API Outlines Path for Low-Carbon Future in New Climate Action Framework

The American Petroleum Institute (API) released a policy framework of industry and government actions to address climate change risks while meeting the world’s long-term energy needs. API President and CEO Mike Sommers presented the framework’s key areas in a conference call with the media.

API’s CEO shared analysis, initiatives and policy solutions to build on the progress the U.S. has made to drive emissions to generational lows, including accelerating technology and innovation; further mitigating emissions from operations; supporting a carbon pricing policy; promoting cleaner fuels; and driving climate reporting.

“Confronting the challenge of climate change and building a lower-carbon future will require a combination of government policies, industry initiatives, and continuous innovation,” Sommers said.

“America has made significant progress in reducing emissions to generational lows, but there’s more work to do, and there’s nobody better equipped to drive further progress than the people who solve some of the world’s toughest energy problems every day. As our industry accelerates efforts to advance groundbreaking technologies, reduce emissions and drive transparent and consistent climate reporting, we urge lawmakers to support market-based policies that foster innovation, including carbon pricing,” Sommer added.

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API and its members announced they support climate actions in the following five areas:

Accelerate Technology and Innovation to reduce emissions while meeting growing energy needs.

  • Fast-track the commercial deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS).
  • Advance hydrogen technology, innovation, and infrastructure.
  • Advocate for the total appropriations of funds for research, development, and deployment (RD&D) programs authorized in the bipartisan Energy Act of 2020.

Further Mitigate Emissions from Operations to accelerate environmental progress.

  • Advance direct regulation of methane from new and existing sources.
  • Develop a refinery carbon reduction program for API member companies.
  • Deliver flaring reduction results as part of The Environmental Partnership’s flare management program.

Endorse a Carbon Price Policy to drive economy-wide, market-based solutions.

  • Advocate for sensible legislation that prices carbon across all economic sectors while avoiding regulatory duplication.

Advance Cleaner Fuels to provide lower-carbon choices for consumers.

  • Develop markets for differentiated U.S. natural gas.
  • Support policies to advance lower-carbon electricity.
  • Reduce lifecycle emissions in the transportation sector.

Drive Climate Reporting to provide consistency and transparency.

  • Expand ESG reporting guidance for the natural gas and oil industry.
  • Develop a concise, minimum template of core greenhouse gas emissions indicators providing relevant information and enhancing consistency and comparability in reporting.
  • Build on API compendium of GHG emissions methodologies for the natural gas and oil industry.

During the press conference, Abasto Media asked Sommers if a tax on transportation fuels could be a mechanism to help reduce emissions from the transportation sector.

“What we are endorsing here is an economy-wide approach, not one that just focuses on one sector. As you know, the United States has a gas tax that hasn’t been raised in almost 30 years, so we want an approach which is an economy-wide price on carbon that would drive emissions lower from all sources”, said Sommers.