Aug. 27 is National Petroleum Day, also referred to as Oil and Gas Industry Appreciation Day. This annual event raises awareness about the impact petroleum has on our lives and our environment.
Petroleum, a fossil fuel, takes millions of years to form and is considered a non-renewable energy source. While petroleum is used in many products including gasoline, asphalt, tires, candles, perfume and plastics, its supply is limited. Some predict this natural resource will be completely depleted in a few decades.
According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), America is the largest consumer of petroleum products. In 2011, Americans consumed over 18 million barrels of petroleum products per day. While Canada, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Nigeria and Mexico are top sources of net crude oil and petroleum product imports, crude oil is also produced in 31 states and U.S. coastal waters. But it is difficult to determine where the petroleum products we use actually come from once they are refined.
As the cost of gasoline continues to go up, our reliance on oil has many Americans taking a serious look at alternative energy. Because of improvements in efficiency, consumer behavior and our current economic conditions, American's dependence on oil has actually declined over the years while our use of domestic biofuels and domestic production of natural gas plant liquids and crude oil has increased.
While petroleum is a substance used in a wide variety of products, this nonrenewable resource poses significant environmental issues including pollution, contaminated soil and oil spills. Decreasing society’s reliance on petroleum and increasing our use of renewable resources, is an affordable and environmentally-friendly alternative to reduce our dependency on our dwindling supply of fossil fuels.
Aug. 27 is also Banana Lover's Day.