InsideSources recently published an op-ed by GAIN spokesman Craig Stevens highlighting the importance of the energy industry amid the coronavirus pandemic. Stevens points out that essential workers from nurses to doctors and grocery store clerks to truck drivers continue to risk their wellbeing to help us navigate through this crisis – many of the hardworking men and women of the energy industry have been deemed essential, and have been doing their part, too.
Stevens notes that they have been “working diligently to ensure that critical supplies are able to continue being produced, that transportation networks continue to operate throughout this ordeal, and that the lights are able to stay on across the nation.”
While many Americans might simply equate the oil and gas industry to fueling our cars – there is much, much more to it, as Stevens explains:
Most Americans equate a barrel of oil solely to the gasoline that we use to fill our cars. However, while one 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline, — the remaining half is typically used to make an array of petroleum products.
Among the 6,000 products in which petroleum is a key component are many of the critical supplies that are currently in high-demand, including soap, detergents, antiseptic, bandages, vaporizers, food preservatives and medications.
In continuing to provide that key component, the energy industry is helping healthcare professionals and essential workers to have reliable access to the medical supplies, personal protective equipment and cleaning products necessary to treat patients while not exposing themselves.
In addition to the contributions described above, which have efficiently occurred for decades, energy companies have also stepped up to provide generous and innovative contributions to help the U.S. weather the COVID storm:
Shell, for example, is providing free food to healthcare professionals such as nurses and doctors, as well as truck drivers and the delivery people who are vital to maintaining supplies. Energy Transfer is making donations to local food banks and purchasing new technology to aid first responders. ExxonMobil is working with the Global Center for Medical Innovation to develop safer reusable personal protection equipment for healthcare workers, such as face shields and masks. Others continue to contribute on a global scale.
Stevens concludes that the energy industry is often overlooked when it comes to its critical contributions to supporting our everyday life and modern conveniences:
This crisis is a wakeup call that we would be hard pressed to face this challenge as well as we have without the contributions of the industry that quite frankly, we take for granted in normal times.
When the coronavirus pandemic finally passes and Americans are applauding the heroes, let’s save some of that applause for the men and women who kept the lights on and powered the economy through unprecedented times.