ColoradoLiving in Colorado, out in the country, my route to civilization takes me up and over the shoulder of Dawson Butte. The road climbs steadily for about a mile and then descends on the other side into town. Because the road is beautifully scenic, bicyclists often ride the road, too. As I pass them climbing the hill with great effort, it occurs to me that while I can elect to exercise vigorously as they are doing, my frequent trips take no physical effort and get me up and over that hill with great comfort and amazing speed.

Since my car gets about 32 miles per gallon of gasoline, the climb up that hill uses about half a cup—which costs about 12¢. That’s 12¢ worth of easily gotten, safe, portable, efficient fuel, to give me the luxury of sitting and listening to music or contemplating my values and goals while I cruise uphill!

Thank you, Big Oil—or, more precisely: Thank you, producers of oil—producers who enable me to live in a pine forest yet have easy access to town and beyond, on my own terms, so quickly and inexpensively.

What do these great producers enable you to do? That’s something to think about the next time you hear someone railing against “Big Oil.”

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Image by Hannah Krening

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