The meeting, which included executives from three industry trade groups and 10 oil companies — including Exxon Mobil Corp., BP Plc, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp. and Devon Energy Corp. — was the first of its kind since Biden’s inauguration in January. It comes after he imposed a moratorium on the sale of oil and gas leases on federal land, and as his administration prepares to unveil a new emission-reduction goal next month as part of the U.S. return to the Paris climate agreement.
The meeting was described as pleasant, without the kind of acrimony that colored some of the oil industry’s exchanges with former President Barack Obama’s administration. The format did not allow for a deep, back-and-forth dialogue. Instead, McCarthy opened the meeting, followed by remarks from Laura Daniel-Davis, the Interior Department’s principal deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals management, and each of the industry participants. Dave Lawler, the chairman of BP America Inc., kicked off their comments.
Almost of all of the executives in the virtual session made a pitch for putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions — a policy shift they said could trigger greater investment in emission-reducing technology while fostering more certainty for energy companies. The American Petroleum Institute is considering endorsing a carbon price, which could take the form of an emissions-trading program or a tax on heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
“Our industry regularly engages with all levels of government and wants to ensure that policy makers in Washington understand that we can achieve our shared goal for a low-carbon future while strengthening American energy leadership and supporting the nation’s economic recovery,’ said API President Mike Sommers in an emailed statement. “We are committed to working with the White House to develop effective government policies that help meet the ambitions of the Paris agreement and support a cleaner future.”