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  • Why is BP Leaving US Refining Lobby?

Why is BP Leaving US Refining Lobby?

Mar 27 2020 Read 501 Times

In a move that has made waves across the global energy market, BP has announced plans to leave the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the main US refining lobby. The British-based multinational oil and gas company will also be departing two other trade groups, with Chief Executive Bernard Looney citing carbon policy disagreements as one of the main drivers behind the decision.

"BP will pursue opportunities to work with organisations who share our ambitious and progressive approach to the energy transition,” said Looney said in a statement released by BP. “Currently we have no areas of full alignment."

BP aims to boost consumer trust

The decision came after a review of memberships with more than 30 associations across the globe, including the AFPM. In an Instagram post, Looney said BP's views on carbon pricing didn't align with those of the US refining lobby, adding he hoped the decision would boost consumer trust in the oil and gas company.

BP currently operates three refineries in the United States, including the Whiting, Indiana plant that produces 430,000 barrels per day. The decision won praise from environmental groups, who assert if BP wants to achieve its intrepid vision to emerge as a net zero energy company by 2050, changes such as this are essential. The company will also be terminating memberships with the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and Western Energy Alliance (WEA).

AFPM rapidly losing oil majors

BP isn't the only oil and gas major departing the AFPM, with Royal Dutch Shell and Total also departing the refining lobby last year. While BP blamed clashing policies on carbon emissions for the departure, AFPM Chief Executive Chet Thompson disagreed. "AFPM is and has been committed to supporting policies that address climate change,” he said. “Because of that, it leads us to assume that this decision was made based on factors other than our actual positions on the issues."

Thompson admits that while members don't always agree on policy specifics, all share a common goal of combating climate change and spearheading innovation. "We believe that BP’s decision to leave industry organizations like ours hurts their cause, not helps it," he says.

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