Marathon Petroleum

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Houston, United States

Climate Lobbying Overview: Marathon Petroleum is negatively lobbying on US climate change policy. While its top-line messaging is mixed, Marathon has engaged negatively on specific climate-related regulations and does not appear to support the energy transition. In addition, Marathon holds memberships in numerous industry associations that continue to lobby negatively on climate policy in the US.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Marathon demonstrates mixed top-line messaging on climate policy. In its 2021 Climate-Related Scenarios report, the company offers an unclear position on IPCC-demanded action, stating that near-term emissions reductions are critical for achieving global climate goals. It also states, however, that 'We should not allow the global ambition to be net-zero to inhibit the deployment of existing technologies that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions today'. It is unclear what these existing technologies are. Likewise, Marathon's 2020 Sustainability Report (released in June 2021) contains an unclear position on the goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2°C. In its Climate-Related Scenarios report, Marathon states support for market-based policies for responding to climate change. Previously, Marathon’s 2019 Federal Lobbying Disclosure shows that it engaged with Congress on the Green New Deal without disclosing its position. Evidence from Marathon's corporate website suggests it supports the Paris Agreement, although the company does not disclose a clear position on this point.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Marathon appears to be actively and negatively engaging with climate-related regulations. The company has been highly critical of the US renewable fuel standard (RFS), previously calling it a “deeply flawed” program in 2019. In August 2019, April 2019, and August 2018, the company submitted comments to the EPA that advocated for RFS program waivers and ethanol standards that were below 10%. In March 2019, speaking at the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers annual meeting, former Marathon CEO Gary Heminger stated that the RFS should be repealed and that “fuel markets should be free, competitive, and responsive to consumers – not to government mandates.” As of December 2021, according to a statement on its website, Marathon appears to support RFS with the exception that it allows for alternative ways of calculating fuel emissions.

An investigation by the New York Times in December 2018 revealed the company to be one of the main actors in a strategic plan to roll back US vehicle fuel economy standards, including using Facebook advertising and lobbying at both the state and federal levels. On its 'Political Engagement' page on its corporate website, accessed in December 2021, Marathon Petroleum states it supports the development of sustainable aviation fuels through blenders tax credits, and evidence suggests Marathon also supports the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

In August 2020, PBS reported that Marathon lobbied for weaker emissions testing and leak detection in Indiana during the COVID-19 pandemic. In October 2018, the company also financially supported a campaign to oppose a carbon tax in Washington state. Similarly, a 2018 Federal Lobbying Disclosure showed that Marathon lobbied against a federal carbon tax in Congress.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Marathon appears to oppose transitioning the energy mix. In its June 2021 Climate-Related Scenarios Report, CEO Michael Hennigan states support for the transition of coal to fossil gas without placing clear conditions on CCS and methane emissions abatement. An Ohio Lobbying Disclosure from 2020 shows that Marathon engaged on several bills, including HB 201 and SB 127, that prevent local governments from limiting the use of fossil gas, though its positions are not listed in the disclosure. InsideClimateNews reported in April 2021 that Marathon advocated for state-level critical infrastructure bills that would criminalize protests against fossil fuel pipelines. In March 2019, former CEO Gary Heminger promoted the “pivotal advantages” of fossil fuels that he claimed would be threatened “if the objectives of anti-fossil fuel advocates are realized.” In the same month, Marathon stated that it supports the removal of subsidies for electric vehicles as reported by E&E News.

Industry Association Governance: Marathon discloses a list of its industry association memberships and states broadly that it may not always agree with the groups’ positions on climate policy. It lists the climate policy positions of each association without providing a clear description of how it is engaging with them. Marathon maintains high-level memberships to a number of groups actively opposing US climate policy, including board-level membership with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the American Petroleum Institute (API), the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).

A detailed assessment of the company's industry association review can be found on our CA100+ platform here.

Strength of Relationship

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.