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API testifies to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform

Published by , Senior Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), Mike Sommers, recently testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and discussed the natural gas and oil industry's priorities of pricing carbon, regulating methane, and reliably producing US energy.

Mike Sommers said the following:

Chair Maloney and Ranking Member Comer, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. My name is Mike Sommers and I am the President and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. API is the national trade association representing all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Our nearly 600 members – from large integrated companies to small independent operators – provide much of our nation’s energy and develop safe and responsible operational standards. API’s mission is to promote safety across the industry globally and to advocate for public policy in support of a strong, viable US oil and natural gas sector.

I would like to focus on three points.

First, our member companies make products that enable modern life. Every day the men and women of America’s oil and natural gas industry provide the energy to maintain our quality of life, power our economy, and improve the condition of people here at home and around the globe. This industry meets Americans’ needs with a strong commitment to safety, reliability and environmental performance and it is my high honour to work in this essential industry. Second, we meet today at a defining moment - one where energy demands are rising and the focus on a cleaner environment has never been greater. Climate change is real, industrial activity contributes to it, and the challenges of ushering in a lower-carbon future are massive and intertwined yet fundamental. It is the opportunity of our time to address climate change while meeting the world’s growing need for energy.

API released a series of policy proposals, industry actions, and initiatives in our ‘Climate Action Framework’ to make a measurable difference in advancing energy and environmental progress. This plan is centred around advancing innovation and technology to tackle this challenge.

The five main actions are:

  1. Accelerating technology and innovation to reduce emissions while meeting growing energy needs.
  2. Further mitigating emissions from operations to advance additional environmental progress.
  3. Endorsing a carbon price policy by government to drive economy-wide market-based solutions.
  4. Advancing cleaner fuels to provide lower-carbon choices for consumers.
  5. Driving climate reporting to provide consistency and transparency.

In the meantime, API and its members are not waiting for a government mandate to address the real and serious challenge of climate change. Our view is that innovation is the foundation of meaningful action and, as such, our industry is making significant investments in carbon capture, hydrogen, and cleaner fuels. API companies are actively reducing methane emissions from their operations through technology and other solutions.

More work remains, but one area where experts agree is that oil and natural gas will continue to be the leading energy sources for decades to come, and it is important that we take action to reduce emissions while providing that energy.

In closing, API supports climate action. Governments, industries, and consumers must accelerate policy and technology solutions together. Yet legislative proposals that punitively target American industry will reverse our nation’s energy leadership, harm our economy and American workers, and weaken our national security. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress and others to shape and advance effective energy and climate policy. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today and I look forward to your questions.

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