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Photo: Barcroft Media / Getty Images

Energy trade associations are denouncing systemic racism that perpetuated the killing of George Floyd by white police officers and other similar acts of racial discrimination in recent years.

Why it matters: The comments show how transcendent this topic is becoming as protestors take to the streets around the country calling for an end to police violence which has disproportionately impacted black people.

Driving the news: American Petroleum Institute CEO Mike Sommers posted about the topic Tuesday on LinkedIn, while the Solar Energy Industries Association issued a statement Monday and its CEO, Abigail Ross Hopper, made another statement Wednesday.

What they're saying:

  • "SEIA recommits itself and our industry to ensuring that racial justice and opportunity for all remain core values of our work," Hopper wrote Wednesday, referring to her group's efforts to tackle the problem since at least May 2019.
  • "We strongly oppose prejudice that confronts so many because of the color of their skin, where they were born, how they worship, or who they love," Sommers wrote.

Where it stands: Companies across a variety of industries have come out in recent days to issue critical statements on racism — a move that has become commonplace. The energy industry itself employs fewer African Americans than the broader American workforce.

By the numbers: These figures come from an annual report on energy jobs put out by the Energy Futures Initiative, a think tank led by former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

  • The oil, natural gas and coal sector is around 7% black, compared to the broad American workforce, which is 12% black.
  • The solar and wind workforces are more diverse than the overall workforce, but not when it comes specifically to African Americans, who comprise between 7%-8%.

What’s next: The share of new oil and gas jobs through 2040 that are projected to be filled by women and people of color is 54%, according to a forthcoming study from the American Petroleum Institute not yet released but shared with Axios upon a request for comment. That’s compared to about 44% the group tallied in a 2015 report, its most recent data on the topic.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 11, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Voters and natural gas: It's complicated

Data: Brunswick Group; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Voters support natural gas production but also believe the industry must operate more cleanly, a new Brunswick Group poll shows.

Driving the news: The survey shows more support for gas than other fossil fuels, but it's much less popular than renewables.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. will give Russians written response to NATO demands, Blinken says

Blinken and Lavrov shake hands in Geneva. Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed after a meeting with his Russian counterpart on Friday that the U.S. will provide written answers to Russia's security demands next week.

Why it matters: Russia claims to be waiting for "concrete answers" to its demands that NATO rule out further expansion and roll back its presence in eastern Europe before deciding its next steps on Ukraine. But the U.S. and NATO have called those proposals "non-starters," and Friday's meeting offered no breakthroughs, so it's unclear how written answers might change the equation.

More surprises await scientists at Antarctica's "Doomsday Glacier"

Cliffs along the edge of the Thwaites Ice Shelf in West Antarctica. Photo: James Yungel/NASA

Researchers like David Holland, an atmospheric scientist at New York University, are in a race to understand the fate of a massive glacier in West Antarctica that has earned a disquieting nickname: "The Doomsday Glacier."

Why it matters: Studies show the Thwaites Glacier (its official name) could already be on an irreversible course to melt during the next several decades to centuries, freeing up enough inland ice to raise global sea levels by at least several feet.