The American Petroleum Institute is a nonprofit oil and gas trade association. It was created to influence public policy in support of a strong, viable United States oil and natural gas industry that is considered essential to meeting the energy needs of consumers in an efficient, environmentally responsible manner. API engages in federal and state legislative and regulatory advocacy that is based on scientific research, technical legal and economic analysis and public issues communication. It also provides an industry forum to develop consensus policies and collective action on issues impacting its members and works collaboratively with all industry oil and gas associations and other organizations to enhance industry unity and effectiveness in its advocacy. The organization, founded in 1919, is based in Washington, D.C., and has offices in nearly 30 state capitals.