Inside Aera
Oil in Everyday Life Sep 18, 2019

A geologist speaks out: ‘Petroleum is all around us’

Jeff Vaughn

Jeff Vaughn

Independent petroleum geologist Jeff Vaughn responded to an editor’s recent call for a list of items that consumers would no longer enjoy if the oil and gas industry disappeared.   

In “Petroleum is all around us,” an Aug. 25 Community Voices column in The Bakersfield Californian, Vaughn visualizes in detail the many petroleum-based plastics and products American use in a normal day.

Vaughn points out dozens of examples in his office, car and trip home: computers and their accessories, the copy machine, the synthetic carpet, nearly all interior parts of a car, the fluids it runs on, the asphalt in the roads.

Once home,  he writes, “I open my wooden front door (coated in petroleum-based urethane) and step onto my tiled entryway treated with petroleum based wax. I take off my sneakers (made almost entirely of petroleum-based products) and head to the refrigerator (30-40 percent plastic parts). I look in the refrigerator [where] most of my items are either in plastic bottles or jars, zip-lock bags or plastic-based Tupperware. Some of the used food is wrapped in saran wrap (yes, plastic).”

Read Vaughn’s full column here.

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