Science Group Says BP and Shell Must Leave the American Petroleum Institute

Statement by Dr. Peter Frumhoff, Director of Science and Policy, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Feb 12, 2021

WASHINGTON (February 12, 2021)—Oil giants BP and Shell—which have both expressed support for the Paris Agreement and made investments in renewable energy—have indicated they will soon reassess and update their trade association memberships, including with the American Petroleum Institute (API). When BP and Shell release their reviews, they need to align their climate lobbying with stated company positions and leave the API.

Below is a statement by Dr. Peter Frumhoff, director of science policy and chief climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

“No company can claim to take climate change seriously while continuing to be an API member. For decades, the API has spread disinformation on climate science and led lobbying efforts to roll back safeguards on heat-trapping gases like methane. More recently, they gave money to Congress members who supported withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement and vowed early on to fight the Biden administration’s plans to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure and halt new oil and gas drilling on federal lands.

“In contrast, BP and Shell have touted support for the Paris Agreement, invested in renewable energy, and announced their intent to achieve net-zero emissions. But as members of the API, BP and Shell give millions of dollars a year to lobbying campaigns that oppose critical climate legislation. These political efforts don’t align with stated company positions.

“Meanwhile the French oil giant Total, which holds climate stances similar to those of BP and Shell, recently announced its departure from the API, citing strong lobbying disagreements. This is an important step toward ensuring that the API’s days of obstructing important climate policy are numbered. Now is the time for other companies to follow suit.

“The API is an active danger to public health and the environment. We urge BP and Shell to make good on their claims of support for science-based climate action and leave the API.”

Please see Dr. Frumhoff’s blog on how the API harms climate progress, and why BP and Shell must leave.