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BP CEO Bob Dudley at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills in April. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

BP chief executive Bob Dudley has indicated that his company is likely to stay in industry trade groups despite differences in positions on climate policy.

What they’re saying: "BP believes that you can influence trade associations and other groups by being a part of them rather than outside of them," Dudley told Axios on the sidelines of a climate-change event in New York this week.

Driving the news: BP is conducting a review of its membership in trade groups and will report back to shareholders in 2020, BP Chairman Helge Lund said earlier this year. Dudley didn't comment on the ongoing review, but his remarks hint that the oil giant isn't likely to part company with the K Street establishment despite differences.

Where it stands: Facing public, investor and legal pressure, oil companies are increasingly backing action on the issue of climate change while still remaining members of trade associations whose positions don’t align with that shift.

  • Royal Dutch Shell, another major oil and gas producer based in Europe, left earlier this year the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, which represents oil and gas refining interests, due to differences over climate policy.
  • ExxonMobil is opting to stay in groups like AFPM to try to influence them on climate change, an official said this summer.
  • Virtually all oil companies have opted to stay in the American Petroleum Institute, the broadest oil trade group that also sets standards across the sector in addition to its lobbying activities.

One level deeper: Dudley, like the Exxon, said trade groups provide more than one purpose, so it’s beneficial to stay involved despite differences. "I respect Shell’s position," Dudley said about that company’s moves. "I think collaboration inside organizations is a better track. It doesn’t always work. We’ve left associations in the past."

  • A high-profile example is when BP left the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council in 2015. That group has lost several corporate members in recent years due to its position doubting established climate-change science.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.

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