Hamm also touched on the threat climate change activism poses to the oil and gas industry, saying that “we have to continue to fight” activists “that use it as religion.” He said air quality is not problematic today.
But environmental activists are critical of the oil and gas industry for its air emissions — particularly leaks of methane, which is the main component of natural gas. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, can leak from well sites and from other pieces of oil field infrastructure. Generating electricity from natural gas releases carbon dioxide, another greenhouse gas. Gas-fired power plants emit about half as much carbon dioxide as coal-fired power.
During the virtual event, Hamm and a representative from S&P Global Platts spoke about the energy and commodities information firm’s effort to establish a new pricing benchmark for oil based in the Gulf Coast. In June, S&P Global Platts launched a marker called Platts AGS, which stands for Platts American GulfCoast Select.
The idea is to compete with West Texas Intermediate pricing, the standard for oil pricing in the United States. WTI often refers to the futures contract for a grade of oil delivered to a terminal in Cushing, Okla.
“A truly reflective benchmark for U.S. crude oil shouldn’t be tied to a specific location,” said Dave Ernsberger, global head of commodity pricing and market insight for the firm. “It shouldn’t be tied to a specific terminal or tank farm, even one that’s world class and giant in scale like Cushing, Okla.”