Steubenville Herald-Star. October is National Energy Awareness Month. Here in Ohio, this has special significance due to the enormous impact of our state’s oil and natural gas industry. For more than 150 years, this industry has been a reliable economic engine moving our state forward. Even today, discussion of the industry has focused on its promising contributions to Ohio’s overall prosperity. Announcements of record natural gas production, technology advances, new processing facilities — and the job opportunities they bring — are vital to our state’s economic future.

Also important, and often overlooked, is the positive impact the industry has on the modern quality of life we all enjoy.

There are more than 6,000 products made from refined or processed crude oil and natural gas. In fact, the average person uses 3 gallons of these products each day. Toothpaste, aspirin, shampoo, shoes, cosmetics and, of course, fuels are just some of the necessities of our modern life made possible because of our dynamic oil and natural gas industry.

It’s hard to imagine what life would be like without these products. A morning jog wouldn’t be the same without a dri-fit shirt, digital music player and your favorite running shoes, all made from refined crude oil and natural gas. Getting up for work or school becomes that much more difficult without hairdryers, combs and, most importantly, an alarm clock. In addition, firefighter equipment, medicines, bandages, artificial hearts and other life saving devices are all possible thanks to refined petroleum products.

That’s why bringing attention to these modern achievements is so important. It’s amazing to consider how these essential items would not be possible without petrochemicals. During October, I encourage all Ohioans to reflect on how these products have become indispensable in our modern lives and celebrate the achievements of our nation’s great oil and natural gas industry.

By Rhonda Reda, Executive Director, Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program and Ohio Energy Proud

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