American Petroleum Institute

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The American Petroleum Institute (API), is the largest trade association for the oil and gas industry, claiming to represent around 400 corporations engaged in oil production, extraction (including hydrofracking), distribution, and other aspects of the industry. API is based in Washington, D.C. and has offices in 27 state capitals. [3]

API is a powerful lobby, spending around $7.3 million on lobbying each year in 2010 and 2009, and spending $6.3 million in 2011. [1]

It is also a major political spender, and has created numerous front groups to advance its political agenda. It also funds groups like Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Despite being called the American Petroleum Institute, its 2012 directors included Tofiq Al-Gabsani, a Saudi Arabian national who heads the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) subsidiary, the state-run oil company that also helps finance API.

Documents Contained at the Anti-Environmental Archives
Documents written by or referencing this person or organization are contained in the Anti-Environmental Archive, launched by Greenpeace on Earth Day, 2015. The archive contains 3,500 documents, some 27,000 pages, covering 350 organizations and individuals. The current archive includes mainly documents collected in the late 1980s through the early 2000s by The Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR), an organization that tracked the rise of the so called "Wise Use" movement in the 1990s during the Clinton presidency. Access the index to the Anti-Environmental Archives here.


"For 76 years, API has been the petroleum industry's U.S. national trade association. API released its first standard in 1923, intended to promote the interchangeability of oil field equipment throughout the industry." [4]

"Today, over 900 API standards serve as the basis for API quality programs covering production material and lubricants, and certification programs for storage tanks, pressure vessels, and piping inspectors. They also publish recommended practices, research reports, and specifications on pipelines, valves, offshore structures, oil-spill response procedures, environmental protection, exploration, facility management and much more." [5]

According to DeSmogBlog, in 1965, API president Frank Ikard said: “the substance of the report is that there is still time to save the world's peoples from the catastrophic consequence of pollution, but time is running out" in reference to a report on climate change. These sentiments differ from those put out more recently by API.[2]

Front Groups

"Energy Citizens"

In August 2009, an API-led coalition called "Energy Citizens" announced plans to hold rallies opposing the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill in about 20 states, targeting states "whose Democratic Senators aren't strong supporters of a stringent bill, such ... Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Mark Begich of Alaska." [3] In addition to API, "Energy Citizens" has backing from the National Association of Manufacturers, American Farm Bureau, American Highway Users Alliance, National Black Chamber of Commerce, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, FreedomWorks, American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform and Council for Citizens Against Government Waste. [4]

"The group has loudly protested the EPA’s decision to have greenhouse gas emissions regulated under the Clean Air Act. API members include Chevron, ConocoPhillips,Exxon Mobil, GE, Halliburton and Shell." [5]

Template fliers for the "Energy Citizens" rallies warned, "Climate change legislation being considered in Washington will cause huge economic pain and produce little environmental gain." The fliers also claimed that the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill, which passed the House of Representatives in June, would "cost 2 million American jobs, raise gasoline and diesel prices up to $4," hurt U.S. businesses and energy security. In contrast, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the bill would cost U.S. households "about a postage stamp a day," while the Energy Information Administration projects that annual "energy bill costs could rise between $26 per household to to $362 by 2020." [3]

Part of API's blog is devoted to "Energy Citizens." API also has an "Energy Citizens" YouTube channel.

Energy Forums

The API Sponsors nearly identical "Energy Forums" in almost every state. Most are simply labeled "__State__ Energy Forum" (examples include Nebraska Nebraska Nevada and Arizona) but a few feature more nuanced titles, such as Ohio's Buckeye Energy Forum and Pennsylvania's keystone energy forum.

Each Energy Forum claims to represent "A group of concerned citizens", and each runs articles in support of Hydrofracking], the Keystone XL pipeline, and expanded offshore drilling.[6] [7] [8]


In December, 2011, an API TV ad campaign titled "Vote4Energy" was prematurely exposed by the Checks and Balances Project and Greenpeace, which both sent representatives to attend a Vote4Energy commercial shoot.[9] [10] Audio recordings from inside the Vote4Energy commercial shoot reveal how the commercials will debut on CNN in January, 2012 during presidential debates, and how oil industry talking points were fed to actors on set to be repeated, contrasting API's public relations campaigns aimed at demonstrating authentic grassroots support for the oil industry's political priorities.

The Vote4Energy Campaign also launched a website which argues that "A Vote For Energy is a vote for more jobs, higher government revenues and greater energy security." the site features a state-by-state breakdown of how states could be impacted by adopting their policies. According to Vote4Energy's "Policy Perspectives" sheet, they support opening federal areas that currently do not allow drilling, such as the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, the removal of certain EPA regulations (which the sheet implies are not based on "sound science") and the approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Oil Sands Fact Check

In July 2012 the Houston Chronicle reported that API had created the front group Oil Sands Fact Check (OSFC) to promote the Keystone XL pipeline and tar sands crude as a "safe and secure energy resource."[11]

Source: Desmogblog (

Responses to Obama administration actions

2012 election spending

In the 2012 election cycle API gave nearly half a million to the following groups running political ads against Democrats and in support of Republicans:[12]

In addition, API president Jack Gerard was a close ally to the Mitt Romney campaign.

Center for Offshore Safety

In March 2011 the board of directors of the American Petroleum Institute approved the creation of the Center for Offshore Safety to address industry safety and environmental performance. [13] This action follows recommendations made by the Presidential Oil Spill Commission investigations in response to the BP Deepwater Horizon / Macondo oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that occurred in 2010. Some industry analysts question whether the center, which will be headquartered in Houston and is funded by API and its oil and gas industry members, can remain independently objective. [14][15]

Other climate policy-related actions

In April 2009, API sent a letter to members of Congress, in Gerard's name, that slammed the Obama administration. It stated: "The US oil and natural gas industry has the expertise and technology to produce the energy we need to fuel economic growth, create jobs, generate significant revenues for local, state and federal governments, and bolster our national security. However, our companies cannot do so if held back by harmful, counter-productive taxes and are restricted from access to domestic oil and natural gas resources that the country urgently needs. ... If imposed, these taxes and fees could have a debilitating effect on our economy, when our nation can least afford it. They would reduce investment in new energy supplies, meaning less energy produced for American consumers. We cannot tax our way out of our energy problems.” [16]

The same month, API protested the Environmental Protection Agency's finding that greenhouse gas emissions endangered public health and could be regulated under the Clean Air Act. "The Clean Air Act was created to address local and regional air pollution, not the emission of carbon dioxide and other global greenhouse gases," said API's Jack Gerard. [17]

2008 elections

In response to the November 2008 election of Democrats Barack Obama as President and Joe Biden as Vice-president, API released a statement in the name of their CEO, Jack Gerard, saying: "The American people have spoken loud and clear that they want politicians to put aside partisan bickering. ...The oil and natural gas industry stands ready to help put America's vast energy resources to good use, strengthening our nation's economy and energy security, and providing good jobs for Americans across the country." [18]

Earlier, Gerard had criticized Obama's platform, saying "Obama's plan to impose a windfall-profits tax on oil companies would harm one of the few industries that are thriving" in the economic crisis. [19]

Questioning global warming

An API "Communications Action Plan" from 1998 stated: "Victory will be achieved when ... citizens 'understand' uncertainties in climate science ... [and] recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the 'conventional wisdom.'" [20]

Concerns about API-funded research

In April 2005, it was reported that API was overseeing a $27 million study on the health effects of benzene, funded by the major oil companies BP, Chevron Texaco, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Shell Chemical. The study was launched in 2001, in response to a National Cancer Institute study that found "workers exposed to average levels of benzene had a risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma more than four times greater than the general population." A follow-up NCI study, published in 2005, found that "benzene had toxic effects on blood cells at 1 part per million - the level workers in the United States are allowed to be exposed to over an eight-hour workday." Benzene is a component of gasoline, so oil companies were concerned that tighter benzene regulations would affect their operations. [6]

Although the API research wouldn't be complete until 2007, information from "depositions, proposals to oil companies and other documents collected by a Houston law firm in unrelated lawsuits" suggests that "the results of the study already have been predicted." The Houston Chronicle reported, "The conclusions are expected to contradict earlier research linking low- and mid-levels of benzene to cancers and other blood diseases - findings that could spawn tighter regulations." [7]

One research proposal from a Mobil Oil toxicologist said the study would "respond to allegations from a nationwide study of benzene exposed workers." The research proposal submitted to Marathon Oil stated that "the benzene research was expected to provide scientific support for the lack of a leukemia risk to the general population, evidence that current occupational exposure limits do not create a significant risk to workers and proof that non-Hodgkin's lymphoma could not be caused by benzene exposure." [8]

A Powerpoint presentation on the proposed research shown to potential oil company funders "included a section describing 'the significant issues of concern to global petroleum industry that the research would affect.' Those issues included possible changes to the way gasoline is made, additional emissions controls and litigation." [9]

In response to the April 2005 media reports on the benzene study, API manager of health sciences Lorraine Twerdok stated that the study "is being conducted to gain a better understanding of the relationship between benzene exposure and potential cancer risk to protect industry workers and customers." [10]

API part funded the infamous paper Baliunas & Soon 2003 in the journal Climate Research[21]

Petroleum is "cool"

The API is the producer of a 16-minute video titled 'Fuel-less: you can't be cool without fuel', which was distributed through the National Science Teachers Association. The film starts with the line "you're not going to believe this, but everything everything I have that's really cool comes from oil!" [11].

The API funds a website called 'classroom energy' [12], which aims to provide teachers and students with materials on 'the vital role of oil and natural gas in modern life.'

An API memo leaked to the media in 1998 shed some light on the motivation for targeting schools: "Informing teachers/students about uncertainties in climate science will begin to erect barriers against further efforts to impose Kyoto-like measures in the future." [13]

Public relations

Super Bowl 2008

At the January 2008 Super Bowl U.S. football championship game, API sponsored "Kickoff to Rebuild," highlighting its work with Rebuilding Together, a nonprofit organization that promotes homeownership. API and Rebuilding Together are launching an "Energy Efficient Homes Initiative," which aims "to incorporate energy-efficiency measures in the more than 9,000 homes revitalized each year by Rebuilding Together." [22]

Super Bowl 2017

During the 2017 Super Bowl, API launched its "Power Past Impossible" campaign, touting the benefits to the consumer of natural gas and oil products.[23][24]

Blogger outreach

API has been battling the oil industry's negative public image for years, including by doing increased media outreach. In November 2007, Reuters reported that API, along with Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell "have reached out to a conservative band of bloggers." API "paid for seven bloggers" to take two trips in November, one to Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas, and one offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. API required the bloggers to disclose that the industry group had funded the trips, but otherwise "placed no restrictions" on them. API's "new media advisor," Jane Van Ryan, admitted that the bloggers chosen -- for the Texas trip, Ed Morrissey, Bruce McQuain, Brian Westenhaus and the National Association of Manufacturers's Carter Wood -- "have not been particularly critical of the industry." While API's blogger "outreach effort" is new, "reporters who cover the energy industry are often invited by companies to visit offshore drilling rigs or production platforms," notes Reuters. API plans similar junkets for 2008. [25]

In May 2007, PR Week reported that API was ramping up media outreach, including bloggers for the first time. "We felt we should become more involved" in the blogosphere, explained API's Jane Van Ryan, "because there are a lot of policies and news-related items being discussed." The industry group held three blogger teleconferences, "on subjects including energy and environment and, most recently on May 16, gasoline prices," reported PR Week. "Blogs the API has reached out to include The Oil Drum, Energy Outlook, and the Daily Reckoning." API's "team of seven media relations people" continues traditional media outreach, fielding "a 'huge amount of calls' from the networks, major dailies, trade press, small newspapers in 'virtually every state,' and consumers," after the latest price hike. [26]

The blogger "Devil's Advocate" wrote about an API-organized bloggers conference call on biofuels, held on February 20, 2008. "I had a very interesting blogger conference call with the American Petroleum Institute yesterday," s/he wrote. "This time, however, I did not agree with much of their agenda. ... If a product cannot stand on its own two feet making a profit, government should not be involved producing it." Call participants were listed as Devil's Advocate of Copious Dissent, Nate Hagens of The Oil Drum, Bruce McQuain of The QandO Blog, Robert Rapier of The Oil Drum and R-Squared, Geoff Styles of Energy Outlook, Gail Tverberg of The Oil Drum, and Brian Westenhaus of New Energy and Fuel. [27]

API held another blogger conference call on July 15, 2008. API participants included new media advisor Jane Van Ryan, CEO Red Cavaney, chief economist John Felmy and Jim Hoskins from Harris Interactive. [28] The bloggers on the call included Robert Rapier, Nate Hagens and Gail Tverberg from The Oil Drum, Doug Lambert from, Geoff Styles of Energy Outlook, "as well as several other bloggers from other sites." [29]

An API blogger call on September 26, 2008. The API participants were Jane Van Ryan, Red Cavaney, Prentiss Searles, Sara Banaszak, Tim Sampson and Richard Ranger. The bloggers on the call were Bob McCarty from Bob McCarty Writes, Cindy Kilkenny from Fairly Conservative, Devil's Advocate from Copious Dissent, Doug Lambert from Granite Grok, Gail Tverberg from The Oil Drum, Geoff Styles from Energy Outlook, Greg Balch from Goat's Barnyard, Jim Hoeft from Bearing Drift, Joules Burn from The Oil Drum, Joy McCann from Little Miss Attila, Peter Carlock from OPNTalk, Michael Swartz from Monoblogue, Mick Orton from FedUp Network, Pejman Yousefzadeh from RedState and A Chequer-Board of Nights and Days. [30] "We discussed refineries, what the lifting of the bans [on offshore oil drilling] mean, known and unknown reserves, employment and a few other things," wrote "Goat" of the Barnyard blog. "API rightly pointed out that not a drop of oil was spilled by the rigs in the Gulf during the worst Mother Nature could throw at them during Katrina. ... Another point was brought up about a liberal talking point that we have only a tiny percentage of the worlds oil and population but we use 25% of the world's production of oil. That may be true but we are also the world's biggest producer of goods and services with that oil not to mention the hundreds of other products that come from oil byproducts like plastic, paint, tires, nylon, and cosmetics." [31] Bob McCarty also blogged about the call. [32]

API's October 30, 2008, blogger conference call included a discussion of "the issue of ethanol subsidies and the cost incurred by taxpayers particularly now since gasoline prices have plummeted quite a bit," according to the blogger Vulcan's Hammer. Speakers included API's Jane Van Ryan, Rayola Dougher and Ron Planting, along with Lou Pugliaresi of the Energy Policy Research Foundation. [33]

API held a blogger conference call on May 15, 2009, featuring Robert Ryan, the Vice President of Global Exploration at Chevron; with Justin Higgs, Chevron's News Media Advisor; Mark Kibbe, API's Federal Relations Director; and John Felmy, API's Chief Economist. [34] [35]

Public talks

West Virginia

API's traditional and online media outreach has been coupled with local speaking events across the country, by API staffers and oil company executives. In February 2008, API's Denise McCourt addressed a Rotary Club meeting in Charleston, West Virginia. "The oil and natural gas industry hasn't done a very good job telling people about energy issues," McCourt told the group. So the industry has taken "a little bit of abuse by the people running for office," she added. McCourt told the audience that higher gas prices don't necessarily mean "atrocious profits" for oil companies. She compared what she said were 2007 profit rates of 7.6 cents per dollar of sales for the oil industry with 9.2 cents per dollar of sales for all manufacturing, except automobiles.[36]

On April 29, 2008, API's Denise McCourt talked to the Rotary Club in Wheeling, West Virginia. "Contrary to popular belief and what some politicians might say, America’s oil companies aren’t owned just by a small group of insiders," she told the Rotarians. "Only 1.5 percent of industry shares are owned by company executives. The rest is owned by tens of millions of Americans, many of them middle class." [37] She also addressed gas prices: "When you talk about what you pay for the price of gasoline at the pump, you have to remember that 72 percent of it right now is actually the price of crude oil. ... About 47 cents [per gallon] on average is actually state and local taxes. ... Those are what help pay for roads and bridges around the country." [38]


On May 7, 2008, Shell Oil CEO John Hofmeister, an API adviser, will give a public talk in Newark, Delaware, as part of the University of Delaware's spring 2008 lecture series called "Boiling Point: International Politics of Climate Change." [39]


On May 29, 2008, API co-sponsored an event at Stanford University in California, titled, "Energy's Future is in Technology: Innovation in Energy Supply, Energy Efficiency and Alternative/Renewable Energy." Newsweek was the other event sponsor. [40]


In June 2008, API's Denise McCourt talked to the Kentucky state legislature's Special Subcommittee on Energy. "85 percent of the places in the ocean where we think we can find resources are under moratorium and we can not go there," said McCort. "When you look at that kind of number people say wait a minute, 85 percent? Let's say you think some areas are more particularly sensitive than others, but 85 percent of the places where we think we have oil and gas we can't go." [41]


In August 2008, API Chief Economist John C. Felmy spoke "to the Rotary Club of Boise about oil prices," and also gave an interview to the Idaho Statesman newspaper. "There is little evidence that retailers are making a lot of money," Felmy told the paper. "And it's not the refiners, some of whom are losing money. ... Right now the Department of Energy estimates that 74 percent of the cost of gas is attributable to the cost of oil." [42]

Lobbying and Contributions

In February 2009, API hired HBW Resources. The firm's Andrew Browning, "a former special assistant at the Energy Department's office of fossil energy," is lobbying on behalf of API on "the development of domestic oil shale reserves." [43]

In September 2008, API "hired Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti to lobby on energy drilling proposals, tax issues and chemical security legislation," reported The Hill. "The lobbying team includes Jamie Brown, a former special assistant for legislative affairs to President Bush; Kelly Bingel, former chief of staff to Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.); and David Castagnetti, former chief of staff to Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.)." [44]

"The American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's main trade group, paid Timmons & Co. $200,000 to lobby the federal government in the first half of 2007," reported AP in August 2007. "The firm lobbied on various pieces of legislation dealing with homeland security appropriations, energy policy, taxes, price gouging and other issues. ... Daniel Shapiro, former deputy chief of staff for Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is among those registered to lobby on behalf of the institute." [14]

API spent $4 million to lobby the federal government in 2007, according to lobbying disclosure forms. "The trade group lobbied on various appropriations bills, and on oil taxes and fees, chemical plant security, price gouging, international investment and more," reported Associated Press. "Besides Congress, the American Petroleum Institute lobbied the departments of Defense and State, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Internal Revenue Service." [45]

2010 Contributions

In 2010, API contributed to the following organizations [46]

  • American Council for Capital Formation ($50,000 for "General Support")
  • American Legislative Exchange Council ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Americans For Prosperity ($25,500 for "Energy Education")
  • Americans for Tax Reform ($50,000 for "Energy Education")
  • America's Wetland Foundation ($50,000 for "General Support")
  • Association For Environmental Health and Sciences ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Building Construction and Trades Department ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Business Industry Political Action Committee ($250,000 for "Energy Education")
  • Carbon Sequestration Council ($10,000 for "General Support")
  • Coalition for American Jobs ($1,000,000 )
  • Common Ground Alliance ($10,000)
  • Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute ($50,000 for "General Support")
  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus ($125,000)
  • Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation ($10,000)
  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus ($125,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Consumer Energy Alliance ($35,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Institute for Energy Research ($50,000 for "Energy Policy Research")
  • Environmental Council of the States ($25,000 for "General Support")
  • Ground Water Research and Education Foundation ($10,000 for "General Support")
  • Independent Petroleum Association of America ($100,000 for "Energy Education")
  • Institute for Energy Research ($50,000 for "Energy Policy Research")
  • International Conservation Caucus Foundation ($25,000 for "General Support")
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology ($33,000 for "Energy Education")
  • Montana Department of Environmental Quality ($66,64 for "Petrochemical Research")
  • Montana Economic Developer's Association ($10,00 for "Petrochemical Research")
  • National Black Chamber of Commerce ($30,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation ($50,00 for "General Support")
  • National Foreign Trade Council ($20,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • National Foundation for Women Legislators ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • National Petrochemical & Refiners Association ($45,000 for "Energy Education")
  • NCSL Foundation for State Legislatures ($7,500 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Nicholls State University Foundation ($20,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Northwestern University School of Law ($40,000 for "Civil Justice Issues")
  • Offshore Energy Center ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Oil and Natural Gas Labor Management Committee ($220,000 for "General Support")
  • Republican Governors Public Policy Committee ($10,000 for "General Support")
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council ($25,000 for "General Support")
  • Southern Christian Leadership Conference ($25,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Stanford University ($15,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • STRONGER ($200,000 for General Support")
  • Texas Oil and Gas Association ($10,000 for "Legal Issues")
  • The Bryce Harlow Foundation ($7,500 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • 60 Plus Association ($25,000 for "Energy Education")
  • United States Association For Energy Economics ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • University of California-Davis ($180,000 for "Petrochemical Health Effect Research")
  • University of Connecticut (Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences) ($256,839 for "Petrochemical Research")
  • Virginia Sustainable Building Network ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Volta Live ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Kasich-Taylor New Day Inaugural Committee ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Natural Gas Association ($37,500 for "Advocacy Efforts-Proposed Tax")
  • The Corbett Cawley Inaugural Committee ($15,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital ($30,000 for "event sponsorship")
  • Naleo Education Fund ($30,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")

2009 Contributions

In 2009, API contributed to the following organizations [47]

  • Alliance to Save Energy ($100,000 for "Energy Education")
  • American Chemistry Council ($24,000 for "General Support")
  • American Council for Capital Formation ($50,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • American Enterprise Institute ($25,000 for "General Support")
  • American GI Forum of the United States ($25,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers ($10,000 for "General Support")
  • American Legislative Exchange Council ($40,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • American Tort Reform Association ($10,100 for "Energy Education")
  • Americans for Prosperity ($43,000 for "Energy Education")
  • Americans for Tax Reform ($50,000 for "Energy Education")
  • America's Wetlands Foundation ($50,000 for "General Support")
  • Arizona State University ($25,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Building and Construction Trades Department ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Business Industry Political Action Committee ($250,000 for "Energy Education")
  • California Climate Action Registry ($10,000 for "General Support")
  • Citizens Against Government Waste ($25,000 for "General Support")
  • Coastal America Foundation ($20,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Colorado State University ($10,000 for "Petrochemical Research")
  • Common Ground Alliance ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Competitive Enterprise Institute ($25,000 for "General Support")
  • Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute ($10,000 for "General Support")
  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute ($55,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Conservative Political Action Conference ($25,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Consumer Energy Alliance ($67,500 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Energy Policy Research ($30,000 for "Energy Policy Research")
  • Everybody Wins (7,200 for "General Support")
  • Foundation for American Communications ($10,000 for "General Support")
  • Freedom Works ($55,000 for "General Support")
  • Ground Water Protection Council ($47,500 for "Energy Policy Research")
  • Health Effects Institute ($380,000 for "Petrochemical Health Effect Research")
  • Hispanic Alliance for Prosperity Institute ($25,000 for "General Support")
  • Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility ($15,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Independent Petroleum Association of America ($60,000 for "Energy Education")
  • Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States ($61,000 for "Environmental Research")
  • Institute for Energy Research ($50,000 for "Energy Policy Research")
  • International Conservation Caucus Foundation ($50,000 for "General Support")
  • Environmental Council of the States ($15,000 for "Support for the ITRC Biobased Fuels Team")
  • The Keystone Center ($80,000 for "Energy Education")
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology ($33,000 for "Energy Education")
  • Michigan State University ($50,000 for "Environmental Research")
  • Montana Department of Environmental Quality ($34,974)
  • National Black Chamber of Commerce ($45,000 for "General Support")
  • National Board of Professional Teaching Standards ($15,000 for "General Support")
  • National Foreign Trade Council ($15,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • National Marine Sanctuary ($10,000 for "Energy Education")
  • Nebraska Ethanol Board ($26,000 for Petrochemical Research")
  • NM Association Conservative Districts ($50,000 for "General Support")
  • North American Metals Council ($7,000 For "Petrochemical Research")
  • North Carolina Agricultural Foundation ($28,000 for "Environmental Research")
  • Northwestern University School of Law ($40,000 for "Civil Justice Issues")
  • Nicholls State University ($10,000 for "General Support")
  • Oil and Natural Gas Industry Labor Management Committee ($292,500 for "General Support")
  • PA Chamber of Business&Industry ($5,333 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Rebuilding Together National Office ($100,000 for "Energy Efficient Homes")
  • Regents of University of California ($30,000 for "Energy Education")
  • San Antonio Hispanic Chamber ($6,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council ($25,000 for "General Support")
  • Stanford University (Terman Engineering Center) ($15,000)
  • STRONGER ($100,000 for "General Support")
  • American Conservative Union ($25,000 for "General Support")
  • The Annapolis Center for Science-Based Public Policy ($40,000 for "Energy Education")
  • The Bryce Harlow Foundation ($7,500 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • The Fund for Peace ($15,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • The James Madison Institute ($30,000 for "General Support")
  • 60 Plus Association ($35,000 for "Energy Education")
  • University of Houston-Clear Lake ($19,000 for "Petrochemical Research")
  • University of California-Davis ($45,000 for "Petrochemical Research")
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ($30,000)
  • University of Oklahoma Parrington ($27,620 for "Petrochemical Research")
  • University of Rochester ($23,695 for "Support-Educational")
  • US Chamber of Commerce ($136,000 for "Event Sponsorship")

2008 Contributions

In 2008, API contributed to the following organizations [48]

  • American Highway Users Alliance ($25,000 for "Energy Education")
  • American Chemistry Council ($17,500 for "Public Health Forum")
  • American Council for Capital Formation ($100,000 for "Energy Research Policy")
  • American Enterprise Institute ($35,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • American GI Forum ($25,000 for "Energy Education")
  • American Legislative Exchange Council ($ 38,000 for "Energy Education")
  • American Oil and Gas Historical Society ($5,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • American Tort Reform Association ($15,000 for "Law Review Article Support")
  • Americans for Prosperity ($30,000 for "Energy Education")
  • Americans for Tax Reform ($375,000 for "Energy Education")
  • America's Wetland Foundation ($50,000 for "Energy Education")
  • Asian Pacific American Institute ($5,000 for "Energy Education")
  • The Bryce Harlow Foundation ($5,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Center for Excellence in Education ($10,000 for "Energy Education")
  • The Center for Legislative Energy and Environmental Research ($5,000 for "Energy Education")
  • Citizens Against Government Waste ($25,000 for "General Support")
  • Citizens to Protect Pennsylvania Jobs ($20,000 for "Energy Education")
  • Coloradans for a Stable Economy ($200,000 for "Energy Legislation Support")
  • Common Ground Alliance ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • The Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus ($6,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Consensus Building Institute ($40,000 for "US-Muslim Engagement Project")
  • Consumer Energy Alliance ($30,000 for "Energy Education")
  • Democratic Governors Association ($50,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Energy Policy Research Foundation ($60,000 for "Energy Policy Research" for "Energy Policy Research")
  • Environmental Council of the States ($20,000 for "Energy Regulation Research")
  • Foundation to Eradicate Duchennepo ($10,000 for "General Support")
  • Foreign Policy Association ($15,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Freedomworks ($75,000 for "General Support")
  • Friends of New Orleans ($35,000 for "Event Support")
  • The Fund for Peace ($15,000 for "Event Support")
  • Ground Water Protection Council ($57,500 for "Energy Policy Research")
  • Hispanic Alliance for Progress ($25,000 for "General Support")
  • Health Effects Institute ($25,000 for "Petrochemical Health Effects")
  • Hispanic College Fund ($5,000 for "Event Support")
  • Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States ($20,000 for "Environmental Research")
  • Institute for Policy Innovation ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Jobs for America's Graduates ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Jefferson Island Club ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute ($75,000 for "Petrochemical Health Effects Research")
  • March of Dimes Foundation ($10,000 for "General Support")
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology ($15,000)
  • Meridian International Center ($5,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Montana Department of Environmental Quality ($15,658 for "Petrochemical Research")
  • National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners ($50,000 for "Energy Policy Research")
  • National Association of Manufacturers ($1,163,650 for "NAAQS Coalition")
  • National Association of Neighborhoods ($5,000 for "General Support")
  • National Conference of Black Mayors ($30,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • National Chamber Foundation ($10,000 for "General Support")
  • National Foreign Trade Council ($15,000 for "USA Engage Unilateral Sanctions Project")
  • National Marine Sanctuary Foundation ($30,000 for "Energy Education")
  • National Taxpayers Union ($100,000 for "Energy Policy Education")
  • National Conference of State Legislatures ($9,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Nebraska Ethanol Board ($25,000 for "Petrochemical Environmental Research")
  • North American Metals Council ($10,000 for "Petrochemical Environmental Research")
  • Northwestern University ($40,000 for "Civil Justice Issues")
  • Offshore Energy Center ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Petroleum Association of Wyoming ($80,000 for "Energy Development Research")
  • Pipeline Research Council ($17,500 for "Pipeline Safety Research")
  • Rebuilding Together ($551,312 for "Energy Efficient Homes")
    • Rebuilding Together Oakland ($5,500 for "Energy Efficient Homes")
    • Rebuilding Together Hartford ($50,000 for "Energy Efficient Homes")
  • Climate Action Reserve ($7,500 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Republican Governors Association ($5,000 for "General Support")
  • William Marsh Rice University ($25,000 for "Graduate Fellowship")
  • Rutgers State University ($80,000 for "Benzine Symposium")
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council ($25,000 for "General Support")
  • Stanford University ($15,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • State Review of Oil and Gas Environmental Regulations ($75,000 for "General Support")
  • The American Conservative Union ($33,500 for "General Support")
  • The Aspen Institute ($5,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • The Fund for American Studies ($10,000 for "Scholarship")
  • The Heartland Institute ($25,000 for "Energy Education")
  • James Madison Institute ($30,000 for "General Support")
  • National Conference of State Societies ($5,000 for "event sponsorship")
  • The Keystone Center ($45,500 for "energy education")
  • The Mercatus Center ($25,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Sixty Plus Association ($143,000 for "Energy Education")
  • The University of Texas at Austin ($6,500 for "Energy Education")
  • The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars ($5,000 for "Energy Issues")
  • Third Way ($40,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Tread Lightly ($25,000 for "General Support")
  • Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research ($7,500 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • US Chamber of Commerce ($50,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce ($10,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • University of California-Davis ($56,425 for "Petrochemical Health Effects Research")
  • University of Houston-Clear Lake ($15,000 for "Energy Education")
  • University of Colorado Foundation ($455,133 for "Benzine Research")
  • University of Connecticut ($196,840 for "Petrochemical Health effects Research")
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign ($63,900 for "Petrochemical Health Effects Research")
  • University of New Hampshire ($36,000 for "Petrochemical Health Effects Research")
  • University of Oklahoma ($24,574 for "Petrochemical Research")
  • University of Tulsa ($52,353 for "Petrochemical Research")
  • Waterfall Foundation ($6,000 for "Event Sponsorship")
  • Western Business Roundtable ($25,000 for "General Support")
  • Wright State University ($35,000 for "Petrochemical Health Effects Research")

BOD ties to Saudi oil

According to Americans United for Change (AUFC), API has filed documents with the Internal Revenue Service showing that executives of Saudi Arabia’s state oil company and its subsidiaries have served on API's board of directors.[49]

Current Personnel

  • President and CEO: Jack N. Gerard
  • Executive Vice President: Martin J. Durbin
  • Vice President: John E. Robertson
  • Vice President: Kyle Bisakower
  • Vice President Linda Grozett
  • Group Director: Erik G. Milito
  • Director: John D. Modine
  • Director: Alvis Truman Hunt
  • Director: Howard J. Feldman
  • Chief Economist: John C. Felmy
  • General Counsel and Secretary: Harry M. Ng

Board Members

    • J. Larry Nichols (Chairman of the Board)
    • Clarance Cazalot (Board Member and Treasurer)
    • William E. Albrecht
    • Tofig Al-Gabsani
    • Morten Arntzen
    • Patrick D. Daniel
    • Chadwick C. Deaton
    • Timothy C. Felt
    • Bruce C. Gottwald
    • James T. Hackett
    • Frederic C. Hamilton
    • Paul Howes
    • Ray L. Hunt
    • W. Herbert Hunt
    • A. V. Jones
    • James F. Justiss
    • Peter D. Kinnear
    • David J. Lesar
    • Steve Malcolm
    • James P. McGregor
    • Lamar McKay
    • John Miller
    • Bjourn Moller
    • Jack B. Moore
    • James J. Mulva
    • Rod Nelson
    • Marvin Odum
    • Robert L. Parker
    • Corbin J. Robertson
    • David Seaton
    • Kathleen Shanahan
    • Rex W. Tillerson
    • Hank A. True
    • John S. Watson
    • David W. Williams
    • David M. Wood
    • John M. Yearwood

Past Personell

Philip Cooney Red Cavaney; retired as API's president in November 2008

Contact information

American Petroleum Institute
1220 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005-4070
Phone: 202-682-8000

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. American Petroleum Institute, Annual Lobbying Expenditures, Open Secrets, accessed March 6, 2012.
  2. Sharon Kelly 'Time is Running Out,' American Petroleum Institute Chief Said in 1965 Speech on Climate Change DeSmogBlog Nov. 20, 2018
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ian Talley, "Lobby Groups to Use Town Hall Tactics to Oppose Climate Bill," Wall Street Journal "Washington Wire" blog, August 11, 2009.
  4. Alex Kaplun, "'Energy Citizens' Take Aim at Climate Legislation," Greenwire, August 12, 2009.
  5. "The Politics of Climate Change", O'Dwyer's Magazine, Feb. 2010.
  6. Keystone Energy Forum: About Us Accessed on March 9th, 2012
  7. AZ Energy Forum: About Us Accessed on March 9th, 2012
  8. Buckeye Energy Forum: about us
  9. Gabe Elsner, Inside American Petroleum Institute’s Commercial Shoot, Checks and Balances Project, December, 2001
  10. Kert Davies, Upcoming American Petroleum Institute 'Vote 4 Energy' TV campaign disrupted by undercover activists, Greenpeace, December 20, 2011
  11. Steve Horn, "Oil Sands Fact Check: New API Front Group," Desmog Blog, July 10, 2012.
  12. Lee Fang, "Saudi-Led Oil Lobby Group Financed 2012 Dark Money Attack Ads," The Nation, Nov 29, 2012.
  13. Reid Porter, "' API: Board of Directors Approves Industry Center for Offshore Safety,", March 17, 2011.
  14. Tom Fowler, Jennifer Dlouhy, "' Oil and gas industry creates offshore safety institute. Houston-based operation will be independent, industry's API vows,"Houston Chronicle, March 17, 2011.
  15. Houston Chronicle, "' Promises to keep. We welcome the offshore safety center here while worrying about its API affiliation.,"Houston Chronicle, March 24, 2011.
  16. Noah Brenner, "API slaps administration on policy,", April 6, 2009.
  17. Nick Snow, "EPA issues proposed endangerment finding on GHGs," Oil & Gas Journal, April 20, 2009.
  18. "API: Oil, gas industry will work with new administration", Oil & Gas Journal, November 5, 2008.
  19. Daniel Whitten, "Obama May Put Renewable-Energy Plan Ahead of Climate Package," Bloomberg, November 5, 2008.
  20. U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform , "Committee Report: White House Engaged in Systematic Effort to Manipulate Climate Change Science," December 12, 2007.
  21. "[1]"
  22. Press release, "NFL and Rebuilding Together 'Kickoff to Rebuild'," Rebuilding Together via PR Newswire, February 1, 2008.
  25. Anna Driver, "Big oil, its lobby court bloggers in media push," Reuters, November 21, 2007.
  26. Michael Bush, "API targets bloggers as prices at the pump rise," PR Week, May 25, 2007.
  27. Devil's Advocate, "My Conference Call on Biofuels with the American Petroleum Institute," Copious Dissent blog, February 21, 2008.
  28. "Blogger Conference Call: 2008 Energy IQ," American Petroleum Institute, accessed August 2008.
  29. Gail Tverberg, "API Energy IQ Game and Blogger Call," The Oil Drum blog, August 17, 2008.
  30. "Transcript of API blogger conference call on energy current events (pdf)," American Petroleum Institute via Federal News Service, September 26, 2008.
  31. Goat, "API Blogger Call On Oil And Energy Production: Updated," Goat's Barnyard, September 28, 2008.
  32. Bob McCarty, "Oil Industry Awaits Assurances on Drilling Ban," Bob McCarty Writes, September 28, 2008.
  33. "Conference call with API," blog Vulcan's Hammer, October 31, 2008.
  34. David Murphy, "Blogger Conference Call with Robert Ryan, VP of Global Exploration, Chevron," "The Oil Drum" blog, May 30, 2009.
  35. "Blogger Conference Call: 'Chevron Exploration in the Gulf of Mexico',", May 15, 2009.
  36. Sarah K. Winn, "Rotary hears industry take on oil profits," The Charleston Gazette (West Virginia), February 12, 2008.
  37. Fred Connors, "Speaker Says Middle Class Owns 'Big Oil'," The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register (West Virginia), April 30, 2008.
  38. D.K. Wright, "Oil Companies Are Defended In Gas Price Situation: The American consumer is paying more than ever for gasoline, and angrily blaming the big oil companies," The State Journal (West Virginia), April 29, 2008.
  39. Press release, "Nobel winner to address climate change Feb. 27 at UD," University of Delaware (Newark, Delaware), February 22, 2008.
  40. "Energized Discussion," Stanford Report (Stanford University, Stanford, California), June 4, 2008.
  41. Greg Stotelmyer, "Big Oil Talks to Kentucky Lawmakers," WTVQ-TV (Lexington, Kentucky), June 20, 2008.
  42. Joe Estrella, "Oil industry economist tells Boise Rotary high gasoline costs are due to high cost of crude oil," Idaho Statesman, August 15, 2008.
  43. "Bottom Line," The Hill, February 2, 2009.
  44. "Bottom Line," The Hill, September 15, 2008.
  45. "Petroleum Trade Group Spent $4M Lobbying," Associated Press, March 12, 2008.
  46. American Petroleum Institute: 2010-990
  47. American Petroleum Institute: 990-2009
  48. American Petroleum Institute: [2]
  49. "Progressive group ties oil lobby to Saudi Arabia," The Hill, Apr 30, 2014.

External resources

External articles

See American Petroleum Institute:Articles