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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 30 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.  

The U.S. oil and natural gas industry has invested an estimated $355.9 billion 1990 – 2017 toward improving the environmental performance of its products, facilities and operations — $1,078 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 refineries compete in global markets, are committed to the environment, and spent more than $172 billion between 1990 and 2017 to help upgrade facilities to reduce processing emissions and 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.

API Resources:


The Environmental Partnership Annual Report 2021

Despite the challenges of 2020, The Environmental Partnership and our growing coalition of participating companies pressed forward to demonstrate the oil and natural gas industry’s commitment to reduce emissions and deliver improved environmental performance by Taking Action, Learning, and Collaborating. Our companies implemented the program in every major oil and natural gas basin across the country, launched a new Flare Management Program to help companies utilize available practices to avoid flaring and minimize emissions when flaring does occur, and safely implemented two new midstream-focused environmental performance programs. The Environmental Partnership’s scope and implementation continued to grow throughout a very difficult year and we’re proud of the resolve of the industry to continue tackling new challenges.

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The Environmental Partnership Annual Report 2020

In 2019, The Environmental Partnership focused its second full year on growing the coalition, expanding its reach and impacts, and harnessing the growing enthusiasm within the participating companies. The Partnership continues to demonstrate the oil and natural gas industry’s commitment to deliver improved environmental performance by taking action, learning, and collaborating while delivering the essential energy that powers America’s economy and quality of life.

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The Environmental Partnership Annual Report 2019

Thanks in large part to significant investments in production and innovation in natural gas and oil, and industry initiatives like The Environmental Partnership, natural gas is enabling the U.S. to reduce emissions while simultaneously realizing economic growth. The Environmental Partnership’s Annual Report was released on July 30 and details the remarkable environmental progress the Partnership has made using a unique model of substantive information sharing and collaboration on technologies and techniques to reduce methane emissions. It’s a model that could be applied to meet other challenges in the future.

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The Environmental Partnership

The Environmental Partnership is comprised of companies in the U.S. oil and natural gas industry committed to continuously improve the industry’s environmental performance.

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Energy & Communities

The oil and gas industry pursues the latest technology and strategies as part of its commitment to environmental stewardship – making sure that as it delivers plentiful energy it’s also protecting public health and the environment.

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Environmental Expenditures Survey (2008-2017)

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 Weixiao Dai at

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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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