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Oil and gas group launches campaign touting its efforts as good for climate

Oil and gas group launches campaign touting its efforts as good for climate
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The American Petroleum Institute (API) is launching an advertising campaign portraying oil and gas energy as a way to combat climate change, despite many environmental groups arguing that the industry hurts such efforts.

In a seven-figure ad buy, API will call for “common ground” on the energy debate in 2020 and beyond, according to a spokesperson. The campaign touts oil and gas energy as a way to reduce climate change by lowering carbon levels.

“The innovators in America’s natural gas and oil companies have teamed up with the country’s brightest minds and reduced carbon emissions levels to the lowest in a generation,” one ad says.

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During an event in Washington on Tuesday, API President and CEO Mike Sommers similarly stressed the industry’s commitment to fighting climate change while expressing opposition to a fracking ban endorsed by some Democratic presidential candidates. 

“The size and scope of the climate challenge requires a tremendous response and it requires innovation from everyone, including our members,” he said. 

Mitch Jones, the policy director at the environmental group Food & Water Watch, slammed the API campaign as “laughable.”

“This is just more of the oil and gas industry’s attempt to greenwash their dirty, climate-change-forcing industry,” Jones told The Hill.

“The science says very clearly we have to stop extracting fossil fuels and we have to stop burning fossil fuels and that includes not only coal, but also oil and fracked natural gas,” he added.

He also stressed the need to shift to an economy based on green jobs, saying, “What we’re talking about is transitioning from a dirty energy sector to a clean energy sector."

Sommers, meanwhile, touted his support for carbon capture legislation and API's environmental partnerships aimed at reducing methane emissions.

He argued, however, that a ban on fracking would threaten millions of jobs and potentially invite a recession for the U.S. economy.