API and its member companies have already promoted and practiced many, if not all, of the goals outlined in the new framework. They just don’t talk about it, which negatively impacts people’s perceptions of the industry, said API Colorado Executive Director Lynn Granger.
“Climate change is real. The climate is changing, and we want to be a part of the solution and be at the table,” Granger said. “I think we have been and are doing our part to reduce emissions and focus strongly in that area.”
API wants to promote technology acceleration and innovation for processes such as carbon capture — a process designed to capture carbon dioxide and prevent it from entering the atmosphere — and reducing surface impact. Reducing carbon emissions is its own separate goal.
The organization would also like to see a “sensible” economywide carbon pricing policy, which puts a monetary figure on carbon emissions to shift the financial burden to the companies creating them rather than those impacted by them.
Lastly, the API framework advocates for the advancement of cleaner, more efficient fuels and the development of a consistent and transparent climate reporting process.
“I feel like the industry is doing a very good job reducing emissions and focusing on climate and public health safety and environment, we’re just not talking about it enough,” Granger said. “I think API in some form or fashion has been working on what now comprises these five elements of the climate policy framework for quite a long time. I think we’ve finally put it all together into this framework and officially rolled it out.”
Colorado is one of the industry leaders, too, Granger said. The state’s regulations and member organizations have made goals like API’s fairly common practice already.
Granger said the industry has significantly reduced surface imprint by the development of horizontal drills that can take the place of multiple vertical drills. She also said the fracking industry has cut emissions by 50%.
Jason Maxey, director of the Weld County Oil and Gas Energy department, previously told the Greeley Tribune that the industry is making strides to increase operational safety and efficiency.
“You will hear time and time again that the industry is willing, ready and has implemented new technologies and new standards to decrease emissions and to decrease waste so they are more efficient and effective in what they do,” Maxey said. “Obviously, our state has been a leader in rules to protect the health of citizens and the environment.”
Granger said these five goals show that API is not only looking at the long-term demand for oil and natural gas, but it also shows the industry is willing to adjust for the greater good.
She noted, however, that people often have a poor view of oil and gas, which is why API focused on creating a cohesive low-carbon goal framework.
“We have a very negative perception out there, and, as you know, perception is reality,” Granger said. “We need to work very hard to change that perception. That’s been my focus the last couple years.”
The director, hired in 2019, indicated that this framework will help guide the organization in determining which government policies they support and how it will work to partner with renewable sources.
Granger indicated that oil and gas companies are some of the state’s largest investors in renewable energy, while renewable sources rely on oil and gas byproducts.
She, like Maxey and other energy representatives in the area, believe a strong energy mix will guide Colorado and the world forward.
“This framework just represents our commitment to continue tackling climate change head one while continuing to meet demands for cleaner energy,” Granger said. “I’m really excited about the framework. I feel like here in Colorado we’re kind of ahead of the game, but there’s always room for improvement, and we’re always looking ahead to see what we can do to continue to make progress on this front.”
Read More: American Petroleum Institute releases goals to fight climate change