Washington, DC—Today the Coalition for American Energy Security praised a new letter sent by a group of Republican senators to President Trump on the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 2020 standards to cap sulfur emissions from shipping fuels. According to the senators, “Implementing and enforcing [the IMO 2020] standards will fuel America’s growing energy dominance and could place the U.S. at a distinct advantage to our global competitors.”
“Thanks in good part to your pro-energy policy agenda, the U.S. now leads the world in oil and gas production and is ready to be the leading fuel provider to our citizens at home and our allies abroad,” the Republican senators wrote to President Trump. “Timely implementation of the IMO 2020 standards will bring tremendous advantage to our country and serve as another success story in your mission to achieve American energy dominance. These standards will benefit workers, consumers, manufacturers, and the country as a whole.”
IMO 2020 will reduce the maximum sulfur content in marine fuels from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent. The United States already produces and uses fuel that is five times more stringent than what IMO 2020 requires. But for others to achieve compliance with these standards, shippers will need to either install emissions-control devices known as “scrubbers” or exchange their high-sulfur fuel for a low-sulfur alternative, like liquefied natural gas (LNG) or light, sweet crude that’s produced from U.S. shale plays, such as the Permian Basin and the Bakken.
“The U.S. is well-positioned to benefit from these new standards, because we are already the world’s leading producer of low-sulfur fuels. Additionally, many foreign refiners lack the complexity required to process heavy crude oil into IMO-compliant fuel and could turn to U.S.-produced low-sulfur crude, increasing domestic oil exports,” the senators wrote.
The letter was led by U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and was signed by a group of senators who serve on the Armed Services Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Environment and Public Works Committee, and the Finance Committee, including John Boozman (R-Ark.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), John Kennedy (R-La.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.).
Earlier this year, the coalition launched to educate policymakers on why IMO 2020 is good for American energy security and competitiveness. “After 12 years and $100 billion of planning and investments, the U.S. energy sector and American workers are prepared to meet demand for this low-sulfur fuel,” said Ken Spain, spokesperson for the Coalition for American Energy Security. “It’s encouraging to see senators from multiple states and committees united in support of these next-generation fuels.”
Members of the coalition include, among others, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, the World Shipping Council, the United Steel Workers, the American Petroleum Institute, the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas, the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, American Exploration and Production Council, and several state oil and gas associations.