Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E)

InfluenceMap Score
for Climate Policy Engagement
Performance Band
Organization Score
Relationship Score
San Francisco, United States

Climate Lobbying Overview: PG&E demonstrates positive and active engagement with climate change policy. The company makes strong high-level statements supporting the need for government regulation to tackle climate change and has engaged with mostly positive positions on specific policies such as GHG emissions targets. These positive positions misalign, however, with the company’s board-level membership in the American Gas Association (AGA) and California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber), both of which are actively lobbying against state and federal climate policies.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: PG&E has positive top-line messaging on climate policy. The utility has consistently supported the goals of COP21 and the Paris Agreement, opposing US withdrawal from the global treaty in 2017 and supporting US re-entry in 2021. PG&E was also a signatory of the We Mean Business Coalition letter in April 2021, which advocated to President Biden for policies toward a net-zero economy by 2050. In an October 2021 C2ES press release, PG&E CEO Patti Poppe supported the climate provisions in the federal infrastructure and reconciliation bills.

Engagement with Climate-Related Policy: PG&E appears to be engaging on a broad array of climate policies with mostly positive positions. In February 2022, PG&E signed a joint letter organized by C2ES that advocated to Congressional leadership to pass the clean energy tax credits in the Build Back Better Act. In April 2021, PG&E signed an open letter with Ceres and the We Mean Business Coalition urging President Biden to adopt a GHG emissions reduction target of at least 50% below 2005 levels by 2030. In May 2021, the company submitted comments to the Department of Energy supporting more ambitious federal energy efficiency standards for gas-powered boilers. In 2019, PG&E strongly opposed the rollback of federal regulations on methane emissions and supported their reinstatement in April 2021 under the Biden administration. The company also submitted a joint legal brief to the Supreme Court in January 2022, advocating for the court to uphold the EPA's authority to regulate GHG emissions from power plants. However, PG&E submitted comments to the California Public Utilities Commission in March 2021 advocating to weaken the rooftop solar subsidies in California’s Net Energy Metering Program.

Positioning on Energy Transition: PG&E appears to have a largely positive position on the transition of the energy mix. In 2021, the company directly advocated for federal policies toward the electrification of transportation. During the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill discussions in July 2021, PG&E signed a joint letter advocating for Congress to support investments in net-zero infrastructure. PG&E submitted a letter to the California Energy Commission in June 2020 strongly supporting the effort to advance all-electric new construction, and as reported by E&E News in January 2021, has publicly supported the pattern of building electrification mandates in California’s local governments. Despite mostly positive engagement with energy transition-related policy, the company’s position on the role of fossil gas in the energy mix is less clear. On an April 2021 earnings call, CEO Patricia Poppe appeared to defend the continued use of fossil gas as a bridge fuel, without referencing the need for methane abatement or carbon capture measures, a position that does not appear aligned with IPCC recommendations. Additionally, PG&E has submitted multiple comments to the California Air Resources Board during the 2022 Scoping Plan Update, including in September and October 2021, advocating for an expanded role for hydrogen and "renewable natural gas" in the state with an unclear position on decarbonizing the production of these gases.

Industry Association Governance: PG&E provides a list of its industry associations and corporate contributions for the past ten years in a dedicated political engagement page on its website. These memberships are also described in PG&E’s 2021 Corporate Responsibility Report, in which the company does not provide any detail on the associations’ climate positions. Similarly, in its 2020 CDP Climate Change Information Request, PG&E discloses that it serves on the board of twelve trade associations but otherwise provides no further details on its engagement with any of these groups. PG&E CEO Patricia Poppe serves on the boards of the American Gas Association, whose positions focus on supporting fossil fuel infrastructure and whose recent negative engagement includes lobbying against including a methane tax in the Biden administration reconciliation bill, and the California Chamber of Commerce, which has opposed a range of state climate policies in the 2021 legislative session. PG&E also serves on the board of the Edison Electric Institute, which has offered mixed support for climate provisions in the reconciliation bill.

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.