Opinion: Gas, Coal, Oil Fuel Our Everyday Lives

American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle published an opinion piece in the Miami Herald today. As divestment activists prepare to descend on Miami, Mr. Pyle shows how divesting from fossil fuels amounts to divesting from the energy and products of modern life. The text of the piece is below:

Miami Herald

Gas, coal, oil fuel our everyday lives
By Thomas Pyle

Imagine a group of activists that spends its time opposing companies that produce soap, surgical steel and sterile plastics used in hospitals — because it is the “moral” thing to do. It sounds crazy, but it’s already happening.

The same groups pushing to eliminate these life-saving technologies and many other everyday products will soon descend on Miami. The leaders of this movement are holding a two-day event to convince Floridians to “divest” any stocks or bonds from the companies that help make these essential items.

In reality, these activists want Floridians to “divest” from modern life.

Everyone knows that when they flip on a light switch or fuel up their cars, they are using energy. But you might not realize that many of the products we use every day also come from energy — particularly natural gas, oil and coal.

Besides generating 27 percent of America’s electricity, natural gas is used to make fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, plastics and fabrics, just to name a few. If you’re wearing a shirt made from nylon or polyester, you’re wearing a product that came from natural gas.

The same applies to oil and coal. Besides supplying 95 percent of the nation’s transportation fuel, oil is used to make asphalt, aluminum, shampoo, cosmetics and much more. Every step of your morning, from putting on deodorant to driving to work, involves products derived from oil.

Coal, meanwhile, supplies the largest share of the United States electricity, at almost 40 percent. Coal is also used to make steel, concrete, aspirins, soaps, carbon fiber, and more. Imagine life without roads, bridges, and sidewalks. That is life without coal.

Divesting from natural gas, oil, and coal is akin to divesting from modern civilization. But that’s exactly what the so-called fossil fuel divestment movement wants Floridians to do.

The divestment activists who are coming to Miami don’t just want to take away Floridians’ energy, but also the soap, steel, and plastics, which make modern life possible. Floridians should tell these activists to take a hike.


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