Climate Statement Prompted Changes

Position Papers Updated

The 14 AAPG Position Statements have been reviewed and updated by the DPA Government Affairs Committee and approved by the AAPG Executive Committee, including the much-discussed Climate Change statement.

Upon DPA’s recommendation, the Statements’ format was changed from sometimes-lengthy discussions to a more brief presentation that states “Issue, Background and Statement.”

Statement issues approved include:

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The 14 AAPG Position Statements have been reviewed and updated by the DPA Government Affairs Committee and approved by the AAPG Executive Committee, including the much-discussed Climate Change statement.

Upon DPA’s recommendation, the Statements’ format was changed from sometimes-lengthy discussions to a more brief presentation that states “Issue, Background and Statement.”

Statement issues approved include:

  • Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf Resources
  • Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Preservation of Geological and Geophysical Data
  • National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska Access
  • Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Access
  • United States National Energy Supply
  • Climate Change
  • Tax Reform
  • Natural Gas Supply Concerns
  • Reformation of the Endangered Species Act
  • Reformation of the Clean Water Act — Wetlands Access
  • Offshore OCS Access
  • Research and Development Needs
  • Oil and Gas Workforce Needs in the 21st Century

The Climate Change Statement (left) has been by far the most controversial. The discussions about the Climate Statement drew attention to the AAPG Statements as a whole as well as the process of their initiation, crafting and approval.

Consequently, the 2006-07 Executive Committee crafted a written Statement process, which names the Division of Professional Affairs as the principle author, and may also include soliciting comments from members at large on proposed positions deemed controversial. DPA subsequently recommended additional clarification and the newly approved procedures.

The new Climate Change Statement approval comes after over two years of discussion sparked by the proposal at the 2004 Annual Convention in Dallas for a “Climate Change Card” to be produced and distributed to AAPG members. A review of the cards’ content drew divergent opinions.

Members were invited to comment on the card online through October 2006. The passion expressed led the Executive Committee to investigate not only the Climate Change Statement, but the overall Statement process as well, leading to the new written, posted policy.

Following the comment on the card a select ad hoc Climate Change Committee was formed to review and/or recommend a new climate statement. That statement, with review of the Division of Environmental Geosciences and the DPA, was offered online in May 2007 for review and drew 93 posted responses.

The responses were taken into account by the EC, and, with further collaboration with DEG and DPA, approved the new statement.

Additionally, a new Global Climate Change Committee has been created with a charge to investigate appropriate ways for the association to become involved in climate change “solutions.” Committee members are being named.

The review and revamping of the AAPG Statements was performed and led by Carl J. Smith, chairman of the DPA Governmental Affairs Committee.

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