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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Paris, Climate Progress and U.S. Natural Gas

natural gas benefits  climate  emission reductions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 22, 2021

“The risks of climate change are real. Our companies have played and will continue to play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that contribute to climate change.”

 – 2021 State of American Energy report

 

Above is a quick summary of the natural gas and oil industry’s climate position (more detail here). Basically, industry recognizes significant climate risks and is committed to working to further reduce GHG emissions – both especially relevant with President Biden’s announcement that the U.S. is rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.

As the leading provider of the energy that powers the U.S. economy and Americans’ everyday lives, our industry has a key role to play in the national climate conversation and in developing climate solutions – even as it supports economic growth and U.S. energy security. 

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Why U.S. Natural Gas is Key to Addressing Ambitions of the Paris Agreement

natural gas benefits  climate  carbon capture  emission reductions 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted January 19, 2021

Addressing the challenge of global climate change will require the collective efforts of the U.S. government and the business community, and America’s natural gas and oil industry is committed – through public policies and private-sector initiatives – to delivering climate solutions.

 

API supports the ambitions of the Paris Climate Agreement, including the call for global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By encouraging the development of groundbreaking technologies, like carbon capture, utilization and storage, and promoting the uptake of cleaner-burning natural gas, our members are driving environmental progress while meeting the world’s long-term energy needs.

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Ready for Recovery: Four Ways We're Tackling Today’s Climate Challenges

climate  emission reductions  the-environmental-partnership  carbon capture 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted December 14, 2020

From reducing America’s dependence on foreign energy to powering our economic recovery, the U.S. natural gas and oil industry is providing solutions to today’s biggest challenges.

That includes addressing the risks of climate change. Americans do not have to make the false choice between utilizing our nation’s energy resources and protecting the environment. We can do both.

Here are four ways natural gas and oil companies are stepping up.

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Industry Reporting Guidance Improves Sustainability Performance

ESG  Environment  climate change 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted November 6, 2020

The natural gas and oil industry has advanced sector-wide guidance for sustainability reporting for over fifteen years, reinforcing its longstanding commitment to energy and environmental progress.

Earlier this year, three international natural gas and oil industry associations – API, IPIECA and IOGP – released an updated version of the “Sustainability Reporting Guidance for the Oil and Gas Industry,” which provides a common framework for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

In September, IPIECA released the results of its annual reporting survey, identifying widely used performance indicators and emerging trends. The findings, which include answers from 27 of the world’s largest energy companies, highlight the progress of industry leaders and partner organizations.

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Q&A: Linking Environmental, Social and Governance to Strong Performance

ESG  climate 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 6, 2020

ESG – environmental, social and governance – covers the way that businesses achieve strong performance on a range of sustainability issues. Below, Dr. Aaron Padilla, API manager of climate and ESG policy, explains the natural gas and oil industry’s focus on ESG as integral to the way its members conduct themselves in developing energy, as well as the way stewardship on these issues is helping define the modern industry’s identity in 2020 and beyond.        

A little background: Dr. Padilla leads API’s work to determine and represent the natural gas and oil industry’s own initiatives and its public policy positions on ESG and climate issues. In the past 13 years, he has worked in 30 countries across six continents. Prior to joining API, he worked for Chevron as a senior advisor for global issues and public policy. Dr. Padilla is a Marshall Scholar and Truman Scholar, and he completed his M.Phil. and Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge and B.A. at Stanford University.

Q: How does ESG apply to the natural gas and oil industry?

A: ESG is often interchangeable with the term “sustainability” and encompasses several environmental, social and safety issues. There’s climate change and energy, there’s environment – which covers air and water and waste and other elements of environmental performance – and then there’s safety, health and security, which obviously are a key focus of our industry. … And then there’s social performance more broadly, and that encompasses community relations and responsibility, that companies have to respect human rights. All of those issues fit under ESG. The governance part is the way companies have systematic processes and procedures and ways of managing the risks and opportunities associated with these environmental, social and safety issues.

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Natural Gas Integral to Progress in Reducing CO2 Emissions

natural gas  emission reductions  carbon dioxide  climate  Environment 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 2, 2020

Growing natural gas use in the U.S. power sector continues to be an important factor in decreasing the country’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, a critical greenhouse gas in the climate conversation.

This is seen in the latest U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) emissions report, which showed that these CO2 emissions decreased 2.8% in 2019 compared to 2018, largely thanks to changes in the electricity fuel mix.

Coal-related emissions declined 15% last year, reflecting a decline in coal’s share of U.S. power generation (falling from 27% to 23%). Natural gas is the leading fuel for generating electricity, its share of the mix rising to 38.4% in 2019 from 35% in 2018. (Nuclear accounted for 19.6% of generation while 9% was generated by wind and solar). Coal’s downward trend continued and even accelerated through the first two quarters of 2020, while natural gas’ share in the generating mix remained steady despite falling overall power demand.

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From Presidential Debate No. 1 – Climate, Energy, Jobs

president  climate  emission reductions  natural gas  green energy  jobs 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 30, 2020

Sifting through what was a rollicking presidential debate Tuesday night, searching for important takeaways … Let’s look at the discussion near the end of the event that focused on climate, energy policy and energy jobs – in which safe and responsible natural gas and oil production here at home is a critical player.

As was accurately noted during the debate, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector are at their lowest levels in a generation – primarily because of growing use of natural gas to fuel electricity generation. Natural gas is the leading fuel for U.S. power generation and is projected to continue leading for decades to come.

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5 Ways We’re Leading on Climate

climate change  emission reductions  innovation  natural gas 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted September 21, 2020

America’s natural gas and oil industry is committed to reducing the risks of climate change by producing ever-cleaner fuels and continuously improving environmental performance. As a nation, we’ve made significant progress over the years, with national greenhouse gas emissions down 10% since 2005.

Tackling the challenge of climate change will require a collaborative, cross-sector effort, and API is prepared – with climate policy principles – to constructively engage to identify workable policy solutions that deliver economic and environmental progress.

This Climate Week, let’s recognize the ongoing role that energy operators will continue to play in safely developing resources in the U.S. and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

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Study Shows Natural Gas' Vital Role in Reducing Global Emissions

lng exports  emission reductions  climate 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 9, 2020

Exporting U.S. natural gas via liquefied natural gas (LNG) has a big advantage over coal in lowering greenhouse gas emissions in electricity generation, according to a new study by ICF, (summarized here).

The analysis certainly quantifies what we’ve discussed before (see here and here) – that using clean natural gas to generate electricity significantly lowers GHG emissions compared to the emissions levels of coal-fired generation – on average, by 50.5%, according to ICF’s research.

GHGs include carbon dioxide from the fuel itself as well as CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and other gases emitted during the construction and operation of related fuel supply chain and power plant infrastructure.

The findings support the view that exported LNG gives the United States, the world’s leading natural gas producer, a golden opportunity to strengthen its global environmental and climate leadership.

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U.S. Needs Realistic, Broad-Based Climate Solutions

emission reductions  natural gas  climate 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 30, 2020

When the “Green New Deal” first was floated in Washington last year, it struggled to gain much altitude and more or less collapsed of its own weight.

The plan proposed dramatic alterations to America – especially the energy sector. Provisions impacting transportation, housing, communications and modern standards of living weren’t very palatable. Ernest Moniz, President Obama’s energy secretary, suggested the plan wasn’t “politically or economically implementable.” Not surprisingly, House leaders didn’t warm to the proposal, and it didn’t gain traction in Congress.

This week the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis has unveiled a new climate package of market-based mechanisms, government mandates, investments and tax incentives – including promotion of carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) and provisions aimed at electric utilities and automakers, who would be told to produce only electric cars by 2035.

While API will review the House proposal according to the API Climate Position and Climate Policy Principles, let’s assert that the forward path on climate must be realistic. This means including natural gas and oil – which will be part of the nation’s energy mix for decades to come – and capitalizing on our industry’s proven ability to help significantly reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.


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