The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Recognizing Environmental Gains

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted March 26, 2010

Each week the National Journal's Energy and Environment blog poses a question and invites a select group of authorities to respond. The question for the week asked about a Gallup Poll showing that Americans are less concerned about the environment than at any time in the past 20 years.

National Journal asked, why? And what does the lack of concern portend for climate legislation?

API's President and CEO Jack Gerard posted a response that made two key points:

  • It's likely that many Americans are aware that the environment has improved markedly during the past several years.

According to a report published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the levels of six common air pollutants have fallen 41 percent on average since 1990, despite the fact that the U.S. population and energy usage has increased.

Also, the oil and natural gas industry has made substantial investments in greenhouse gas mitigation technologies and in the creation of cleaner-burning fuels which will continue to improve the environment in coming years.

As Jack explains:

"Clearly, the industry's hard work and investments are making a difference. Therefore, one of the first steps in addressing the climate issue should be to recognize those accomplishments and to consider the importance of promoting job creation and economic growth."

For more information, read the full text of Jack's response on the National Journal blog.


Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.