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API Report: Oil and natural gas industry spent $252 billion since 1990 on environment protection

WASHINGTON, December 21, 2012 – API released a new report detailing the oil and natural gas industry’s massive spending on environmental performance.

“Investment in our communities and our environment are critical to our operations. Since 1990, our members have spent a quarter of a trillion dollars on environmental protection,” said API Howard Feldman, director of regulatory and scientific affairs API director of regulatory and scientific affairs. “This is part of our continuing responsibility to the communities in which we operate and to the public we serve.”

The Environmental Expenditures Survey conducted by API estimates that the U.S. oil and natural gas industry has invested more than $252 billion to improve the environmental performance of its products, facilities and operations since 1990 – about 65 percent of that directed toward cleaner air and water. The report is based on spending data from representative companies extrapolated to estimate industry-wide performance.

Highlights from the survey include:
  • The industry has spent $252.8 billion on the environment since 1990, $810 for every man, woman, and child in the U.S.
  • The industry spent about $13 billion in 2011, including $11 billion to implement new technologies, create cleaner fuels and fund ongoing environmental initiatives. An additional $1.9 billion was spent on research and development, corporate environmental programs and spill remediation efforts. In 2011, 35 percent of industry environmental spending was directed toward cleaner air.
  • Industry’s upstream (pre-refining stage) sector has spent $46 billion since 1990 (aside from remediation and spills) – including almost $4 billion in 2011.
  • The refining sector has spent $132 billion since 1990 (aside from remediation and spills) – including nearly $5 billion in 2011.
  • Transportation expenditures (mainly pipelines) doubled from 2010 to a record $2 billion in 2011.
The oil and natural gas industry is one of the largest investors in low and zero-carbon technologies in addition to advancing carbon capture and sequestration technology. Over the past decade, the U.S. based oil and natural gas industry investments exceed the federal government ($43 billion) and almost as much as the rest of private industry combined.

Feldman added, “One of every five dollars invested in alternative energy technologies like wind and solar is from the oil and natural gas industry and we are committed to doing more. Above all, the industry is committed to making sure Americans have affordable, safe and reliable sources of energy to ensure a healthy environment, strong economy and job growth.”

Additional reports on industry investments in greenhouse gas-reducing technologies are available online here.

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.
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