Jack R. Westbrook, now a contributing editor, is the retired managing editor of the Michigan Oil & Gas News magazine, published weekly at Mount Pleasant, the traditional oil capital of Michigan. He has edited two books on Michigan petroleum history and is a frequent public speaker on the subject.
Michigan Oil and Gasby Jack R. Westbrook
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Michigan is commonly recognized as a manufacturing center and for its splendid tourist attractions. Lesser known is Michigan's role as a leader in the production of oil and gas. Since the discovery of commercial quantities of oil in Saginaw in 1925, Michigan has grown to become the 12th-largest natural gas and 17th-largest crude oil producer of the 34 states producing oil and gas. Michigan's petroleum heritage spans 64 of the state's 68 Lower Peninsula counties and has played a role in shielding communities from the financial devastation of the Great Depression, funding acquisition of hundreds of public recreation projects through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, and rising to meet environmental challenges through improving technologies. Michigan Oil and Gas documents that heritage with photographs from the Clarke Historical Library Norman X. Lyon and Michigan Oil & Gas News Collections.
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