Between 1975 and 1979 three industry associations published reports on energy as it related to pavements and pavement construction, taking into account energy used to produce and haul materials; energy requirements for mixing, transporting and paving equipment, and two of the three considered inherent energy in the materials. The reports reveal the significant fact that asphalt construction consumes such huge quantities of oil as a construction material that other details of liquid energy use are insignificant by comparison.
During 1979, the use of oil in asphalt pavements, not including the fuel to produce the asphalt mix nor that for construction equipment, was 7.2 billion gallons. That's 20 million gallons each and every day, 365 days a year, of oil-in-the-mix only! One has to question whether this country can afford economically, politically, or from a global humanitarian standpoint the use of a precious energy source as a construction material when there are alternative methods readily available. In 1979 approximately 75 percent of all the gray Portland cement produced here used coal as the kiln or manufacturing fuel. In September 1980 only one-half of 1 percent of the cement produced in this country was being made in plants which were limited to the use of oil as the kiln fuel.
Let us use the oil that is still available to us to produce the necessary liquid fuels to keep our transportation wheels turning . . . to power the wheels and tracks of our defense vehicles . . . the jet planes, the locomotives and the 18-wheelers that keep our country moving and growing! And let us use other materials that are not energy sources to build the pavements upon which those wheels will turn. Concrete pavements are one answer to the dwindling supply of oil. And fortunately, as accumulating project reports show, this answer saves construction dollars as well as petroleum both on first cost and throughout the life of the pavement.