Very often during events that grip the whole world like the current pandemic of the Coronavirus, our days are consumed trying to digest overwhelming amounts of information to understand how it will affect our daily lives.

Some people panic that there won’t be enough food or other necessities, and they clean out the shelves in their local stores. They buy more than they actually need as the rumors of shortages on the shelves becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Recently, after the initial rush to buy toilet paper and other necessities when some folks bought these items as if the end of the world was nigh, something happened.

It wasn’t something out of the ordinary. In fact it is a normal occurrence. It is something that happens every day all across America and most of the time goes unnoticed. It happens quietly, sometimes in the dead of night. 

Trucks pull up to loading docks at warehouses where they are loaded with food and all the other necessities of life and delivered to stores for us to purchase so we can sustain our lives. The shelves are restocked and life goes on even under difficult circumstances like the kind we now find ourselves experiencing. Even during this time when folks are staying home and the highways and streets seem less crowded, there are still plenty of trucks on the road delivering the goods we need.

And it’s not just trucks that are delivering goods to our stores.

Retailers like Walmart, Costco and Amazon are keeping their fleets of delivery vehicles rolling to bring much needed supplies directly to our homes. With social distancing requirements shutting many restaurants to the public, companies like Uber Eats, GrubHub and Doordash are delivering take-out meals to us.

We should all be eternally grateful to the truck drivers of America and the army delivery drivers who are keeping their wheels rolling during this crisis for ensuring that we have adequate supplies to sustain us until this pandemic passes.

But while we are thanking them for all they are doing and will do, we should be thanking the sometimes maligned industry that is putting the fuel in those trucks, vans and cars that are doing all this delivering.

And that is America’s fossil fuel industry.

Because of the industry’s game-changing innovations in extracting oil and natural gas from places we never thought we would be able to, America has become energy independent.

Imagine if that were not the case today. Imagine if during this pandemic and concurrent economic downturn, we were dependent on oil from unreliable foreign sources. Instead of the price of a gallon of gasoline falling to historically low levels thereby offering consumers some relief in their wallets, prices would skyrocket causing further long term damage to the economic health of our nation.

In addition, low fuel prices for the truckers and delivery companies should also help keep prices for the food and other necessities they deliver low since higher fuel prices would be passed along to the consumers. And given our energy independence, fuel prices should remain low for the foreseeable future so that once this Coronavirus pandemic passes, low fuel prices will aid in the eventual economic recovery.

So while we are thanking all the truckers and other drivers who are keeping America moving, let’s also thank America’s fossil fuel industry for all their work in making America energy independent.

Thank the energy innovators who developed the extraction techniques that allowed us to extract hitherto –un-tappable sources of oil to fuel our vehicles and natural gas to heat our homes and provide energy to our power plants.

Thank the gritty oil worker in Bakersfield, California, West Texas or Western Pennsylvania for doing the hard back-breaking work of extracting the precious black gold from the ground.

Thank the refinery workers who turn that black gold into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel that keeps America’s fleet of vehicles and aircraft and the entire nation moving. 

It’s going to be a long road back to economic prosperity after the pandemic.

But one thing we can be sure of is that we won’t have to travel that road with the added burden of high fuel costs because of the energy independence brought to you by America’s fossil fuel industry.