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API Earth Day Fact Sheet

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Despite the once-in-a-lifetime challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis, the natural gas and oil industry’s commitment to protect workers, communities and the environment remains fundamental to what we do, every day. As American energy workers power through a pandemic to provide reliable energy to hospitals, families and others who need it most, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day provides us with the opportunity to recognize the ongoing role our industry plays in lowering U.S. emissions.

Please see below for API’s Earth Day fact sheet. For more, please be sure to read our blog post, ‘Honoring Earth Day 2020.’


“The natural gas boom has led to cleaner power” – Former President Barack Obama, 2013 State of the Union

#1: Natural gas helped the U.S. to become the world leader in reducing carbon emissions since 2000. (IEA, 2/11/20)

10% decrease in net greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 to 2018, in large part, “due to an increasing shift to use of less CO2-intensive natural gas for generating electricity.” (EPA, 4/13/20)

21.4% decrease in petroleum systems methane emissions from 1990 to 2018. (EPA, 4/13/20)

  • 57% increase in natural gas consumption during that same time period. (EPA, 3/31/20)

27% decrease in CO2 emissions from electric power generation from 2005 to 2018, in part, due to the increase in natural gas-generated power. (EPA, 4/13/20)

2,823 MMmt: The amount of CO2 emissions reductions attributable to natural gas power displacing coal power. (EIA, 11/19)

  • 1,799 MMmt: The amount of CO2 emissions reductions attributable to non-carbon power sources, like wind and solar, displacing coal power. (EIA, 11/19)

Over 60: The amount of existing and planned carbon capture and sequestration facilities globally which will help reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere. (Energy for Progress, 1/20/20)


“If you look at wind in California in 2017, hour-by-hour, there were 90 days of no wind…Right now, the only way California has survived those kinds of events is by natural gas.” – Ernest Moniz, Former Energy Secretary Under President Obama, 7/31/19

74% decrease in combined emissions of the six common pollutants (PM2.5 and PM10, SO2, NOx, VOCs, CO and Pb) between 1970 and 2018. (EPA, 7/17/19)

  • 42% increase in natural gas consumption during that same time period. (EIA, 3/31/20, p.35)

IEA: “[Natural] gas has low or zero emissions of the main air pollutants.” (IEA, 7/17/19, p.14)

  • “The controlled burning of natural gas releases very few particulate emissions into the air, while nearly all SO2 naturally present in natural gas is removed prior to transport.” (IEA, 7/17/19, p.35)

$356 billion: The amount that the U.S. natural gas and oil industry has invested to improve its environmental performance from 1990 to 2016. (API)

$15.9 billion: The amount that the U.S. natural gas and oil industry spent on implementing new technologies, creating cleaner fuels and funding ongoing environmental initiatives in 2017 alone. (API)

The Washington Post Headline: “Turns out wind and solar have a secret friend: Natural gas” (WaPo, 8/11/16)

  • Axios: Natural gas “acts as a sort of pillow for variable wind and solar resources… it’s made the system more compatible for higher amount of renewables because gas generation is more flexible” (Axios, 3/1/19)

In 2050, the EIA projects that natural gas will continue to be one of America’s top sources of electricity generation. (EIA, 1/2020)

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