With Trump rolling back on climate, energy executives meet to discuss what’s next

Heather Mendoza, center, with her sons Tusweca Mendoza, 10, right, and Omaka Nawicakincinjin Mendoza, 7, of Arlington, Va., protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Royal Dutch Shell isn’t the only organization calling quasi-secret meetings to talk about a low-carbon future in the oil and gas industry.

Last month, even as President Donald Trump was announcing plans to dismantle the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, multinational oil giant Royal Dutch Shell convened a meeting with other energy companies, including Houston’s Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Apache Corp., to talk about a “cleaner energy” future.

Turns out the University of Houston had done the same.

RELATED: Oil execs talking with environmentalists? ‘It’s kind of become a movement.

Attendees at the UH workshop, hosted by the Bauer College of Business, talked about the value of the Paris climate accords, about pipeline permitting obstacles, and about working with environmentalists rather than against them.

“The decision to dismantle environmental regulations tends to stir up grassroots activism without significant benefit in terms of returns for the oil and gas industry,” wrote Professor Chris Ross and interim Vice Chancellor Ramanan Krishnamoorti as part of a summary of the day’s discussion.

The companies have already factored regulations into their budgets and projects, they explained at the meeting. The results of environmental activism, on the other hand, are less certain.

The UH participants also talked about the rise of natural gas and the fall of coal, as well as the public outcry against carbon pollution — as did attendees at the Shell meeting.

“The similarity between the outcomes of the events are striking,” Krishnamoorti said in an email to the Chronicle.

He said UH will have white papers on each energy sector publishing soon.

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