Off the Wall: How America Works

Mr. Rowe
How America Works is fantastic. The lumber episode was great, but last night’s show on fracking was better than great. It was important. I’ve been in the energy industry for 30 years, and that was the first time I’ve seen a show on hydro fracturing that didn’t turn us into monsters or blame us for wrecking the planet. Thank you for showing the work exactly as it is, and for giving us a fair shake.
Fred Cedrone

Hi Fred

You’re welcome. The guys at Cameron Energy were terrific, and I was honored to tell their story to a wide audience. To your point, our country’s relationship with oil and natural gas is fractured, as it were, and the people in your industry have been vilified – ironically, by those who rely on the very product you provide. Shortly after the episode aired, I had a lively exchange with a viewer who questioned the necessity of highlighting “a dirty and dying industry, especially now.”

“It seems a curious time,” he wrote, “to celebrate the business of oil extraction, when you could have pointed your cameras elsewhere – like toward the brave and tireless healthcare workers who continue to fight this pandemic on behalf of all of us.”

Obviously, I have great respect for our healthcare workers, but I’m struck by the inability or the unwillingness of many to see the way all industries are connected by our reliance on energy – especially petroleum. For instance, when I consider the miracle of vaccines – including the ones developed for Covid – it occurs to me that getting millions of doses into millions of arms requires millions of syringes – plastic syringes. Plastic syringes made of petroleum. Pointing this out, however, only angered my critic, who called me a shill and invited me to go and do something physically impossible with myself.

Isn’t is strange, how we so often come to resent the very things we rely upon? And the people who make those things possible?

Energy is evolving, and that’s a very good thing. But while we continue to explore new ways to get what we need from the water, the wind, and the sun, we can’t forget where and how our bread is currently buttered. That’s why I’m proud to be involved in shows like this one.

For those who haven’t seen it, I’ve attached a short clip of Monday’s episode. As you’ll see, this is neither a documentary nor a reality show. It’s just an honest look at ten critical industries, not through my eyes, but through the eyes of the people who do the work.

Bias aside, it’s worth your time.
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