We continually implement emissions reduction measures
Manufacturing fuel and other products at our seven refineries is the most energy-intensive and emissions-intensive aspect of MPC’s operations. Our refineries account for 87 percent of the “criteria air pollutants” emitted by MPC. These substances, monitored and regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), include sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, total particulate matter and volatile organic compounds.
Consistent measurement of MPC’s criteria air pollutant emissions over a period of several years can be complicated by changes in our assets. We sold a refinery in 2010, for example, and acquired one in 2013. Excluding these changes, however, we can see the trend for the six refineries we owned from 2002 through 2014. This trend shows that we have reduced criteria air pollutant emissions by 57 percent, even as gross throughput at these refineries increased by 39 percent. We have accomplished these reductions primarily by installing the latest control technologies.
In addition to criteria air pollutant emissions, MPC’s refining operations are the source of approximately 96 percent of our direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Indirect GHG emissions are primarily those associated with producing electricity and steam that we purchase to operate the refineries, as well as hydrogen necessary for some of our conversion processes, many of which produce low-sulfur fuels necessary for today’s cleaner-burning engines. When considering the six refineries we owned from 2002 through 2014, our direct GHG emissions increased by only 8 percent, even as gross throughputs increased 39 percent.
In other words, MPC is manufacturing more of the fuel and other products millions of people rely on, while doing so with a shrinking environmental footprint per unit produced.
It’s also worth noting that MPC’s GHG emissions are a small component of a much larger picture. American society, and the world at large, derive enormous benefits from the fuels we manufacture. MPC’s direct GHG emissions of 17.2 million metric tons in 2014 represent about 7 percent of the total GHG emissions associated with our fuel products, including our direct emissions and those from customers as they use our products. It’s also worth noting that the approximately 259.2 million metric tons of GHGs emitted from producing and consuming our fuel products represent about 4 percent of U.S. GHG emissions in 2013,* and less than 0.6 percent of global emissions in 2010.*
*The latest years for which the EPA provides data