I was at a birthday party for a relative a few weeks ago.  The family lives near Pittsburgh in the heart of Marcellus Shale country.

A friend of the family, who also owns a company, start-up providing video verification services, was complaining that people have no idea where things come from.  He told of a discussion he had with a woman about hunting.  She told him, “You should not be killing animals.  You need to buy your meat at a store where no animals are harmed.”

This lack of knowledge is dangerous — especially for people with some power. We heard one presidential candidate in the last election say that he would ban fracking. Then he hopped onto his private jet built with petrochemicals and fueled by oil from hydraulically fractured wells, since all wells are fracked.

Without oil and natural gas, his campaign stops would be by horseback or steam engine.

Many people have no idea that petrochemicals are required to manufacture solar panels. Have you ever seen a windmill blade on Interstate 79 being hauled by a 20-mule team? It is always on a truck built with petrochemicals and fueled by oil and natural gas.

The Geaux Maids in Orlando we attended in May reminded me just how much of what we use every day comes from plastics and petrochemicals. Try going an hour without touching something from the plastics industry.

Running shoes, most of our clothing, cellphones, soccer balls, the packaging for the food we eat to keep it fresh and healthy — it all comes from petrochemicals from oil and gas wells and a manufacturing process.

If northern West Virginia, eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania were its own country, it would be the third largest natural gas producer in the world. Only the rest of the United States and Russia produce more natural gas.

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