Methane currently accounts for around one-fifth of man-made global greenhouse gas emissions on a like-for-like basis. It has a shorter lifetime in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2), but a greater near-term warming potential. In fact, methane has more than 80 times the warming power of CO2 over the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere.
But because of methane’s shorter lifetime in the air, reducing new methane emissions could dramatically reduce the pace of warming. So curbing methane emissions from oil and gas can have incredible near-term impacts—both on climate warming and the world’s ability to meet net zero by 2050 or sooner.
Methane is the primary ingredient in natural gas. That’s why we’re taking action to minimize methane emissions at our sites.
bp recently opened Grand Slam, a new centralized processing facility in the Permian Basin, our largest US onshore location. This electrified facility reduces methane emissions by replacing or eliminating the need for gas-driven equipment – including compressors and generators – and reducing the potential for leaks. It also helps reduce flaring by keeping gas in the pipe instead of burning it off.
Keeping gas in the pipe is the right thing for the planet and for our business – the more gas we can bring to market, the more gas we can sell. We see Grand Slam as a promising model to replicate across our operations. And, it’s a key part of our plan to reach zero routine flaring at our onshore operations by 2025.
Not only are we aiming to be net zero across our entire operations on an absolute basis by 2050 or sooner, we’re also adopting a new measurement approach to address methane emissions. This means installing methane measurement at all our existing major oil and gas processing sites by 2023 with a plan to publish the data collected and use it as a baseline to halve our methane intensity.
Increased measurement is key to better reporting and planning targeted interventions (and assessing their impact). And we hope that by sharing our data, we can help others improve their methane emission reduction efforts, too.
Voluntary initiatives alone will not be enough to effectively minimize methane emissions across the sector. Regulation has a clear role to play. It’s a fair way to ensure all companies are prioritizing methane abatement.
We believe that tackling methane is key to protecting the role of gas on the way to net zero. So we’re convening experts, sharing best practices, advocating globally – including in the US – for greater regulation of methane.
bp isn’t waiting for regulation to reduce emissions from our operations. Tackling methane is front and center in bp’s near-term net zero transformation.
The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) is a regional collaboration seeking to improve transportation, develop a clean energy economy and reduce carbon emissions across 12 East Coast states and the District of Columbia. bp is actively supporting its adoption.
Modeled after RGGI and designed by state leaders, with help from the Georgetown Climate Center, the program would create a regional cap and trade program for transportation emissions. The policy aims for a 20-25% reduction in covered emissions in the first 10 years of the program, depending on the cap.
TCI will generate revenue that can be used to bring cleaner, modernized infrastructure to the region – including funds that can focus on underserved communities.
The US needs to release fewer emissions into the atmosphere. We also need to generate new jobs and revenue at this crucial moment. TCI does both. Estimates show TCI will:
bp is actively advocating for states to sign on to TCI, taking the necessary executive, legislative and regulatory steps to participate in the program once it is finalized.
And we’re not alone in our support. bp has joined with business leaders, transportation companies, environmental groups and more to bring this policy to the east coast. We’ll continue to work together to get as many states signed on as possible. Learn more about our coalition.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a successful cap-and-trade carbon pricing program for the power sector. Over the last decade, participating states have seen a range of benefits while emissions and electricity costs have decreased, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
Established in 2009, RGGI limits carbon emissions from power plants1 by placing a regional cap on emissions and then requiring companies to buy or trade allowances to emit up to the limit of the cap. The cap decreases annually, so the allowance price rises every year. This system allows industry flexibility to meet reduction targets at the lowest possible cost.
Independent studies of the program show RGGI works for people, business and the planet. RGGI states also outpaced power sector emissions reductions in the rest of the country by 90 percent.*
bp publicly advocated for Virginia to join RGGI and was thrilled when the governor signed that bill into law in 2020. Now bp is actively encouraging Pennsylvania to benefit from the program along with its neighbors in:
We’re also part of a coalition of businesses and environmental organizations in Pennsylvania working to bring this policy to the Keystone State. We believe it’s good for citizens, the environment and the economy.
1 Applies where generators over 25MW are required to possess credits.
* The Acadia Center: “The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative 10 Years in Review.” 2019.
bp supports more than 17,000 jobs across Chicagoland. The state is home to bp operations and employees, so we’re invested in supporting progressive climate policy as it takes shape.
Fewer emissions, cleaner, greener energy and more jobs – now is the time for Illinois to take bold action to remove carbon from its entire economy. We are encouraged by recent steps the state has taken through progressive climate legislation enacted in September 2021. As one of Illinois’ diverse energy providers, we urge lawmakers to develop additional policies that will:
Together these measures can help Illinois transition to a clean energy economy – addressing the need for cleaner, lower emissions energy while creating more jobs and new opportunities across the entire state.
Home to our Cherry Point refinery, Washington is now the second state in the country with a comprehensive, economywide, market-based carbon pricing program.
The legislature and governor brought progressive climate policy to the Evergreen State that will lower carbon emissions for the benefit of everyone in Washington. The package of solutions will help to produce fewer emissions making the entire economy cleaner by:
Read more about how Washington’s ‘cap and invest’ proposal carries promise for emissions and the economy from The Seattle Times.
bp is committed to being part of the solution and we actively advocated for the passage of the Climate Commitment Act (SB 5126). We worked with Clean & Prosperous Washington, a campaign to advance the legislation, as well as a broad coalition of supporters. Learn more about their work.
“We applaud the Washington state legislature for passing this critical bill for lowering carbon emissions. This historic achievement puts the state on a path to net zero by 2050.
We look forward to working with state agencies as they develop rules to implement this program. bp remains firmly committed to delivering on its own net zero ambition and being part of the solution for a low carbon future.”
We’ll keep doing our part to bring Washington state closer to net zero, starting with our own operations. And we look forward to working with Washington state agencies as they look to implement the Climate Commitment Act.
Illinois is one of a handful of states in the US that has the geology to store CO2 in a safe, secure and effective way. This means that Illinois is well positioned to attract the investment needed to deploy CCUS commercially and at scale.
Reduces carbon emissions – Illinois is one of the top CO2 emitters in the US. CCUS technology can reduce CO2 emissions from existing industries while also capturing CO2 emissions currently in the atmosphere.
Supports jobs – CCUS technology can decarbonize industries like ethanol and hard to abate sectors like steel and cement. Decarbonization can enhance the economic viability of these sectors.
Promotes economic growth – Captured CO2 can be used as a raw material in concrete, biofuels, fertilizers and plastics – potentially giving Illinois manufacturers a competitive edge.
How can Illinois make CCUS a reality?
Illinois needs legislation that provides clarity on key issues that are absent from existing state and federal regulations – yet critical to the commercial development of CCUS projects. Effective legislation can create a framework to deploy CCUS projects in Illinois by:
CCUS policy in Illinois is good for both people and the planet and can help the state meet its clean energy goals.