Occidental Petroleum

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Greenway Plaza, United States
Brands and Associated Companies:
Oxy, OxyChem
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Occidental Petroleum appears to be negatively engaged with climate policy. In its top-messaging, there is limited evidence of support for ambitious action to respond to climate change, and appears to have not supported specific climate-related regulations such as carbon taxing or greenhouse gas emissions targets in the US. Occidental Petroleum also continues to support a continued role for oil and gas in the energy mix with widespread use of CCS.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Occidental Petroleum appears to have mixed support for climate policy in its top-line messaging. In June 2019, CEO Vicki Hollub signed a joint letter recognizing the need for “sustained, large-scale action" to keep global warming below 2°C and appeared to maintain this position in comments from December 2020.

However, it is unclear whether Occidental Petroleum is supportive of ambitious policy on climate change. In June 2019, Occidental Petroleum called for “economically meaningful” market-based mechanisms to respond to climate change, but its support for the need for other government regulation was unclear. Furthermore, CEO Vicki Hollub appeared to suggest in October 2018 that companies could reduce CO2 emissions without being “told to do it”, leaving the need for policy uncertain. Similarly, in January 2018, Occidental stated opposition to regional or sector specific GHG emission regulations due to the "inherent limits in their ability to affect any human-induced climate change."

Occidental also shows a mixed position on the Paris Agreement. In October 2018, CEO Vicki Hollub stated that the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate agreement was “the right thing for the country”. However, in comments from February 2021, Hollub appeared to express support for the Paris Agreement goals.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Occidental Petroleum appears largely unsupportive of specific climate-related regulations, despite claiming to be “neutral” on many policy areas. The company has stated that it is "neutral" on carbon taxes and emission trading schemes via its 2019 responses to CDP's Climate Change Information Requests, but specified that it does not support mandatory GHG emission controls that apply only to certain sectors. Occidental maintained the neutral position on carbon taxes in its 2020 CDP responses. However, in October 2018, CEO Vicki Hollub had stated that it was “too soon to support a carbon tax” in the US. Similarly, in its 2019 CDP responses, Occidental stated that it is neutral on methane regulations and reaffirmed this position in 2020. Furthermore, in October 2018, Occidental appears to have supported loosening of GHG emissions standards under the replacement of the Clean Power Plan by the Trump administration.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Occidental Petroleum appears to have actively supported measures to maintain a high GHG energy mix. Occidental Petroleum appears to have repeatedly (and successfully) lobbied for substantial financial support for the oil and gas industry throughout 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes successfully lobbying for access to financial assistance from the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program in May 2020 and organizing a letter-writing campaign amongst Occidental employees aimed at members of Congress advocating for financial assistance for the oil industry in April 2020. Additionally, CEO Vicki Hollub met with President Donald Trump in April 2020 to directly advocate for financial support for the fossil fuel industry.

Occidental Petroleum appears to show limited support for renewables; in February 2021, CEO Vicki Hollub appeared to support misinformation around the Texas blackouts, erroneously blaming “the limitations of some renewable energy systems in extreme climate conditions” for the disaster.

Occidental Petroleum instead appears to advocate for a major role for CCS in the energy mix with significant long-term use of fossil fuels, especially oil and gas. In September 2019 CEO Vicki Hollub stated “There’s no way to cap global warming without significant sequestration and use of CO2… As much as some people want oil and gas to go away in the next couple of decades, it cannot”. Similarly, Occidental Petroleum appears to support an ongoing role for coal in the energy mix with CCS. For instance, in October 2018, Occidental stated in a submission to the EPA, “CCUS also provides a pathway to reconcile the reality of a large and relatively young fleet of coal-fired power stations with the need for deep emissions reductions.”

Industry Association Governance: Occidental Petroleum has disclosed its membership to a number of industry associations. However, except for disclosure on a handful of industry associations in the 2020 CDP responses, the company has not disclosed how it is engaging with these associations on climate change policy, nor disclosed what their climate-relevant policy positions are or whether they are in alignment with Occidental's own positions. Occidental Petroleum retains membership of several organizations which are oppositional to US climate change regulation, including the American Petroleum Institute and the US Chamber of Commerce.

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.