The vastness of natural gas resources in Pennsylvania’s portion of the Marcellus and Utica shale reserves has driven a variety of opportunities.
In fact, there is a surplus available for other uses, including plastics manufacturing. This reality has drawn the ire of environmental activists in the state who take issue with the resource’s production, transport, processing, and many end uses.
Work by Pennsylvania’s Independent Oil & Gas Association (POIGA) demonstrates that the manufacturing of plastics, made from natural gas distillates like ethane and propane, are important to our medical communities. POIGA wrote:
“Americans often take for granted the thousands of products made from oil and natural gas that they use every day, from lightweight automobile parts and paint to food packaging and performance clothing. These important consumer items can only be made by processing crude oil and natural gas, using chemical treatments and technologies to make each product. The same goes for the hundreds of petroleum-derived items used by health care providers, from simple items such as band-aids and latex gloves, to complex heart valves and artificial joints. More than 90 items made possible through the processing of oil and natural gas into advanced plastics and synthetic rubber are shown in this photo of a typical emergency room.”
The accompanying graphic goes into greater detail about the many items reliant on oil and natural gas feedstock for its manufacturing. It is apparent that the modern day emergency room, code cart and daily products central to medicine are afforded by buildout in the energy industry.
For Pennsylvanians continuing to disparage its natural gas resources and uses, there must be an acknowledgement of the critical supply chain it secures for medical equipment.
POIGA’s graphic and list can be seen here.