” … during challenging times, this fact becomes crystal clear: our energy resources make modern life possible and are absolutely critical to our health and well-being.”
The production and distribution (P&D) of the COVID vaccines is just another example of oil and gas at work in innumerable ways. Institute for Energy Research (IER) President Tom Pyle recently brought attention to the connection:
On Dec. 14th, the first approved COVID vaccine was given to a healthcare worker in New York. During the following weekend, a second vaccine was approved, shipped, and distributed. We are a long way from seeing the other side of this, but these were hopeful signs.
While drug companies like Pfizer, Moderna, and BioNtech are the face of the COVID vaccines, it’s the American energy industry that is the backbone of our fight against the virus and our efforts to develop an effective vaccine to stop its spread. Unfortunately, the energy industry and its employees are the ones being omitted from this success story.
Some key points:
• Medical equipment including face masks, diagnostic equipment, disposable gowns, shoe booties and hoods, housings for test kits, goggles, surgical gloves, surgical instruments, and much more are made from oil and natural gas.
• Plastics help keep medical environments and treatments sanitary, safe, and effective through single-use and plastic-based devices that eliminate dangerous cross-contamination.
• The two approved COVID vaccines must be kept at negative 70 and negative 20 degrees Celsius. Oil and natural gas make industrial refrigeration at these temperatures possible.
• Once the vaccines are mass-produced at production facilities, they need to be distributed to hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and doctor’s offices.
• Whether they are shipped by plane, truck, or other vehicle, petroleum products will be used to distribute the vaccines across America.
… our energy resources are the backbone of our modern way of life. Ordinarily, it’s a fact that quietly happens in the background as our lights shine, our supply chains run smoothly, and our travels go uninterrupted. But during challenging times, this fact becomes crystal clear: our energy resources make modern life possible and are absolutely critical to our health and well-being.
IER published a Policy Brief last month that reached these conclusions:
In addition, a podcast with Dr. Ellen Wald and IER’s Alexander Stephens discussed the role of plastics and energy in healthcare.