Staples: Every Day, Oil and Natural Gas Support Us in Everyday Ways

August 10, 2016

It’s back-to-school season and as you stroll the aisles with your school supply list in hand, oil and natural gas is probably not top of mind. But, you know what would be interesting? Take this challenge: try to buy those school supplies without using oil and natural gas.

Of course you can’t get to the store without fuel in your car. But more than that, without oil and natural gas, backpacks wouldn’t be made of nylon fabric and none would have zippers. Binders to organize students’ school work wouldn’t exist. Neither would plastic lunch boxes that feature your child’s favorite super hero. Even the footballs that sail high under Friday night lights are made from materials that contain oil and natural gas.

Just how big of a role does oil and natural gas play in our lives and products we rely on every day? The American Petroleum Institute estimates 96 percent of the products we use each day contain components made with natural gas.

Every day in very everyday ways, oil and natural gas surrounds us, and we shouldn’t take it for granted. Without oil and natural gas, our classrooms and schools would look very different. And, our Labor Day vacations and end of summer beach getaways might not be nearly as enjoyable if it weren’t for the products derived from these Texas natural resources.

Headed to the beach for one last summer excursion? Those surf boards, stand up paddle board, kayaks, fishing rods and water skis not only make summer more fun, but they’re also made with oil and natural gas.

Petroleum makes these products possible in addition to providing fuel for our school buses and the electricity that cools our homes. And the benefits of a strong oil and natural don’t stop there.

Texas is the nation’s No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas and that top spot benefits our state tremendously. The oil and natural industry employ hundreds of thousands of Texans in high paying jobs and it’s a major revenue generator, paying out $13.8 billion in state and local taxes and state royalties last year. That’s money that goes toward our schools, roads and public safety.

On the oil and natural gas front, our nation is in good shape as well. The United States is the No. 1 oil and natural gas producer in the world and our recoverable oil reserves are larger than either Saudi Arabia or Russia, according to recently release data from European-based Rystad. Fifty-percent of those U.S. reserves are unconventional shale oil that can be safely recovered with highly regulated hydraulic fracking. More than 60 billion barrels of that shale oil is right here in Texas.

All of this means more affordable and more reliable energy sources, developed here at home.

Oil and natural gas production, transportation and refining are keeping the Texas economy strong and provide an unprecedented level of energy security for the nation. What’s more, American-sourced energy resources are literally putting shirts on our backs, shampoo in our hair, boats in the water and fertilizer on our crops and lawns.

So, when you take advantage of the upcoming sales tax holiday to buy those school supplies, I hope you’ll remember the positive impact of the oil and natural gas industry on our economy and our lives, often in very every day ways … every, single day.

Todd Staples is president of the Texas Oil and Gas Association and former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture.
Every day, oil and natural gas support us in everyday ways
By Todd Staples
August 7, 2016
Lufkin Daily News

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