Petroleum, or crude oil, is a naturally-occurring liquid composed primarily of hydrogen and carbon compounds. Americans use oil for transportation fuel and to heat our homes, but this resource is vital to our daily lives in many other, lesser-known ways. Petroleum products touch most aspects of our day-to-day safety, mobility, health and lifestyle. From replacement joints and pacemakers to fertilizers, feedstocks, phones and iPods®, oil is a key component in the vast majority of manufactured goods.
Currently, oil is the principal transportation fuel in the United States, accounting for more than 97 percent of the energy that powers our nation’s automobiles, airplanes and ships. In fact, oil is expected to remain the dominant fuel in our nation’s energy mix for decades to come. As global demand rises, is it vital to produce more North American energy. Doing so boosts U.S. energy security, but also keeps our economy going strong.
Combined with natural gas production, the oil industry supports nearly 9.2 million American jobs, while providing millions of dollars to the economy through state and local revenue each day. Consider it the energy stimulus: $476 billion delivered to the U.S. economy in 2010—equal to roughly 60 percent of the 2009 federal stimulus. It's a stimulus that didn't require an act of Congress and which, with the right policies, can be repeated over and over—helping to drive broader economic recovery.
In short, there’s a lot of life in oil. Read more here.