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Environment

America’s energy revolution has successfully disproved the long-held assumption that increased energy production creates higher emissions. The fact is that even while production has significantly increased, total criteria air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions have fallen simultaneously, in large part due to industry’s commitment to environmental protection and the expanded use of abundant, affordable natural gas in electricity generation.

To date, CO2 emissions from power generation in the U.S. have fallen 17 percent since 2000. Even without an emissions reduction requirement in place, API modeling projects natural gas will continue to drive emissions reductions in the power sector, due to fuel switching.

America’s oil and natural gas industry has a long-standing commitment to protecting the environment. The industry’s environmental investments represent a crucial aspect of today’s energy exploration and production process.  Between 1990 and 2015, the industry has invested over $321 billion toward improving the environmental performance of its products, facilities and operations; $996 for every man, woman and child in the United States. Furthermore, the oil and natural gas industry invested $90 billion in new low- and zero-emissions technologies between 2000 and 2014. This demonstrates industry’s dedication to protecting the environment so that we can meet today’s energy needs and develop next-generation forms of energy.

Our nation’s world-class refineries are also committed to the environment and spent more than $160 billion between 1990 and 2015 on producing cleaner-burning fuels. Gasoline produced today has reduced levels of sulfur, toxics and summer vapor pressure, improving air quality. Ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel has 99.5 percent less sulfur – and is now produced for all highway and non-road uses, allowing for dramatically reduced nitrogen oxide emissions from newer diesel engines. Refiners have dramatically changed fuel formulations across the country and continue to enable significant reductions in vehicle tailpipe emissions.

The powerful combination of continually-improving industry practices, advancing state programs, and federal environmental statutes  ̶  all work together to provide an effective structure that allows for the essential development of the nation’s oil and natural gas resources while protecting the environment.

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Environmental Expenditures Survey (2006-2015)

Expenditures covered in this report are those related to the prevention, control, abatement or elimination of environmental pollution by the U.S. oil and natural gas industry in the United States and its territories. Interested in this report or more information, contact Adebukola Adefemi at adefemia@api.org.

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Advancements in Technology Reduce Environmental Impact

Industry practice has changed a lot in the past 50 years, even the past 10 years. Advancements in technology allow us to conduct many aspects of our operations far more efficiently than just a few years ago. This efficiency translates to smaller "footprints" (the amount of surface area disturbed), less waste generated, cleaner and safer operations, and greater compatibility with the environment.

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More Environmental Information

The members of API are dedicated to continuous efforts to improve the compatibility of their operations with the environment while economically developing energy resources and supplying high quality products and services to consumers. Find out more about API's environmental principles, topics involving water, air, energy efficiency and recycling, and the industry's environmental performance in API's Oil & Natural Gas/Environment.

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