Mar 2, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Oil industry's top lobbying group set to endorse carbon pricing

OIl pumpjack in Long Beach

An oil pumpjack operates at dusk in Long Beach, California. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

The American Petroleum Institute is preparing to endorse, in principle, a price on carbon emissions, according to a draft statement first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The endorsement of carbon pricing, which API said in its draft statement would "lead to the most economic paths to achieve the ambitions of the Paris Agreement,” would signal an evolving climate stance from the oil industry's top lobbying group.

Yes, but: The Journal reports that API's draft statement supports pricing "instead of mandates or prescriptive regulatory action," meaning it likely wouldn't be backed by Democrats in Congress.

  • The posture comes as the Biden administration is planning a suite of new climate rules, and pricing is not a high climate priority in Congress.
  • It also remains to be seen whether API will aggressively lobby for carbon pricing or just voice its support, which would be a key distinction.

What they're saying: An API spokesperson told Axios that the group and its membership "continue to discuss and consider carbon pricing among other policy solutions to reduce emissions and reach the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, as reported by the WSJ."

What to watch: API's executive committee is set to discuss the proposed statement this week, according to the Journal.

Go deeper