Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Interview- Red Cavaney, American Petroleum Institute

From UPI:

UPI began by asking his thoughts on the oil industry's role in addressing issues of climate change.

A: The industry, API and leadership, has decided that we want to be at the table, wants to be an active participant, with the U.S. government as it addresses this issue and comes up with some regime to take care of climate. We have certain views as individual companies within the industry. But what we concluded was the best thing to do was to go to the table without any preconditions, in other words we're not going to go and say, "Well, we're here but we won't do this" or "we're here and we're going to champion this." We want to have people understand that we want to be a full participant.

Now, having said that, there's some interesting things that have happened that most people don't know about. Number one, if you look at the transportation sector, particularly as it relates to individual transportation for cars and light duty trucks, we have already been as a result of the energy bill that was passed in December of 2006, we are under a regime which is going to significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and of course our fuels. So that's one piece that's already being done so we're not only willing to go to the table and sit there but we're already working with the government and the auto industry to try and figure out how to maximize the value of that new regulatory regime that's been set in place for us.

There are also states that have done a leadership role in this, California and they are joined by at least 11 other states and several more have asked to join in, which they are coming up with this low-carbon fuel as its been identified. Trying to decarbonize the fuel system. So we are actively working as an industry with those states. We don't yet know fully how to do that but it's obviously something that needs to be addressed and we're going to do that. We're approaching that climate challenge as a valid one.

We want to underscore though that if you look at the rest of the world it shouldn't be only something that Europe and North America and Japan tackle, it needs to be done more broadly, particularly from the rapidly expanding economies in the developing world, China, India and the others. We think that's an important component. I don't think you probably could get something through the U.S. Congress without some condition, maybe not binding or not necessarily saying the exact, but some commitment trying to encourage that we get the broadest participation possible....MORE