The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Environmental Progress, Technology and Passion

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 15, 2018

Protecting the environment and the communities where we operate is a core industry value. We talk about the commitment and we demonstrate it – in technologies that enhance environmental performance, in tangible results such as reduced carbon emissions and improved air quality and in the efforts of trained professionals like Lola Owolabi, an environmental engineer with Phillips 66’s Los Angeles Refinery.

In the video below, Lola talks about working to ensure regulatory compliance and, most importantly, to ensure environmental protection:

Read more about Lola and her work in API’s State of American Energy Report. She and other environmental engineers at natural gas and oil companies are focused on clean air and keeping it that way.

Communities that host refineries and other industry operations expect that we will protect the air and water while minimizing our environmental footprint. Environmental stewardship is top-of-mind because it’s the right way to operate and because these are our communities, too. As Lola says:

“We want to show our communities that we care, we want to show our communities that we’re doing our part mitigate or minimize any sort of impact or minimize emissions to the environment.”

This approach is embedded in the ongoing U.S. energy renaissance, which has seen rising natural gas and oil production and declining carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation – down 25 percent since 2005, mostly because of increased use of natural gas. It's also seen in a 73 percent reduction in air pollutants from 1970 to 2016, even as vehicle miles traveled increased by 190 percent, according to EPA.

It’s the reason industry has invested an estimated $339 billion since 1990 to improve its environmental performance, including a focus on clean air. Thirty percent of industry’s environmental expenditures in 2016 supported clean air initiatives to meet or surpass Clean Air Act requirements, including ever-cleaner transportation fuels.

Listening to Lola Owolabi, you can tell she’s passionate about clean air and protecting the environment. For a technologically advanced, forward-looking industry that’s committed to safely delivering the energy Americans need for modern living – as well as powering past seemingly impossible challenges – it’s the only way to be.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.