TC Energy

InfluenceMap Score
D-
Performance Band
48%
Organisation Score
37%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Energy
Head​quarters:
Calgary, Canada
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: TC Energy (formerly TransCanada) appears to have a negative stance toward policy action on climate change. The company considers fossil gas as a critical component in the future energy mix and undertakes policy advocacy in favor of fossil gas and pipeline infrastructure.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: TC Energy appears to have a mixed position on the need for overall climate action. The company’s 2021 Sustainability Report, published in October 2021, recognized climate change as “one of the most pressing societal issues” and appeared to support a net-zero economy by 2050. The company also supported the objectives in the Paris Agreement in its corporate website, when accessed in August 2022.

Regarding the need for climate policy, however, in its response to 2021 CDP Climate Change Information request, TC Energy emphasized the need for economic considerations in implementing carbon pricing through the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, and encouraged the government to adopt “technological innovations” for emissions reduction. While the company has stated support for “broad-based” economy-wide carbon pricing on the website when accessed in August 2022, it placed several caveats such as an emphasis on market-based mechanisms, competitiveness, and compliance flexibility. Evidence from Alberta and Ontario show that the company is engaged on climate regulations in these provinces. However, TC Energy has not disclosed its positions on these engagements.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: TC Energy’s disclosure of its engagement with climate change policies through its direct channels is very limited. The company has disclosed some of its policy engagement through CDP disclosures, including its claims of support for key strands of climate policy, while noting major exceptions to each. However, the company does not reveal in detail what these exceptions and how they could affect the ambition of the policy. For instance, in 2021 and 2020 the company stated support with exceptions for Canada’s Clean Fuel Standard, highlighting the need for 'Canadian competitiveness' to be considered in its design. In its 2021 CDP response, the company declared that it was “undecided” on its position on Oregon’s proposed cap and trade program.

Evidence from the lobbying registries reveal that TC Energy is engaged on several climate regulations in Canada. However, the company does not state its positions or the intended outcomes of the lobbying. For instance, the company has disclosed in 2022 that it is engaged on methane regulation at the federal level and GHG emissions reduction programs in Alberta. The company has also engaged with the federal government on the proposal for an investment tax credit for renewable energy projects.

Positioning on Energy Transition: A significant portion of TC Energy’s engagement with climate policy appears to be on policies regarding the energy mix. Recent evidence shows that it is actively engaged in advocating for an increasing role for fossil gas. In its Annual Report 2021, published in February 2022, the company appeared to support the transition away from coal in a way that promotes fossil gas without placing conditions on CCS or methane abatement. Further, in TC Energy’s ‘Corporate Profile’ for the investors, published in August 2022, the company stated that expansion of fossil gas infrastructure is “critical” to Mexico.

Evidence from the Canadian lobbyist registries suggests that TC Energy is actively lobbying for government support for energy infrastructure development, including pipelines, gas storage and energy. In the company’s filing in Alberta in August 2022, it stated that it had lobbied several departments of the Alberta government regarding the permitting and approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Similar advocacy seeking government support for energy pipelines were also registered in the federal lobbying registry.

In the US in March 2022, TC Energy, along with three other midstream companies, sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission advocating for a quick approval process for fossil gas pipelines citing the Russia-Ukraine crisis and its impact on global energy supply. The letter also urged the Commission to “immediately certificate” the pending fossil gas infrastructure projects. Later in April 2022, TC Energy’s comments on FERC’s proposal to include climate consideration in fossil gas infrastructure approval process opposed the measure, contending that the proposals were outside FERC’s jurisdiction. Further, in August 2022, an article by Politico reported that TC Pipelines, a subsidiary of TC Energy supported a long-term role for fossil gas, in reference to Washington, Oregon, and California’s opposition to the company’s GTN Xpress fossil gas pipeline expansion project.

TC Energy has disclosed its engagement on policies related to hydrogen in Alberta and the federal carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) investment tax credit in the lobbyist registries, without disclosing its positions.

Industry Association Governance: TC Energy discloses a list of memberships it holds with industry associations on its corporate website through a dedicated document titled “Oversight and policies on lobbying, political contributions and corporate memberships”. However, this list does not disclose if TC Energy is aligned or the climate policy stances held by each industry association. TC Energy remains a member of several trade associations with negative views on climate policies, such as the American Petroleum Institute, American Gas Association, and the US Chamber of Commerce.

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
 
29%
 
29%
 
41%
 
41%
 
23%
 
23%
 
28%
 
28%
 
67%
 
67%

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.