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Grumet: NPC Study a Foundation for Productive Debate on Climate

Washington, DC – The following is a statement from Jason Grumet, president of the Bipartisan Policy Center, in support of the formal adoption by the National Petroleum Council—whose members include the nation’s top oil and gas executives—of a comprehensive study of the U.S. oil and natural gas transportation infrastructure. The study was requested by then-Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.

“The recommendation by over 300 energy companies that Congress enact comprehensive climate legislation was likely not anticipated by the Secretary of Energy, when requesting this study in 2017. Similarly, many climate advocates will be surprised that a number of NGOs are embracing the need for new oil and gas infrastructure during the transition to a low carbon economy. The discomfort created by these, well documented conclusions, demonstrates the importance and integrity of the study.

“The domestic energy and climate debate is presently disabled by a battle between two irrational premises. In one camp are those who fail to acknowledge the urgency of transitioning to a low-carbon economy. In the other camp are those who propose solutions that disregard economic and engineering reality. By anchoring its conclusions in climate science and economic analysis, the NPC study establishes a foundation for a productive debate that places action above rhetoric.

“The environmental organizations and oil and gas companies that led this effort agree that we cannot decarbonize the economy through a series of lawsuits seeking to prevent the construction of critical energy infrastructure. Study participants acknowledge that a major motivation for these lawsuits is the absence of a national climate strategy. In response, the NPC—for the first time—has called upon Congress to adopt a federal climate policy. The study calls on Congress to simultaneously clarify the analysis required when permitting pipelines to treat carbon like all other pollutants. BPC believes that the combination of these recommendations offers a new basis for action in a divided Congress.

“With evidence-based approaches that reject talking points on the left and right, the United States can decarbonize the economy by 2050. The NPC study is an important step in this direction. BPC calls on Congress to consider these findings with open minds and urgency.”