In the Presbyterian Church USA’s debate over divestment of church funds from fossil fuel producers, there are some considerations that are not being presented, especially when it comes to oil and natural gas. Here is one I would like to present. Those who are demanding that we “Keep It in the Ground” may not realize … it’s NOT just oil we’d be keeping in the ground.
While it’s true that a large majority of oil and natural gas is devoted to fuel for transportation and energy. There are a LOT of what we call petroleum by-products … materials derived from crude oil (petroleum) as it is processed in oil refineries. Here is a partial list (compiled by Edmond, Oklahoma-based Ranken Energy) of an estimated 6,000 products made, in one way or another, from petroleum by-products.
This is NOT to say that we continue to burn as much oil as we possibly can. Here is where a comprehensive energy package – one that includes oil and natural gas – comes into play. The power needed in factories to manufacture the products listed above could come from a wide variety of alternative energy sources whose availability has grown dramatically in recently years.
Another item I would like to submit for your consideration … use of these petroleum by-products could actually help reduce your carbon footprint in some ways. Take local transportation for example … think about getting around town with bicycles and bicycle helmets, backpacks and athletic shoes, instead of automobiles.
This is one more reason why I am asking Presbyterian Church USA to consider redirecting their investment into responsible fossil fuels producers … they are producing things we need and use each-and-every day.
Thank you for your consideration.
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