Duke Energy

InfluenceMap Score
D+
Performance Band
53%
Organisation Score
56%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Utilities
Head​quarters:
Charlotte, United States
Brands and Associated Companies:
Duke Energy Renewables, Duke Energy Retail, Duke Energy International
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Duke Energy appears to demonstrate mixed positions on U.S federal and state climate policy, with a lobbying presence across several states including Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. While the company holds positive positions on some policies, including support for federal clean energy tax credits, it continues to strongly advocate for fossil gas. Duke also maintains memberships to industry associations with highly negative climate policy engagement, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Gas Association (AGA). The company’s CEO, Lynn Good, serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for Edison Electric Institute, which has offered mixed support for climate proposals in the federal reconciliation bills and continues to promote a long-term role for fossil gas.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Duke demonstrates mixed top-line messaging on climate policy. Duke's 2020 Climate Report does not appear to support global emissions reductions as recommended by the IPCC, and the company’s 2022 Trade Associations Climate Review states support for market-based approaches to achieve emissions reductions. However, in July 2022 Duke signed a C2ES-organized advertisement that advocated for Congress and President Biden to enact climate investments through budget reconciliation. In January 2021, Duke CEO Lynn Good stated support for the Biden Administration to re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement.

Engagement with Climate-Related Policy: Duke Energy demonstrates mixed engagement with U.S climate policy. In February 2022, Duke signed a joint letter organized by C2ES advocating to Congressional leadership to pass the clean energy tax credits in the Build Back Better Act. That same month, CEO Lynn Good met with President Biden at the utility roundtable to discuss the Build Back Better Agenda and appeared to support the proposed clean energy tax credits. Following the introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022, Good stated support for the legislation’s clean energy tax credits in the company’s Q2 earnings call. Regarding GHG emissions regulations, in January 2022 Duke appeared to oppose any updates to methane emissions standards in joint comments to the EPA with the Class of ’85 Regulatory Response Group. As reported by the Washington Post in July 2022, the company did not take a clear position on the Supreme Court decision on West Virginia v. EPA. Previously, in 2018, Duke supported repealing the Clean Power Plan to replace it with the weaker Affordable Clean Energy Rule.

Duke demonstrates more negative positions on state-level climate policy. In North Carolina, as reported by Energy New Network in May 2022, Duke appeared to oppose rooftop solar incentives in its submitted proposal to revise net metering rates. That same month, S&P Global reported that Duke considered North Carolina’s 2030 target of achieving 2.8 GW of offshore wind by 2030 to be “aggressive and optimistic.” In Ohio, in its May 2022 state lobbying report, Duke listed its engagement on House Bill 450 toward developing community solar without disclosing a clear position on the legislation.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Duke demonstrates mostly negative positions on the energy mix, with a focus on promoting the long-term role of fossil gas. In the company’s 2022 Trade Associations Climate Review, the company states its support for climate policy that supports fossil gas “absent a cost-effective near-term technological breakthrough.” In a March 2021 interview, Duke CEO Lynn Good said public policy must "speak about the role of natural gas" and implied support for new fossil gas infrastructure. On the federal level, Duke has advocated directly to policymakers to support fossil gas. In June 2022 joint comments to the EPA with the Class of ’85 Regulatory Response Group, Duke emphasized concerns with moving away from fossil gas. Duke also signed a May 2022 AGA joint letter to the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development which advocated for increased research and development funding toward fossil gas. In October 2021, E&E News reported that Duke was present at a private meeting with Senator Manchin and five other utilities during negotiations on the proposed Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP).

Duke appears to engage on state-level policies to protect the role of fossil fuels. In Ohio, subsidiary Duke Energy Ohio submitted testimony on Senate Bill 117 in June 2021 and companion legislation House Bill 351 in October 2021, in which the company argued against removing the coal plant subsidies established by 2019’s House Bill 6. Previously in February 2020, it was reported by the Energy and Policy Institute that Duke supported Ohio Senate Bill 33, which criminalized protests against fossil fuel infrastructure and took effect in April 2021. In North Carolina, as reported by the News & Observer in October 2021, subsidiary Piedmont Natural Gas appeared to support North Carolina’s House Bill 220, the state’s gas ban preemption bill which Governor Cooper subsequently vetoed in December 2021. The previous year, Duke appeared to work with policymakers in North Carolina to advance its 2021 energy bill that, among other provisions, mandated the replacement of retiring coal plants in the state with fossil gas infrastructure. In the company’s August 2022 Florida lobbying reports, Duke employs several lobbyists to engage on state legislative matters related to fossil fuels without disclosing a clear position.

Industry Association Governance: Duke released an April 2022 updated version of its Trade Associations Climate Review, which describes its alignment with each trade association but lacks detail on specific climate change policy engagement activities. The company remains a member of several groups actively opposed to U.S. climate policy, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It may also be a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, as evidenced in the list of attendees to ALEC's 2019 Annual Meeting. Duke serves on the board of directors for American Gas Association, which holds negative positions on climate policy and promotes the long-term role of fossil gas. Duke’s CEO Lynn Good serves on both the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for Edison Electric Institute (EEI), which engages on climate policy with mixed positions. EEI supported the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy tax credits while previously engaging to amend the Build Back Better Act’s proposed Clean Electricity Performance Program.

A detailed assessment of the company's corporate review on climate policy engagement can be found on InfluenceMap's CA100+ Investor Hub here.

InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically. This summary was last updated in Q3 2022.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
52%
 
52%
 
57%
 
57%
 
91%
 
91%
 
29%
 
29%
 
28%
 
28%
 
90%
 
90%
 
83%
 
83%
 
11%
 
11%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.