NEW ORLEANS—With 40 years until the closing of its oil refineries, British Petroleum announced plans Thursday to become carbon-neutral by 2050, joining a growing list of corporations that have made the unprecedented and widely touted shift in the energy industry. “For years, BP has recognized that for us to succeed and be a sustainable, carbon-neutral company, we must be able to eliminate our own greenhouse gas emissions in time to fulfill our fundamental fiduciary duty to shareholders,” said CEO Bob Dudley, who noted that though BP is actively pursuing a low-carbon strategy, the firm has already managed to offset a large majority of its carbon emissions by installing carbon-neutral alternatives at its refineries. “Now is the time to start pursuing these types of beneficial action—if we fail to do so now, our competitors will be able to capitalize on our cost advantage to drive a greater cost of capital to the oil and gas industry, and thus an increase in the costs of capital for those companies’ shareholders.” Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Science Committee, confirmed that as long as BP continues to produce carbon-neutral alternatives to petroleum products, the corporation will continue to receive congressional support on carbon initiatives.