National Petroleum Day: When America’s Oil Industry Got its Start

Tomorrow, August 27th, marks National Petroleum Day, an unofficial national holiday to commemorate the founding of America’s oil industry. On this date in 1858, energy businessman Edwin Drake became the first to successfully operate a drill drive and bring crude oil from 70 feet below ground to the surface. This trailblazing event in Titusville, Pennsylvania officially launched a new era in American history and made the Keystone State ground zero for the oil rush.

More than a century and a half later, the world is still reaping the benefits from such a monumental event. The industrialization of crude oil allowed new businesses to advance our economy, enabling the formation of the automotive industry, plastics manufacturing, telecommunications, and more. This revolution created one of the strongest energy industries in the world, generating accessible and affordable petroleum products for all.

It is important to follow in the spirit of Titusville and have our elected leaders support our domestic producers, refiners, and pipelines.Our economy and modern way of life depends on strong domestic energy production beyond refining, so it can be used for gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel. Oil is a key component for thousands of products, including clothing, plastics, medicine, baby products, and so much more. A world without petroleum wouldn’t be difficult, it would be downright impossible.

Our country produced roughly 4.1 billion barrels of oil in 2021, the lowest level of production over the last four years, according to the Energy Information Administration. The drop in production, coupled with the rise in consumer demand has heavily contributed to the recent volatility in energy markets, and it is imperative that we let American drillers drill.

So as the country marks National Petroleum Day and reflects on how widespread the significance of the crude oil was in our country’s past, let’s also consider how it will affect our future. With a strong oil and gas industry, there is nothing our country can’t accomplish.