Major Oil and Gas CEO's Side With Climate Change Initiative
Climate change has been an ongoing topic in the past years and one of the main topics covered during the presidential campaign by then-presidential candidate Joe Biden. He had threatened to remove all fracking sites to reduce carbon emissions to zero. Of course, towards the end of the presidential campaign, Joe Biden became less hostile towards the fracking industry and devised a more reasonable way of reducing carbon emission.
On Monday, at least 10 chief executives from major U.S. oil companies (Exxon Mobil Corp., BP Plc, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp, and Devon Energy Corp) have decided to collaborate with the Biden administration in its campaign against climate change. White House National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy has stated that oil industry leaders promised support for federal regulations. The main focus being limiting emissions of methane from wells and other oilfield equipment.
This is the first step in a list of carbon-cutting pledges created by Biden's administration. Of course, more carbon-cutting pledges are expected to come throughout President Biden's term, especially since the U.S. returned to the Paris climate agreement. Is this bad news for the fracking industry?
Climate Change and Fracking
White House National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy made clear that they are not fighting the oil and gas sector but fighting to create union jobs, use emission reduction technologies, restore American manufacturing, and fuel the American economy. It was also stated that the current moratorium (limiting the sale of oil and gas leases on federal land) would slowly be lifted, even though there will be some control for future leases.
The American Petroleum Institute is even considering endorsing a carbon price, which could take the structure of an emissions-trading program or a tax on heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Most of the executives pitched in their own ideas concerning putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions, which will push them and other oil and gas companies to invest in emission-reducing technology. This meeting was quite different from the one held by the Obama administration, as that one had lots of unpleasant remarks concerning climate change.
Dave Lawler, the chairman of BP America Inc, said that the industry wants to ensure that policymakers in Washington understand that we can achieve our shared goal for a low-carbon future while strengthening American energy leadership and supporting the nation's economic recovery, without sacrificing the oil and gas industry. The API President Mike Sommers also stated that they are committed to working with the White House to develop effective government policies that help meet the Paris agreement's ambitions and support a cleaner future.
A Clearer Future for the Fracking Industry
While these changes are yet to be officially implemented, it's a good stepping stone for a cleaner future that doesn't sacrifice a whole industry. Some industry executives don't agree with these changes, so some tweaking to these pledges is still needed.
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