Who Needs Gas Anyway?
Every day we hear something about reducing fossil fuel use, reducing our carbon footprint, going electric, using solar, and doing anything and everything possible to quit using fossil fuels. So, what would happen if we quit pumping crude oil from deep below the earth's surface?
Jeffrey Walter and I discuss this periodically, so we started trying to think of everything we use that's related to crude oil and not just gas for our cars?
That's a seemingly short list but that's just what I could think of when I started writing. When you dig deeper (or do a little research) into how many things contain plastics, the list is exponentially longer. Everything from zippered baggies to storage containers to shoes and clothing to car parts to plumbing parts to surgical and medical supplies - all these things use plastics. Even the credit card you use to make purchases is made of plastic. And that's just the plastics. I used to work for a subsidiary of a famous oil company, and we made carpet, carpet backing and other fabrics. One of the softest t-shirts I ever owned was made from polypropelene, an oil by-product.
A quick search of the internet regarding products made from crude oil often refers the reader to several partial lists noting 6000 items made from petroleum. This infographic from Energy.gov lists at least 161. This list talks about the 6000 but lists 280. Regardless, there are many things made from crude oil, usually as a by-product of fuel production. Switching to electricity for our fuel isn't as easy as people think either. Producing electricity often uses fossil fuels in the form of natural gas. If it's produced with solar, the solar panels usually include parts made of plastic.
So, what would happen if we quit making gasoline from crude oil? Where would we get all these other things made from the by-products of gasoline production? Would we still be pumping crude oil from the earth and consider gasoline a useless by-product? What do you think?
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