The American Petroleum Institute (API) is the largest U.S. trade association for the oil and natural gas industry. It claims to represent about 650 corporations involved in production, refinement, distribution, and many other aspects of the petroleum industry. The association describes its mission as to influence public policy in support of a strong, viable U.S. oil and natural gas industry. Its chief functions on behalf of the industry include advocacy, negotiation and lobbying with governmental, legal, and regulatory agencies; research into economic, toxicological, and environmental effects; establishment and certification of industry standards; and education outreach. API both funds and conducts research related to many aspects of the petroleum industry. The current CEO and president is Jack Gerard. The API sponsors a voter education campaign in the United States called Vote4Energy.