doctor’s offices and pharmacies are created using plastics, rubber, chemicals, and other materials derived from oil and natural gas. Some of these include the capsules and bottles in which our medications are contained, anesthetics, antiseptics, synthetics, surgical and x-ray equipment and artificial limbs.

As is evidenced by these examples, oil and natural gas have made a huge impact on the quality of life for Americans (and everyone around the world). It not only provides the fuel for our vehicles and energy for our homes, but also a great deal of the products we come in contact with on a daily basis. In today’s society, most of us cannot imagine going for one day without a cell phone or a laptop.  A strong oil and natural gas industry grants the medical, chemical and manufacturing sectors the opportunity of long-term sustained competitive advantage, leading to innovation, jobs growth, tax base improvement, and economic development in our region.

It’s important to realize the many contributions the oil and natural gas industry has made to our lives.  We should remember to not take the conveniences, necessities and luxuries made possible by oil and natural gas for granted, and continue to develop our resources for the benefit of future generations.

Joe Eddy is president and chief executive officer of Eagle Manufacturing Company in Wellsburg.