The company will withdraw from the Western Energy Alliance due to differences over the regulation of methane emissions, a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. It will also quit the Western States Petroleum Association and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, which don’t agree with BP on carbon pricing.
Earlier this month, BP set out the boldest climate plan of any major oil company, pledging to eliminate almost all of the carbon emissions from its operations and the fuel it sells to customers. While BP Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney said he didn’t quite know how to achieve this goal, he highlighted a reappraisal of lobbying as one of the first steps in the process.
The decision to withdraw from the lobby groups underlines BP’s net zero commitment, said David Elmes, an energy expert at the Warwick Business School. “How fast BP’s capital investment shifts to low-carbon businesses is yet to be seen.”
AFPM’s President and Chief Executive Officer Chet Thompson said that the group was disappointed with BP’s decision despite the group’s commitment to climate change policies. “Because of that, it leads us to assume that this decision was made based on factors other than our actual positions on the issues.”
WSPA President, Catherine Reheis-Boyd said the group would continue to work with BP and stakeholders “to engage in a civil public discourse around creating a sustainable energy future.”
BP reviewed the policy positions of 30 trade associations and concluded that 22 are aligned with the company’s goals, five were partially aligned and three weren’t aligned.
“Where our views and those of an association cannot be reconciled, then we recognize that it may be better if BP withdrew its membership,” Looney said in the statement. “We have to earn back people’s trust.”