With Earth Week upon us, government watchdog Accountable.US is taking an opportunity to remind the public that the American Petroleum Institute (API) has spent millions of dollars lobbying against meaningful efforts to address the climate crisis while touting its purported support for climate-friendly policies. For example, API lobbied in favor of rolling back methane regulations during the Trump administration — despite methane being a greenhouse gas that traps heat 28 times more effectively than carbon dioxide.
“Over the past several years, API spent more than $60 million lobbying Congress on a host of issues including stopping efforts to meaningfully address the climate crisis,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “API claims it wants to work with the Biden administration to address climate change but spending tens of millions of dollars lobbying Congress each year to weaken regulations and fight climate policies sends a different message entirely — it only cares about lining the pockets of oil and gas company executives.”
API Has Spent $60 Million On Federal Lobbying Since 2013
Since 2013, API Has Spent an Average of Over $7,617,500 On Federal Lobbying Annually.
[Center For Responsive Politics, accessed 03/23/21]
- API Successfully Lobbied The Trump Administration To Weaken Regulations... “The Trump administration’s zeal for environmental rollbacks has enabled it to fulfill almost all of the top priorities in a ‘wishlist’ drawn up by the American Petroleum Institute (API), the leading lobby group for US oil and gas companies.” [The Guardian, 12/12/17]
- …Including On Emissions Of Greenhouse Gasses Like Methane. “On March 22, Pruitt met with API executives at the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC . Less than a month later, Pruitt wrote to Feldman, as well as three other oil and gas industry representatives, to tell them he was temporarily suspending regulations that curb leaks from drilling operations while the EPA reconsiders the rule. In June, the EPA proposed a two-year pause to the rule, which was drawn up under the Obama administration in 2016 and aimed to reduce ‘fugitive’ emissions such as methane, a potent greenhouse gas. In July, a federal court blocked the attempted suspension of the rule.” [The Guardian, 12/12/17]
- Methane Is A Potent Greenhouse Gas That Has Warming Potential Of At Least 28 Times Greater Than Corbon Dioxide.” “Natural gas, which is mostly methane, produces less carbon dioxide than oil or coal. But when unburned methane is released into the atmosphere, it is a potent greenhouse gas with a warming potential 28 to 34 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year timeframe (and up to 84 times more potent over a 20 year timeframe). Depending on how much is emitted from the natural gas supply chain, methane could offset the benefit of using natural gas to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” [Washington State University, accessed 04/20/21]
- API Supported Trump’s Rollback Of Obama-Era Methane Regulations, According To A Statement From Mike Sommers. “The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent efforts to reconsider its New Source Performance Standards serve as an example of regulatory efficiencies that advance both industry performance and environmental protections. […] Actions that streamline state and federal programs, and offer greater certainty for compliance, allow the industry to deliver reliable energy and drive climate progress.” [API, 09/05/19]