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Oil and natural gas leading innovation in emissions reduction

Published by
World Pipelines,

A new study shows that private investments by the oil and natural gas sector are the driving force behind major greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in the US, a trend that will continue without government intervention, according to API.

“America’s oil and natural gas industry continues to lead all other industries in technology that lowers emissions,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard during a news conference. “No other industry’s investment comes close. This study demonstrates how market-driven, private-sector leadership can achieve public policy goals more quickly and more efficiently than government programmes and mandates.”

The reported findings

The study, by T2 and Associates, tallies federal and private investments in zero- and low emissions technologies between 2000 and 2014. It shows that the oil and gas sector invested approximately US$90 billion in emissions technologies, compared to the automotive sector at US$38.2 billion, electric utilities at US$37.1 billion, and agriculture and food processors at US$13 billion. Over the same period, the federal government invested US$110.3 billion, for a total US investment of $303.1 billion. Oil and natural gas sector investments include technologies to capture emissions, improve efficiency, reuse excess heat, and sequester carbon dioxide.

“The facts are clear,” said Gerard. “By embracing our nation’s energy renaissance, we can lower costs, clean the air, and create more jobs here at home while providing an example to the world.”

Out of US$87.6 billion total spending on non-hydrocarbon technologies during the 2000 - 2014 period, the oil and natural gas industry was responsible for US$14.8 billion, according to the report. This includes investments in wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass technologies. In total, investments by the US oil and natural gas industry reduced 2014 emissions by the equivalent of 55.5 million t of CO2 compared to the previous year – equal to taking 11.8 million cars off of the road.

Edited from source by Stephanie Roker

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