A new study shows that private investments by the oil and natural gas sector are the driving force behind major greenhouse gas reductions in the United States, 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.
He added that no other industry’s investment comes close, and this study demonstrates how market-driven, private-sector leadership can achieve public policy goals more quickly and more efficiently than government programs and mandates.
The report, 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 $90 billion in emissions technologies, compared to the automotive sector at $38.2 billion, electric utilities at $37.1 billion, and agriculture and food processors at $13 billion.
Over the same period, the federal government invested $110.3 billion, for a total U.S. 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, API said.
Out of $87.6 billion total spending on non-hydrocarbon technologies during the 2000 to 2014 period, the oil and natural gas industry was responsible for $14.8 billion, according to the report. This includes investments in wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass technologies.
In total, investments by the U.S. oil and natural gas industry reduced 2014 emissions by the equivalent of 55.5 million metric tons of CO2 compared to the previous year – equal to taking 11.8 million cars off of the road.