The Texas Oil and Gas Association, the main industry group for energy producers in the state, has acknowledged that fossil fuels contribute to climate change. Todd Staples, president of TXOGA, stressed that more needs to be done to safeguard the climate, and oil and gas companies are in the best position to take those steps.
The president’s comments mark a shift in the industry’s public position, which has long been to deny or downplay the effects of burning fossil fuels on the climate.
“I think Texas is at risk if we don’t have a very real, factual-based conversation about our climate, about our environment, and about the progress that needs to be made,” said Staples. “I think Texas-based oil and natural gas companies are committed to making climate progress. They’re committed to a lower emissions future.”
Staples is an opponent of the Paris Climate Accord, which was reached in 2015 and calls on signatories to take steps to reduce carbon emissions. The TXOGA president also remains a critic of strict state regulation of the energy sector. Instead, he argues that industry players can make their own contribution to emissions reduction by embracing new technologies, like carbon capture.