Petroleum fuels make modern life possible
What would the world be like without them?
It’s fashionable in some circles to portray petroleum fuels as a villain. With any energy source, there are trade-offs, and petroleum fuels certainly are no exception. At the same time, it’s critical that we consider the benefits of any energy source as well.
We often hear about the trade-offs involved in petroleum fuels, but seldom do we hear about those for other energy sources. For wind and solar power, we have to consider the mining operations required to procure some of their most basic components; the amount of land they require to generate their power; the fact that they’re not consistently available; and the killing of wildlife caused by wind turbines and some solar technologies. For biofuels, we must consider how much land they require to grow; the energy that goes into planting, fertilizing and harvesting them; the lesser energy content of some biofuels; and the extent to which biofuel crops displace food crops.
Trade-offs like these have to be carefully weighed against benefits. You should know how companies like Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) handle the trade-offs society is accepting in exchange for the enormous, life-enhancing, life-saving benefits of petroleum fuels.
MPC is constantly working to reduce its emissions, increase its efficiency and enhance overall well-being. The company – indeed, the industry – produces petroleum fuels more efficiently and cleanly than ever before, reducing the trade-offs we have to accept as our energy-rich future unfolds.
Which of these would you give up?
There are no energy sources capable of replacing petroleum fuels in our society; not today, and not in the foreseeable future. Below are just a few examples of daily activities and benefits that would be impossible without the fuels we manufacture.
Drive reasonably priced vehicles that can take you, your family and your belongings hundreds of miles on a single fueling.
Travel to faraway places by plane, train or boat.
Find any food, clothing or other goods you want. They will be on the shelves courtesy of petroleum fuels that power the ships, trains and trucks that deliver them.
Save lives with ambulances, fire trucks and law enforcement vehicles that are kept on the road with diesel and gasoline.
Build our nation, communities and neighborhoods. Petroleum fuels power the bulldozers, cranes, backhoes, cement trucks and generators that make construction possible.
Feed the world by manufacturing the fertilizers that make modern agriculture possible, as well as powering the tillers, combines and other equipment that plant, tend and harvest our crops.
Live full, independent lives as we take our kids to sports practices, games, music lessons and school events; visit the doctor’s office; attend church; go to the supermarket, department store or mall; go for a drive in the country; run the air conditioning if it’s hot; move your daughter into her dorm at college; attend your family reunion two states away…and so much more we can take for granted.