We Need Fossil Fuels to Fight COVID-19

We Need Fossil Fuels to Fight COVID-19

May 4, 2020

Most know that fossil fuels, such as natural gas and oil, play a crucial role in America’s economy and energy sector. The industry is often defended, and rightfully so, by the undeniable truths that it provides millions of jobs, generates billions in revenue, and fuels most of our day-to-day lives. As our country deals with COVID-19, these benefits have never been more important. But, fossil fuels are also contributing in a way that most aren’t aware of.

Natural gas is essential for producing petrochemicals, which manufacturers need to produce much of the personal protection equipment we need so desperately right now. It’s also a necessary ingredient for hand sanitizer and many disinfectants. As Paul Griffin, executive director of Energy Fairness, wrote in The Daily Sentinel:

In other words, the world needs products manufactured by the fossil fuel industry to help combat the spread of this virus.

Many of the large natural gas and oil companies, always a favorite target of those on the eco-left, are also playing a big role in COVID-19 relief and response.

Exxon has ramped up IPA (isopropyl alcohol) production at its Baton Rouge, Louisiana, facility by 3,000 tons per month, enough to produce 50 million four-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer. The company is also increasing its polypropylene production by around 1,000 tons per month, enough raw material to produce 200 million medical masks or 20 million gowns.

Exxon also teamed up with Boeing to manufacture massive amounts of protective masks in the U.S., which avoids current complications with the world supply chain. BP announced that it will supply 3 million free gallons of jet fuel to certain flights that are delivering protective equipment and essential goods; Chevron is funding the production of face shields and surgical masks that they’re donating to health care facilities; Dow Chemical is collaborating to produce 100,000 face shields in Michigan; and many others are making a difference as well.

In a twist of irony, New York has turned to Exxon to supply isopropyl alcohol, even as New York City Council members introduced a resolution recently to “divest” the city from banks that invest in fossil fuels. Yet, despite the New York City Council’s apparent disdain for fossil fuel manufacturers, Exxon still intends to provide its hand sanitizer to the Empire State for free.

The natural gas and oil industry is proving to be there when we need them most – even for those actively trying to end their business. Fossil fuels are critical in our current fight against COVID-19, and they’ll be critical for our economic recovery too. An industry with this much value does not deserve to be attacked by those with political agendas when it’s convenient – it’s time all of America recognizes and appreciates all that this industry does for us.