BP Leaves U.S. Oil Lobby Groups in Climate-policy Change
BP Plc will leave three U.S. oil-industry lobby groups due to differences on climate policy, after the company’s new chief pledged to eliminate its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The decision, which follows similar moves by Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA, seeks to address a contradiction at the heart of many oil companies’ climate pledges, which sometimes ran contrary to the political lobbying of industry groups of which they were members.
“Some in society have lost trust in BP and the industry more widely because of seeming inconsistencies between public statements and lobbying and advocacy,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
The company will withdraw from the Western Energy Alliance due to differences over regulation of emissions of methane, a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. It will 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.
BP reviewed the policy positions of 30 trade associations and concluded that 22 are aligned with the company’s goals, 5 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.”