By: Anne Bradbury, CEO of the American Exploration and Production Council
The American oil and natural gas industry is dedicated to developing affordable, reliable energy to meet the world’s growing demand, while continuing to protect the environment.
Over the last several years, the US has already reduced emissions more than any other country in the Paris Agreement, due in large part to the increased use of natural gas and our industry’s commitment to innovation and technology.
Berkeley Lab data released this April shows that the US has made significant progress to reduce carbon emissions over the last 15 years primarily due to the increased use of natural gas in power generation:[i] According to Berkeley Lab scientist and lead researcher, Ryan Wiser, “The U.S. cut power sector emissions by 52 percent below projected levels – we are now ‘halfway to zero.’” In addition to carbon dioxide emission reductions, sulfur, and nitrogen pollutants also declined and improved public health.
The 2020 global pandemic brought the world’s economic activity and mobility to a screeching halt, but as the world opens back up, so does the demand for our product. Global demand, to maintain or improve standards of living, will be met by oil and natural gas. This is highlighted by the fact that the US Energy Information Administration projects global oil demand to rise by the largest two-year increase since 1950.
Even under the International Energy Agency’s Sustainable Development Scenario, which is fully aligned with the Paris Even Agreement objectives, oil and natural gas are still projected to provide 46 percent of the world’s energy in 2040.
As an industry, we believe that we can meet this dual challenge of meeting the world’s growing demand for affordable and reliable energy and addressing global climate change with oil and gas, not without it.
We produce the safest and cleanest energy in the world, and we are an innovative industry constantly looking to invest in and deploy the innovative technologies to further reduce emissions.
One opportunity would be the research, development, and demonstration of carbon capture utilization
and storage (CCUS). This technology can be supported by America’s policymakers through research and development (R&D) support and tax incentives for companies trying to deploy more CCUS to further reduce emissions.
We take our responsibility to steward natural resources seriously and are committed to safe, environmentally protective oil and natural gas production that protects the environment and the people who live, breathe, and work in the communities in which we also live and operate.
Earth Day is a day to celebrate the work our country has done, and the progress we have made over the past several decades to improve air quality, responsibly manage water, and develop the innovative technologies needed to further this progress.