Industry made 49% of total 2000-12 GHG control outlays, study says

The US oil and gas industry made nearly half the total North American investments in greenhouse gas emissions technologies from 2000 to 2012, research commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute found.

Of the total estimated $336.3 billion (in 2010 dollars) spent during the period, the industry invested $165.4 billion (49.2%) in GHG mitigation technologies, including $84.4 billion for shale gas controls, the study by T2 & Associates said.

Other US-based private industries spent an estimated $91.2 billion, and the federal government invested an estimated $79.7 billion, it added.

“We’re trying to point out what our industry has done and remind people of our contribution,” API Pres. Jack N. Gerard said as the organization released the study.

“Our primary energy is oil and gas, but we should never forget the industry’s ongoing investments to find that next great breakthrough in technology,” he told reporters during a Sept. 10 teleconference. “We are major investors in that, and we’re trying to improve our environmental performance as we do.”

The shale gas component of the oil and gas industry’s GHG emissions control expenditures was particularly strong in the 2009-12 period, the study said. Companies also invested in combined heat and power, advanced technology for vehicles, and wind, biofuels, and solar technologies, it indicated.

‘Significant contributor’

“It shows that we, in many ways, are the leaders,” Gerard said. “As a single industry, we are a significant contributor to finding those new technologies and reducing the GHG footprint within the United States and around the world.”

Other US businesses invested in advanced technology vehicles, more-efficient power generation, and biofuels, wind, and solar from 2000 to 2012, according to the study. It said the federal government spread its outlays across all technologies, with major investments in energy-efficient lighting, wind, solar, biofuels, and basic research.

“Significant [government] investments in renewables and efficiency were made between 2009 and 2012 as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” the study said.

“In earlier periods, federal spending was more heavily focused on early-stage development investments, particularly at the basic research stage,” it continued. “Now, it includes later stage and commercial plants, such as the Section 1603 direct grants to wind energy facilities in lieu of tax credits.”

Gerard said API is adding two new advertisements to its campaign detailing the industry’s job creation record and the positive impacts of its GHG mitigation investments. The ads and the study will reinforce the trade association’s main message that the unprecedented investment by the US oil and gas industry is making a major contribution to the American economy, he said.

Contact Nick Snow at

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