BusinessStacy M. Brown

API Lays Out Initiatives, Including Partnerships with Communities of Color

The American Petroleum Institute (API) said it would support carbon pricing to help lower the country’s emissions and slow global warming.

“What we’re advocating here is a market-based approach, and that could encompass many different ways to do this,” API President and CEO Mike Sommers said during a news conference Thursday.

Sommers stopped well short of endorsing President Joe Biden’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions within 30 years.

“There’s no way it is feasible without technologies that aren’t currently in the marketplace today,” Sommers offered. “We think that the best way to do that is through a market-based carbon-pricing mechanism that isn’t picking winners and losers.”

Sommers noted that API supports the direct regulation of methane for new and existing sources.

“We want to work with the Biden administration as they develop those new regulations,” he remarked.

When asked what API is doing to involve minorities, Sommers noted that the 600-member organization has many partnerships in minority communities.

“We’ve worked with them over many, many years, and those partnerships are strong and growing larger,” Sommers noted. The National Newspaper Publishers Association, the trade organization representing the 230-plus African American-owned newspapers and media companies in the United States, counts among those API partners.

“In fact, API has had a program for over a decade, which brings a minority and underrepresented communities together to talk about, jobs and initiatives within the oil and gas sector,” Sommers responded. “It’s an important priority of both the API board of directors and the API team in Washington. We’ll continue to grow those alliances over time because we know, based on the studies that we have done in this space, we expect that 50 percent of the jobs in oil and gas in the next 20 years are going to be filled by women and minorities.”

Sommers added that those are “good-paying jobs.”

“Jobs that led a pathway to the middle class. And, we want to make sure that minorities and underrepresented populations are well-represented within our sector.”

During the news conference, API released its policy framework of industry and government actions to address climate change risks.

At the same time, they aim to meet long-term energy needs globally.

“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.”

Sommers noted five areas in which API and its members support climate actions, including accelerating technology and innovation to reduce emissions while meeting growing energy needs and the further mitigation of emissions from operations to accelerate environmental progress.

He said API also endorses a carbon price policy to drive economy-wide, market-based solutions.

The organization also seeks to “advance cleaner fuels to provide lower-carbon choices for consumers and drive climate reporting to furnish consistency and transparency.”

API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports more than ten million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans.

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