American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018 - 99

"But rather than focusing their efforts
in the marketplace of ideas and adopting
a strategy of persuasion, the members of
this conspiracy chose to advance their
political objective by imposing unlawful
burdens on perceived political opponents,"
ExxonMobil reportedly argues.
Legal Hurdles
The climate lawsuits against oil companies must overcome some difficult hurdles, several analysts opine.
Noting that New York chose to sue "the
five largest investor-owned fossil fuel companies as measured by their contributions
to global warming," an assessment written
by Gavin Law, head of gas and power
consulting, and Amy Bowe, director of
upstream consulting for Wood Mackenzie
suggests the city "will need to provide
compelling evidence as to why ExxonMobil,
Shell, Chevron, BP and ConocoPhillips
alone should be held accountable."
"Though they do represent some of

the oil and gas industry's largest emitters
in absolute terms, other companies-both
within the oil and gas industry as well as
in other, emission-intensive industries such
as power generation and mining-have
larger or equivalent emission footprints,"
the Wood Mackenzie experts observe.
Attorney Nicholas S. Preservati with
Spilman Thomas & Battle in Charleston,
W.V., says the climate lawsuits follow
the strategy of charges brought against
tobacco companies and asbestos manufacturers that they concealed what they
knew about the health effects of their
products. But the two situations are not
comparable, he says.
"In (the tobacco and asbestos) cases,
the product manufactured by the defendants caused a direct harm to the consumer
who purchased it," Preservati reasons.
"In this case, New York City is not suing
the oil producers for the direct harm its
purchased product is causing to the consumer. Nor is it suing as a result of the

pollution caused in the manufacturing
process of oil. Instead, it is suing the oil
producers for the pollution caused by the
general public's use of their product while
operating their vehicles.
"This lawsuit is more akin to the firearm
litigation in which plaintiffs unsuccessfully
attempted to hold gun manufacturers liable
for the damages caused by the consumers'
use of the product," Preservati advises.
While she agrees that winning in the
courtroom may be a hard pull for the
climate lawsuits, Amy Harder, who covers
energy and climate news for Axios, a news
and information website focused on business, technology, politics and media trends,
suggests there could be another endgame.
"The strategy behind these lawsuits is
. . . also to sway public opinion and pressure oil companies to genuinely advocate
for a solution to climate change in Washington," Harder writes in her weekly column, Harder Line. "That still could transpire despite legal losses."
r

API Sees STEM As Crucial To Industry
WASHINGTON-Many of tomorrow's
best-paying careers, including those in
the oil and natural gas industry, will
require training or education in a science,
technology, engineering or mathematics
(STEM) discipline, with increased opportunities for women and minorities, an
American Petroleum Institute-commissioned study says.
"The oil and natural gas industry will
experience significant turnover and growth
in the years to come, greatly expanding
career opportunities for women and communities of color," says API President
and Chief Executive Officer Jack Gerard.
"This study shows that STEM education
is the key to creating a workforce that reflects the many faces of this great nation
with skilled workers of all backgrounds."
In addition to the millions of jobs already
supported by the industry, the study projects
1.9 million new job opportunities will arise
through 2035, with 706,000 forecast to be
filled by minorities and 290,000 anticipated
to be filled by women. Based on a Rand
Corp. analysis, the API report predicts the
share of direct industry employment of
millennials will increase from 34 percent
to 41 percent during the next decade.
The API report says nearly 20 percent
of all U.S. jobs require STEM skills or
training, and projects that STEM jobs will
increase 9 percent from 2014-24, faster
than the growth rate expected for occupations outside STEM fields. With this expansion and the growing demand for workers to fill STEM jobs, API says business

leaders are putting pressure on-and in
some cases investing in-universities, community colleges and technical schools, to
develop programs tailored to specific STEM
occupations, with an eye toward preparing
students for high-growth occupations.
The oil and natural gas industry supports 7.6 percent of the U.S. economy
and 10.3 million domestic jobs, the report
notes, many of them STEM positions.
API says the industry has a great interest
in better understanding and promoting
the relationship between STEM education
and employment.
"The study clearly shows that STEM
education can be a primary driver of economic opportunities and economic mobility, especially as the economy evolves
over the next decade. Energy is a growing
sector, and it is critical that the future energy workforce reflect the diversity of
the nation," says Spencer Overton, president of the Joint Center for Political and
Economic Studies, which partnered with
API on the report.
Minorities, Women, Millennials
According to API, in 2015, millennials
accounted for 34 percent of direct industry
employment, and API predicts that percentage will climb to 41 percent during
the next decade.
According to the API report:
* A STEM bachelor's degree nearly
doubles the likelihood of working in the
oil and natural gas industry, and earning
a degree in an industry-specific or related

field increases the likelihood of working
in the industry by three-seven times.
* STEM skills are important at every
education level. It is estimated that nearly
half of all STEM jobs don't require a
four-year degree and that a third of all
STEM jobs are in blue-collar occupations.
This is especially significant in the gas
and oil industry, where more than 1
million blue-collar job opportunities are
projected through 2035.
* Almost without exception, across
all education levels, degree majors, gender,
race, ethnicity and occupation types, those
who work in the oil and gas industry
earn more than those who don't.
Fifty-seven percent of the industry's
job opportunities are in skilled or semiskilled positions that require a high school
diploma and some post-secondary training,
the report describes. Thirty-two percent
of job opportunities are projected to be
available in management and professional
positions, which typically require a bachelor's degree.
API says one aim of its report is to
better understand educational attainment
trends in fields that prepare students,
either directly or indirectly through transferable skills, for employment in the oil
and gas industry. It lists "industry-specific"
or "industry-related" disciplines such as
petroleum, chemical, mechanical, civil
and construction engineering; geosciences;
and cartography as several fields that
provide students with skills directly applicable to the sector.
r
FEBRUARY 2018 99



American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - February 2018

Contents
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