Have you ever been to war? Not a physical war with explosions and gun battles. I mean, have you ever been to ideological war? These wars come in many forms over countless subjects and seem to be more and more numerous today. We as humans have the ability to feel very strong emotions about things we believe in. People today are at ideological war over things such as religion, abortion, LGBTQ rights, gun control, and about 10,000 other things that we cannot see eye to eye on. Each side is strongly convinced that they are right and the other is completely wrong, a situation that history has proven is actually impossible. There is always some amount of grey area that both sides fail to recognize.
Today I write to you about a war that has been raging for years around the world. A war that we are all involved in even if we are not even aware of our participation. This war is unique because most of us, even the strongly convicted on each opposing side, actually live in the grey area of the very subject they are fighting over. I am referring to the war against/for fossil fuels. There has been an increasingly intense war against fossil fuels for decades. I will admit to you now that I am biased on this subject since I grew up in the oil/gas industry and I still work in that same industry. However, I hope you will read my words and just use them to consider a different viewpoint than you may have yourself.
Those of us that work in the oil/gas industry have largely stayed out of the hostilities. Our involvement has come in the form of simply going to work every day and contributing to the search for, retrieval of, and refinery of oil/gas. Staying out of the fight does not mean that we do not notice it and it certainly does not mean that it does not upset us. The grey area I mentioned before is what most of us get upset about. We are aware of all the products and processes that our industry makes possible. We see people all over the world using the end results of our labor literally all day every day. The problem is, this is also true for the people who relentlessly attack our industry. Even the strongest opponents to fossil fuels still use them in some form or fashion every single day. Almost every product in the world either has petroleum as an ingredient, petroleum was used to generate the energy needed to produce that product, and/or petroleum was used to deliver that product to the store or to your home. With this happening on such a monumental and widespread scale, hopefully you can appreciate that the hypocrisy is more than a little frustrating to those of us in the industry. We work to provide a product needed by the world and we are too often turned into the bad guys.
This war on fossil fuels seems to be coming to a tipping point with the likely transfer of Presidential power to the democrats and those that have been the most strongly opposed to fossil fuels. It would take far more words than any newspaper would print to explain the common sense and very proven reasons that our society is not even close to ready to give up fossil fuels. Just trust me when I tell you that it is not yet possible. Natural gas is not only the cleanest burning fossil fuel, it is also the most abundant. America should be utilizing Natural Gas as much as possible while we await the technology needed to “go green”. I believe the reason we have not is an age-old reason….taxes. Can you imagine how hard it would be for the government to tax the fuel for our vehicles if any house with a natural gas line could have a filling station in their own garage? This would create a huge problem for the government and also proves where their priorities really are. We could cut carbon emissions by half or more while also creating jobs but our wonderful government would lose tax revenue so they will fight this until they figure out a way to tax it.
I hope I gave you a few things to think about that you may not have considered before. Those of us in the oil/gas industry are just like everyone else. We go to work to support our families and to provide a needed product. I recently told someone that it is a very good thing I am not in control of the industry….because I would shut in every producing oil well and natural gas well in the country just to teach everyone how much they really need fossil fuels. If the war against our industry continues it may just come to that unfortunately. In the meantime, please consider the ways you utilize petroleum….it’s worth a google. You may even find yourself thanking an “oilfield” man or woman sometime.
Paul Myrick can be reached at: