In 2015, world leaders met in Paris, France, and agreed to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to stave off the effects of Climate Change.
Earlier this year, President Trump removed the U.S. from this deal.
Since then, the country’s stance on clean energy has been in question. Can there be progress without such a global mandate?
And Big Oil is here to prove it.
ExxonMobil a Clean Energy Supporter?
Though Exxon was one of the first big companies to invest in solar energy technology, that’s not the kind of clean investing it’s doing today.
Instead, the company plans to start cleaning up its own natural gas operations.
XTO Energy, an ExxonMobil subsidiary, will be upgrading and repairing all new and existing natural gas infrastructure in order to cut back on the amount of methane these operations release into the air.
It’s common practice for natural gas producers to “flare” excess gas, but the resulting methane emissions can be nearly three times more harmful than even carbon dioxide emissions.
Exxon is far from the only company looking to reduce its effect on the environment, but it’s the first to commit to such a drastic step without prompting.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency put forth a new rule that would restrict the flaring emissions allowed from new gas wells.
ExxonMobil’s initiative will go beyond that by including older wells, too.
This is just one small example of what we’re seeing across the country…
Forget the Government, the EPA, and Trump
Individual companies and states are taking matters into their own hands, Paris Agreement or no.
For instance, Colorado has had regulations capping natural gas emissions for nearly two years.
“The world certainly hasn’t come to an end there,” says Environmental Defense Fund VP for climate and energy Mark Brownstein.
If one state can do it on their own, why wouldn’t the rest follow suit?
It’s more and more obvious every day: the U.S. doesn’t need national regulations to keep the clean energy movement rolling.
Before the Paris Agreement, there was Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
That, too, prompted several states to propose projects that would surpass the CPP’s required regulations on their own.
Will ExxonMobil’s methane reduction project be enough to fix U.S. emissions?
No. But it’s an impressive start.
To read more about ExxonMobil’s pollution reduction initiative, click here to read the Bloomberg article.