The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Industry Investments Power Conservation and Outdoor Recreation

Kate Wallace

Kate Wallace
Posted February 22, 2018

Did you know the Pheasant Capital of the world is right here in the U.S.? South Dakota is the heart of America’s pheasant country, and was home to this year’s annual Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic, held in Sioux Falls over President’s Day weekend. API was a proud sponsor of the event, which focused on wildlife conservation, upland bird hunting, dog training and wildlife habitat management and restoration. At the conference, we had a chance to highlight the industry's commitment to environmental protection and its role in outdoor recreation and activities, like pheasant hunting.

PPI Pheasant Fest 2018

Our industry is committed to the responsible development of energy that not only powers our daily lives, but also provides access to clean water, clean air and natural environments that are suitable for outdoor activities such as hunting, hiking, fishing and more.

Outdoor recreation and tourism is a key component of our country’s economy, in which Americans spend about $887 billion annually – and natural gas and oil have a big role in the industry. Most products that Americans use to experience the outdoors are derived from natural gas and oil. From snow shoes to field jackets to ear plugs and more, the natural gas and oil industry is with you all the way. And the best part is that energy development and tourism and outdoor recreation can coexist. For instance, America’s No. 1 tourism state, California, is also one of the country’s top producers of oil. The development of natural gas and oil helps to increase economic growth along with providing citizens with the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

By working with conservation groups on all levels, the natural gas and oil industry is preserving habitats and protecting wildlife across the country. The safety standards and programs that have been developed by API and other industry entities help natural gas and oil companies to ensure that operations are providing energy safely and responsibly. Millions of dollars between hundreds of companies have been allocated to protect specific species and conserve habitats across the country. Companies do their part to recreate meaningful habitats around operations when land has been disturbed or reroute their operations altogether to protect the surrounding environment. As members of our communities, we want to see wildlife and their homes sustained for generations to come.

Constantly innovating and implementing advanced technologies helps to reduce emissions and produce cleaner fuels. By using advanced technologies, natural gas and oil are produced more cleanly and with less harm to the environment.

“Today, the U.S. is both the largest producer of natural gas and the world leader in reducing emissions. When it comes to propelling the U.S. forward with energy in the 21st century, we no longer have to choose between more energy and a cleaner environment.”

– API President and CEO Jack Gerard

Our industry also recognizes that water is a valuable natural resource, which is why companies are making strides to improve water management and conservation practices. A few of the ways our industry is innovating to improve water management is through technology advancements, new and sophisticated infrastructure, and the use of alternative water sources.  Our industry works hard to reduce environmental impacts of our operations and water conservation is just one of many solutions.

Innovation plays a key role in supplying the natural gas and oil that make our lives more fulfilling. Our ability to innovate continuously supports outdoor recreational activities, while conservation, reclamation and environmental stewardship drive our industry forward in protecting the environment. Some examples of technologies and innovations the industry is using to provide the energy that we need include drones, virtual reality, advanced seismic imaging and pipeline steel. As an industry, we are taking a high-tech approach to industry operations and safety to power past impossible.

There are many ways in which natural gas and oil help to power this environmental progress.  The four examples discussed here – support for recreation and tourism, conservation and reclamation efforts both onshore and offshore, reduced emissions and responsible resource management, and innovation and technology that drive safety – are just the beginning.  


Kate Wallace is an associate of research and content development for the American Petroleum Institute. Before joining API she was a researcher and policy analyst at America’s Natural Gas Alliance, and worked on pollinator conservation programs and state wildlife conservation policies before entering the energy industry. Kate graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in Resource Economics, and earned her Master of Public Administration from George Mason University. She loves taking her dogs on hikes, travelling and navigating the northern Virginia/DC craft beer and wine scenes with her friends and family.