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article imageShell pulls out of US refining lobby over climate disagreement

By Karen Graham     Apr 2, 2019 in Business
Royal Dutch Shell on Tuesday became the first major oil and gas company to announce plans to leave a leading U.S. refining lobby due to disagreement on climate policies.
Royal Dutch Shell announced it had pulled out of the U.S. industry trade group, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM). The trade association represents high-tech American manufacturers of virtually the entire U.S. supply of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, other fuels, and home heating oil, as well as petrochemicals.
Shell has reviewed the 19 main industry groups that make up the AFPM and found that it was at odds over “material misalignment” regarding climate change and the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and would quit the group in 202o, according to Reuters.
This first-of-its-kind review of its association with the trade group puts Shell's position in the oil industry in a unique position. Most of Shell's peers also members of the same groups and already facing enormous pressure from shareholders to line up their business models with the Paris climate accord.
Shell also named nine other groups that it disagrees with, including the powerful American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, but said it will “engage further” with them.
Methane monitoring pilot at Shell Canada s shale gas sites near Rocky Mountain House in Alberta  Can...
Methane monitoring pilot at Shell Canada's shale gas sites near Rocky Mountain House in Alberta, Canada.
Shell Canada
“The publication of this report is the first step to greater transparency around our activities in this area,” Shell said in the report. “Shell’s investors, and more broadly civil society must be confident that we engage constructively with others on climate change.”
Chet Thompson, AFPM's chief executive officer, said in an emailed statement: AFPM works on “myriad issues” for its members, and “like any family, we aren’t always fully aligned on every policy, but we always strive to reach consensus positions on policies that are in the best interest of our membership and the communities and consumers that rely on us."
It may sound strange to some people that an major oil company is espousing the need for action on climate change, yet is still continuing to search for oil and natural gas for future production. Yet i=t has become one of the most outspoken petroleum companies about the need to combat climate change.
Just last week, Shell took a giant step in embracing green energy when the company acquired British household energy supplier, First Utility. The newly minted company will be switching all 710,000 of its customers to 100 percent renewable energy as Shell seeks to expand on its low-carbon business.
What kind of markers helps Shell to determine if it will retain its membership in trade groups? Shell uses four, including support for the Paris climate agreement, support for carbon taxes, policies encouraging low-carbon technologies and a continuing role for natural gas, which now makes up more than half of Shell’s business, reports the Washington Post.
More about Royal dutch shell, US refining lobby group, Climate change, paris climate agreement, going green in PH elections
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