API highlighted oil and natural gas industry innovation and the advancement of the engineering technologies such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are benefiting the nation’s economic strength, energy security and environmental stewardship in testimony before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety:
“Through a balanced approach that promotes innovation and smart regulation, we can provide affordable, abundant energy that Americans rely upon and we can do it with an emphasis on environmental protection and stewardship,” said Frank Macchiarola, API Vice President of Downstream and Industry Operations. “API is committed to meeting the global climate challenge through collaborative efforts of private industry, government and the public, while providing access to affordable and reliable energy that helps enhance standards of living around the world.
“Our industry has been at the forefront of innovation; developing technologies to reduce emissions from hydraulic fracturing completions, storage tanks, pneumatic controllers and leaks. We have worked directly with EPA since the early days of the Obama Administration in 2010 to ensure that EPA’s regulations incorporate these and other effective emissions reductions requirements, and we continue to support these regulatory requirements.
“Our industry has also established various initiatives, including The Environmental Partnership, a voluntary program for continuous improvement in environmental performance, with an initial focus on reducing VOC and methane emissions. The environmental progress made in the refining of fuels and improvements of vehicles in undeniable. More than 98% of vehicles on the road use our industry’s fuels, providing us the ability to conduct commerce, commute to work, and go on vacation. Today, this is done with cleaner fuels that allow automobile manufacturers to build engines that reduce emissions. This progress has helped drive a significant reduction in emissions of major air pollutants – even as vehicle miles traveled nearly tripled.”
As the United States has become the leading producer of natural gas, domestic CO2 emissions declined to their lowest levels in a generation. From 2005 to 2017, the U.S. economy grew by 20% while CO2 emissions fell by 14% overall – and during that same time period, CO2 emissions from electricity generation declined by 28%. The growth of natural gas in power generation over the last several years has also led to significant reductions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter emissions – contributing to cleaner air for all Americans.