1958 API Smoke and Fumes Committee’s article “A Review of the Air Pollution Research Program of the Smoke and Fumes Committee of the American Petroleum Institute”

This document is a 1958 report by Executive Secretary of API’s Smoke and Fumes Committee, Charles Jones, titled, “A Review of the Air Pollution Research Program of the Smoke and Fumes Committee of the American Petroleum Institute.”  The report signifies that the oil industry was conducting studies to determine the effect of fossil fuel sources on carbon emissions no later than 1958. The article reveals that the Smoke and Fumes Committee was organized to combat growing concerns over the oil’s industry’s role in air pollution. In addition, the Smoke and Fumes Committee was intended to provide “factual” and “reliable” research to aid in creating government regulations to control pollution.

 

Charles Jones, the Executive Secretary of the Smoke and Fumes Committee of the API, and an executive at Shell Oil Company, provides a history of the first five years of the Committee’s air pollution research program. Jones' review provides additional detail on the integration of the Smoke and Fumes Committee into API in 1951, including the critical role of the Publications Committee—subsequently renamed the Information Committee.
Jones described the purposes of the Committee’s research efforts, namely, to disseminate information and avoid “restrictive and uneconomic” regulation. Significantly, the document confirms that, by no later than 1958, the Smoke and Fumes Committee (and hence, API and the industry) had at least one project (at Truesdail Laboratories) designed to determine the amounts of atmospheric carbon attributable to fossil fuel sources.

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