PPL Corporation

InfluenceMap Score
D
Performance Band
48%
Organisation Score
45%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Utilities
Head​quarters:
Allentown, United States
Brands and Associated Companies:
Pennsylvania Power and Light
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview PPL Corporation (PPL) appears to engage with mixed positions on U.S. climate policy, demonstrating more negative positions on state-level policy via subsidiary Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities (LG&E and KU) in Kentucky. The company has emphasized its preference for market-based measures over government regulation to respond to climate change, and its support for fossil gas reflects the climate positions of its trade associations American Gas Association and the Edison Electric Institute. In June 2021, PPL completed the sale of its UK utility business, Western Power Distribution (WPD), to National Grid.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: PPL demonstrates limited and mixed top-line messaging on climate policy. Although PPL clearly supports the science of the IPCC in its November 2021 Climate Assessment Report, a representative from its subsidiary LG&E was reported to have denied the link between climate change and human action in January 2022. In its April 2021 sustainability report, subsidiary WPD states support for the United Kingdom’s net-zero by 2050 target. In its climate report, however, the company advocated for the U.S. to adopt market-based responses to climate change that support “regional and state flexibility.” PPL does not appear to take a clear position on the Paris Agreement.

Engagement with Climate-Related Policy: PPL appears to have limited and mixed engagement on climate-related policy in the US. While CEO Vincent Sorgi expressed support for the Inflation Reduction Act’s renewable energy tax credits during the company’s August 2022 earnings call, PPL had previously emphasized affordability and reliability concerns with the Build Back Better Act’s clean energy tax credits in its 2021 Sustainability Report. The company also offers mixed positions on GHG emissions standards: in its November 2021 Climate Assessment Report and 2021 CDP response, PPL discloses a preference for market-based solutions and “inside the fence” measures to emissions reductions, and subsidiaries LG&E and KU have previously lobbied against the Clean Power Plan in February and October 2018. However, in July 2021 joint comments with the Class of ’85 Regulatory Group, LG&E and KU advocated for the EPA to reinstate the California Clean Air Act waiver.

PPL appears to engage with mixed positions on state-level climate policy in Rhode Island and Kentucky. In July 2022 statements to Natural Gas Intelligence, subsidiary Rhode Island Energy stated its support for state legislation that raised the Renewable Energy Standard to 100% renewable energy production by 2033. However, the company does not appear to support policy to incentivize distributed power: in its April 2021 sustainability report, PPL offered mixed support for distributed energy resources by stating that their development should be accompanied by a “compensation structure that is fair to all customers.” The company expressed similarly mixed support for net metering policies and community solar programs in its 2021 CDP report, arguing that proposals should not place “significant administrative burdens” on utilities. In September 2019, the Daily Energy Insider reported on how subsidiary LG&E and KU supported Kentucky Senate Bill 100, which weakened the state’s net metering incentives.

Positioning on Energy Transition: PPL takes a largely negative position on the energy transition, stating support for decarbonization goals while advocating for the long-term role of fossil fuels. In the May/June 2022 issue of Edison Electric Institute’s magazine, CEO Sorgi stated that “natural gas infrastructure will have a clear role to play in the net-zero economy.” Previously, in a May 2021 earnings call, Sorgi appeared to support the Biden administration infrastructure package toward decarbonizing the economy, although on a subsequent August 2021 earnings call, he suggested that President Biden’s target of decarbonizing the power grid by 2035 was not feasible. In November 2021 joint comments with the Cross-Cutting Issues Group, subsidiaries LG&E and KU appeared to advocate for policymakers to weaken the National Environmental Policy Act and narrowly define “cumulative impacts” to avoid consideration of GHG emissions, among other amendments.

PPL demonstrates negative positions on the energy transition in Kentucky. In a May 2022 earnings call, CEO Sorgi stated support for the state’s Hydrogen Hub Initiative, which aims to seek project funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and supports the production of hydrogen from both fossil fuel and renewable energy sources, without clarifying the company’s position on decarbonizing hydrogen production. Additionally, PPL appeared to support state gas ban preemption legislation in its 2021 CDP disclosure. According to the Kentucky lobbying reports of subsidiaries LG&E and KU, in which they do not disclose positions on legislation, the companies have directly engaged on several bills related to electric vehicle infrastructure, including Bills [1031999 370 and 347.

Industry Association Governance: PPL publicly discloses its memberships to industry associations on its corporate website, however it provides limited detail on the company’s alignment with the organizations’ climate policy positions. PPL serves on the Board of Directors of both the American Gas Association (AGA) and Edison Electric Institute (EEI), with LG&E and KU Chief Operating Officer Lonnie E. Bellar on the Board of AGA and CEO Vincent Sorgi on the Board of EEI. AGA, whose positions focus on supporting fossil fuel infrastructure, opposed the Build Back Better Act’s methane fee. EEI engages on US climate policy with mixed positions, supporting the Inflation Reduction Act’s clean energy tax credits while previously lobbying to amend the Build Back Better Act’s proposed Clean Electricity Performance Program.

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
2NSNS1-1NSNS
1NSNSNSNS0NS
-1NS-1NSNSNSNS
0NSNSNSNSNS0
0NA-1NANANANS
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0NS0NSNSNSNS
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1NS0-102NS
110-100NS
-1NS00NSNSNS
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
28%
 
28%
 
57%
 
57%
 
25%
 
25%
 
91%
 
91%

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.