Case study: American Petroleum Institute

While this report focuses on the climate-related lobbying activities and policy positions of trade associations, it is important to note the broad range of issues that they engage on. 

As the largest individual recipient of ExxonMobil lobbying funds, the breadth of issues worked on by the American Petroleum Institute (API) provides a helpful example into the range and diversity of issues advanced by trade associations.

These issues can include improving the health and safety of employees, operations and communities, advancing safe and responsible production, transportation and use, enhancing industry standards and reporting, advancing free and fair trade, and progressing climate change policies.

With respect to climate change, last year API issued their Climate Action Framework (the Framework) highlighting the role industry should play in defining solutions as well as what the government can do in terms of policy to reduce emissions while continuing to meet the need for energy. Specifically, the Framework endorses a carbon pricing policy to drive economy-wide, market-based solutions, the direct regulation of methane from new and existing sources, the need to advance cleaner fuels, and the importance of mitigating emissions from operations.

API also released the fourth edition of the “Compendium of GHG Emissions Methodologies for the Natural Gas and Oil Industry”, the foundational reference used by companies and governments across the world as methodologies for reporting GHG emissions from natural gas and oil operations. This edition expanded the methodologies for liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS). API also developed the “New Climate Reporting Template for Natural Gas and Oil Industry,” which aims to provide a consistent and uniform set of core GHG indicators to enable greater comparability in climate-related reporting. The template was developed in consultation with member companies, the financial sector, policymakers, industry customers and other interested parties.

In addition to this important work on climate, API also progressed multiple industry standards and methodologies, important memorandums of understanding, as well as critical tax, trade, and energy-related advocacy. Highlights of API’s efforts in 2021 include:

  • Advocated in the following policy areas:
    • Supporting U.S. Energy Infrastructure: API promoted the important role energy infrastructure plays in supporting America’s economic recovery and providing American households and businesses with reliable, affordable energy;
    • Tax: API worked to shape the debate on industry tax treatment, challenging false claims and highlighting the importance of common-sense tax provisions that maintain the industry’s competitiveness while sustaining the revenue industry generates for local, state and federal governments; and
    • Free and Fair Trade: API promoted free and fair trade to advance American energy leadership and, amplified the role of U.S. LNG exports in enabling the transition from coal to cleaner natural gas in countries around the world. 
  • Developed and updated industry standards, specifications, and metrics to enhance safety, sustainability and environmental stewardship and to drive efficiency and technological advancements.
    • For example: The 3rd Edition of Standard 1164 - Pipeline Control Systems Cybersecurity: enhancing safeguards for both digital and operational control systems, improving safety and preventing disruptions along the entire pipeline supply chain.
  • Developed and signed MOU’s with organizations in Guyana, Azerbaijan and Africa to increase collaboration on health, safety and security, and enhance the environmental protection and sustainability efforts within the oil and gas sector.
    • For example: API signed an MOU with the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS), which provides Guyana’s primary standards setting agency access to API oil and gas standards and increases collaboration on safety guidelines and requirements for the country’s growing energy industry.

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