As Biden Cabinet Takes Shape, API Seeks Voice in Energy, Climate Policy

HOUSTON (P&GJ) — The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Thursday reached out to the incoming presidential administration with an offer to collaborate on energy and climate policy, following reports of expected nominees to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and departments of Interior and Energy.

“We stand ready to work with the President-elect’s nominees once confirmed to tackle the challenge of climate change by building on America’s progress in delivering affordable and reliable energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions to generational lows," American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Mike Sommers said in a statement released to news media. "Energy impacts every American and is not a partisan issue – it’s what modern life depends on."

By Friday, President-elect Joe Biden had named three cabinet and agency leaders of importance to the oil and gas industry. His choices, so far, suggest he is sticking to campaign promises related to diversity and the environment:

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator: Michael S. Regan, a former EPA staffer who served as a regional director for the Environmental Defense Fund, currently heads the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.  Regan will be the first Black EPA administrator.

Interior Secretary: U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, who has served a single term in Congress from the oil- and gas-producing state of New Mexico. A member of the Pueblo of Laguna, she will be the first Native American Cabinet secretary.

Energy Secretary: Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who prodded the state's auto industry to develop of electric cars and advanced battery plants during her two terms in office. She will be the second female energy secretary after Hazel O'Leary, who served under President Bill Clinton.

In his statement, API's Sommers continued:

“In the year ahead, we will continue to advocate for policies that promote technological innovation, advance modern energy infrastructure and support access to natural gas and oil resources—both on federal and private lands—which will be critical to rebuilding our economy and maintaining America’s status as a global energy leader.

"We will also be watching closely to ensure that the incoming administration keeps President-elect Biden’s campaign promises to the energy workforce and protects the millions of jobs supported by our industry in states like New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and across the country.”

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