By Katie Tubb and Richard Sigman ~
When we think of oil, most of us think of fuel for cars and trucks.
Oil is certainly crucial to transportation, but a 30-second Super Bowl commercial reminded viewers that too often, the hundreds of other uses of oil go overlooked.
The American Petroleum Institute commercial featured a colorful display of the uses of oil in painting, cosmetics, robotics, health care, and transportation.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, American refineries produce on average 19 gallons of gasoline and 12 gallons of diesel fuel from a 42-gallon barrel of oil.
What’s left over produces incredible amounts of plastics and materials that help create affordable products like the ones displayed in the commercial, and hundreds of other products that make our lives better, like asphalt, sporting equipment, heart valves, and even wind turbines.
Introducing this extremely versatile commodity into the free market allows for the amazingly cheap and efficient production of the many oil-derived products that we use.
Unfortunately, while nearly everyone chooses to consume oil, not everyone fully appreciates its vital role in enriching our lives.
One wonders if those championing campaigns to “keep oil in the ground” have thought seriously about the negative impact that achieving their goal—a ban on oil production—would have on our economy.
The better course is for Congress and President Donald Trump to continue to strive for free-market policies that will allow Americans to access oil resources and the products those resources help build.
Next time you stop for gasoline, think about all the other products you enjoy that are made from oil. Could you live very well without them?