Biden’s Climate Chief Plans Oil-CEO Talk on Carbon Crackdown

Source: By Jennifer A Dlouhy, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Chief executives of some of the largest U.S. oil companies are set to meet with White House National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy on Wednesday as the Biden administration nears pivotal decisions on drilling and auto emissions.

The session will be at least the second meeting this year between top oil executives and McCarthy, who is coordinating the Biden administration’s efforts to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions from burning the industry’s core products. The meeting is set to involve McCarthy and members of the American Petroleum Institute’s executive committee, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The White House said in an emailed statement that it meets “with a wide-range of sectors that all play an important role moving us towards a clean energy future that tackles the climate crisis, creates good-paying union jobs and secures environmental justice.”

Representatives of API did not have an immediate comment.

The session comes as the Biden administration weighs a number of new regulations that will directly affect the oil industry. The administration is also asking Congress to impose a clean electricity mandate as part of a goal for a carbon-free grid by 2035, which could edge natural gas out of the nation’s power system.

The Interior Department is preparing to send a report to the White House this month on whether, and how, it can restart the U.S. government’s oil and gas leasing programs. The agency paused selling new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters in January so it could conduct the broad review. The interim report is set to outline potential changes — from narrowed acreage and more stringent climate considerations to higher royalty payments — that could accompany the restart of leasing.

Some oil and gas industry advocates have criticized the pause, saying a long-lasting moratorium threatens jobs and essential American energy production. The Western Energy Alliance and the state of Wyoming have challenged the pause in federal court.

The Environmental Protection Agency, meanwhile, is honing a proposal for new standards governing greenhouse gas emissions from automobile tailpipes. And the Energy Department is advancing programs to spur development of hydrogen that dovetail with oil industry efforts to produce hydrogen using natural gas.

During a previous meeting with McCarthy in March, executives pledged to collaborate with the administration on the reduction of methane releases from oil wells and equipment.