Oil industry on the path to a greener future


Hunter Berube

Suffolk Climate Watch graphic

In an effort to reduce the effects of climate change, the American oil industry is looking to create green initiatives. 

“The oil industry can no longer neglect its impact on the environment and must take responsibility for the actions of its practices,” said Jia Huang, vice president of the Suffolk Environmental Club. 

Those involved in the industry have been looking for potential ways to reduce their carbon footprint. According to CNBC, the industry anticipates noticeable changes to energy use and production by the Biden administration. 

The CERAWeek energy conference was held virtually last week, after its cancellation in 2020. It involved energy industry figures and climate leaders, according to Bloomberg

“The oil and gas industry is calibrating itself to what has become the new benchmark— net zero carbon by 2050,” Dan Yergin, IHS Markit vice chairman, told CNBC. “There’s a lot of variation in strategies and thinking about what will be the new map to get there.” 

John Kerry, U.S. climate representative, mentioned the importance of upgrades to U.S. energy infrastructure, blaming the equipment used in the Texas power grid for the devastating outages during freezing temperatures in the state last month, according to The Hill.

A new initiative discussed by Vicki Hollub, CEO of Occidental Petroleum, aims to produce net zero carbon oil. At the conference, she announced Occidental Petroleum will be looking to be a carbon management company within 15-20 years, according to CNBC

In an effort to reduce emissions, Kerry discussed how the U.S. is looking to reveal a new greenhouse gas emission reduction target on April 22 at a global leaders summit. According to Reuters, officials are setting this goal for the next decade.

Since becoming president, Biden has rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement and has stopped new leases for gas and oil extraction on federal land. According to The Hill, this comes despite criticism from oil executives. 

Companies such as ExxonMobil are developing initiatives that revolve around low carbon solutions and renewables, according to CNBC