BP withdraws from industry groups, citing climate disagreements

BP withdraws from industry groups, citing climate disagreements
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BP announced Wednesday it would leave three U.S.-based industry trade groups, citing environmental concerns. 

The oil giant, which announced earlier this month it would seek to be carbon neutral by 2050, will end its membership with the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the Western States Petroleum Association and the Western Energy Alliance (WEA). 

“BP will pursue opportunities to work with organizations who share our ambitious and progressive approach to the energy transition. And when differences arise we will be transparent. But if our views cannot be reconciled, we will be prepared to part company,” the company's CEO, Bernard Looney, said in a statement.

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BP’s decision follows a six-month review of trade associations’ climate-related activities and positions. While the company will maintain membership in 30 other organizations, BP “found misalignments that could not be reconciled” with the other three.

Part of BP’s neutrality goal calls for a price on carbon, one area in which AFPM and the company were not in agreement.

AFPM CEO Chet Thompson said that the group was disappointed with BP’s decision.

“As a member of our executive committee they know that AFPM is and has been committed to supporting policies that address climate change. Because of that, it leads us to assume that this decision was made based on factors other than our actual positions on the issues,” he said in a statement.

WEA said it was never contacted by BP.

"If BP had worked with us in advance of the report, it would have realized its assessment on reducing methane emissions is likely at least partially aligned," WEA President Kathleen Sgamma said in an email to The Hill. 

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"We do not suffer from a crisis of conscience that comes from listening to groups that want to keep all oil and natural gas in the ground. ... We are proud to stand up for the oil and natural gas industry and educate the public on all the benefits we provide to society." 

As part of the report, BP also contacted five organizations with which their climate views are only partially aligned, including the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

BP's announcement was made the same day as a report that found BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill was even larger than previously known. 

It also comes amid a growing push on and within the financial sector to withhold funding for fossil fuel projects. 

In January, investment firm BlackRock announced it would no longer invest in coal, and on Monday, JPMorgan Chase announced plans to stop approving loans to companies pursuing drilling in the Arctic Circle.

Updated at 11:59 p.m.