(OILPRICE.COM) The American Petroleum Industry announced the U.S. oil and natural gas sector spent billions of dollars last year on environmental programs. The energy lobby said it estimates that about 20 percent of all investments in low-carbon technology came from private energy companies. At the most recent international climate conference, world environmental negotiators were too ensnared by their own governmental interests to make any major breakthroughs. Groups like API, however, adhere to the adage that markets are more adept at innovation when freed from burdensome government regulations. But without at least some federal persuasion or economic incentive, it’s uncertain what 2013 holds for a low-carbon future.