Sheila McNulty Shell stays in US Climate Action Partnership as others withdraw

Royal Dutch Shell, the Anglo-Dutch oil group, has decided to remain the sole voice of the oil industry in the US Climate Action Partnership, a grouping of chief executives working together to promote climate legislation. This week, BP and ConocoPhillips withdrew, saying they needed to focus not just on passing federal legislation, but rather on trying to shape it to the advantage of the oil and gas industry.

Oil and gas companies feel the bills in Congress are unreasonably tough on their industry, punishing it for producing fossil fuels instead of promoting the fuel that could drastically curb carbon emissions: natural gas.

Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil Company the group’s American arm, put it this way:

Shell shares the concerns expressed in Conoco Phillips’ statements regarding the treatment of the transportation sector in the House and Senate bills. Shell has always called for separate measures in the transport sector including vehicle efficiency standards and incentivizing the use of fuels based on their ability to deliver reductions in CO2 based on ‘well to wheels’. We recognize that natural gas can play a vital role in creating thousands of new jobs while reducing US GHG emissions. Climate legislation encourages the greater use of low-carbon fuels like natural gas, and more can be done in the near-term to encourage the use of this clean, abundant fuel and create sorely-needed jobs. Like other oil and gas companies, Shell is engaged with key senators in crafting appropriate provisions.

However, Shell says it will remain engaged, and stay in the USCAP. The oil industry is an easy target of lawmakers looking for someone to pay for curbs on the carbon emissions that many believe are leading to global warming. Nobody likes Big Oil. So for Shell to stay in the grouping to continue to voice the industry’s position is of value for the oil and gas industry as a whole. By withdrawing, BP and Conoco are ensuring one less group of people will hear their views.