Oil and natural gas companies are America’s top investors in zero- and low-greenhouse gas emissions technologies, according to a study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute (API).
The study by T2 and Associates examined investments in GHG mitigation technologies from 2000 through 2012. During that period, the US oil and natural gas industry directly invested about $81 billion in GHG mitigation technologies, it says.
Other US industries invested an estimated $91.2 billion, and the federal government invested an estimated $79.7 billion.
Other private companies making significant investments to reduce GHG emissions include the automotive industry, agricultural sector, electric utilities and renewable fuels producers, the report says.
Oil and natural gas industry expenditures on GHG mitigation more than double — to $165.4 billion — when the total includes shale investments, according to the report.
During the study period, the oil and natural gas industry was responsible for approximately $11.4 billion, or one out of every six dollars, invested in non-hydrocarbon resources, including wind, solar, geothermal and biomass technologies. The industry also has adopted methods to reuse excess heat from refineries and permanently sequester CO2. From 2011 to 2012, these and other investments allowed the US oil and natural gas industry to directly reduce GHG emissions by the equivalent of 53.6 million metric tons of CO2, the report says.
API Vice President for Policy and Economic Analysis Kyle Isakower says the study shows that the oil and gas industry has played a key role in driving US CO2 emissions to their lowest level in almost 20 years. He says the industry will continue to provide environmental benefits — “but only if misguided tax policies don’t stand in the way of energy innovation.”
Last month API and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) petitioned the EPA to lower the 18.15 billion 2014 renewable fuel mandate to about 14.8 billion gallons.
The oil industry groups say the partial waver is needed to avoid “severe economic harm that will result from exceeding the 10 percent ethanol blendwall.”