TC Energy

InfluenceMap Score
D
Performance Band
50%
Organisation Score
41%
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. In 2021, the company’s website recognized climate change as “one of the most pressing societal issues” and supported a net-zero economy by 2050. Similarly, ahead of the COP26 in Glasgow in October 2021, company tweeted in support for net-zero without specifying a date, while also highlighting the “global urgency” for GHG emissions reduction. TC Energy has stated support for Canada’s climate targets in a tweet from April 2021. The company has also supported the objectives in the Paris Agreement in its 2021 Report on Sustainability, published in October 2021. Support for the Paris Agreement was also specified in the 2020 Report on Sustainability, however the company did not make any reference or specify position on specific temperature goals.

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. The argument favoring economic considerations in carbon pricing was also reiterated in the company website in 2021.

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 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. TC Energy also highlighted 'discrepancies' between federal and state methane regulation in its 2020 CDP response and supports a standardized approach for methane emissions regulation. In its 2021 CDP response, the company declared that it was “undecided” on its position on Oregon’s proposed cap and trade program.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Most of TC Energy’s engagement with climate policy appears to be on policies regarding the energy transition. While the company has claimed to support the energy transition, evidence shows that it is actively engaged in advocating for an increasing role for fossil gas. In 2021, the company’s corporate website supported the transition away from coal in a way that promotes fossil gas and nuclear. Further, in April 2021, CEO François Poirier, supported a long-term role for fossil gas in the energy mix, as reported by Reuters. Evidence from the Canadian lobbyist register obtained in February 2021 suggests that TC Energy is actively lobbying for government support for energy infrastructure development, including pipelines, gas storage and energy. In the US in October 2019, TC Energy reportedly advised the South Dakota governor on legislation mirroring ALEC's Critical Infrastructure Act. Further, in February 2020, the company actively supported a bill that sought to criminalize protests against fossil fuel infrastructure in Ohio. In responding to a ruling against the Keystone XL pipeline, in June 2020 TC Energy requested that the US Supreme Court halt the implementation of the ruling, citing concern that it could be extended to a nationwide injunction on new pipelines.

In 2020, TC Energy submitted comments on proposed changes to the National Environmental Policy Act. Two of its three requests would omit GHG emissions from consideration as consequences of a project. The third cites Keystone XL delays as justification for limiting NEPA overreach. Similarly, in 2019, TC Energy opposed Canada’s Bill C-69, which would have required impact assessments to consider the “cumulative effects” of existing or future oil and gas infrastructure activities.

Industry Association Governance: TC Energy discloses a list of memberships it holds with industry associations in 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 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.

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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
52%
 
52%
 
28%
 
28%
 
42%
 
42%
 
24%
 
24%
 
67%
 
67%
 
31%
 
31%

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.