Valero Energy

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
San Antonio, United States
Brands and Associated Companies:
Ultramar, Diamond Shamrock, Beacon
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Valero Energy appears to be lobbying negatively on US climate change policy, with somewhat active engagement. The company demonstrates limited top-line communication on climate policy and has engaged in opposition to specific policies such as vehicle GHG emissions standards.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Valero has relatively limited top-line messaging on climate policy. While its 2022 ESG report, released in August 2022, references the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s Net Zero by 2050 report, the company does not appear to have expressed a clear position on the need to reduce global emissions in line with a 1.5C target. It has not offered a clear position on climate science, the need for climate regulation, or the Paris Agreement.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Valero appears to have mostly negative engagement with climate change policy. In May 2022, Valero submitted a comment to the EPA advocating in strong opposition to the agency’s proposed heavy-duty vehicle emissions standards. In that comment, it cited the same arguments from (and reattached for reference) its September 2021 comments against the EPA’s proposed 2023 and Later Model Year Light­ Duty Vehicle GHG Emissions Standards. In May 2021, Valero served as a witness supporting Texas Senate Bill 1261, which would limit local jurisdictions' ability to regulate greenhouse gases. In April 2021, a Valero executive suggested the company could be supportive of a carbon tax on an investor call, a seemingly more positive position following a Valero executive suggesting in July 2020 that Valero was unlikely to support a future US carbon tax due to concerns over the post-COVID economy and the risk of carbon leakage. More recently, according to a lobbying report from Q1 2022, Valero disclosed that it engaged with policymakers on issues related to the downstream refining sector in the Build Back Better Act, though it did not list its position on the issue.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Valero does not appear to fully support the transition of the energy mix. In August 2022, Yahoo Finance reported on Valero’s praise for the Inflation Reduction Act, but without specifying the company’s positions on the bill’s various climate and energy provisions. Valero is particularly active in California: in August 2022, it submitted a comment to the EPA opposing the waiver that allows California to enact its own stricter vehicle emissions standards, citing issues with the legality of the Advanced Clean Trucks rule in particular. In May 2022, Valero submitted comments to California Air Resource Board (CARB), in which it expressed its opposition to the proposed Advanced Clean Cars II Regulations, arguing that the goal of the legislation is political in nature, and questioning its legality. In September 2021, it opposed the phase-out of fossil fuel production in California, including through electrification and clean transportation measures, in comments to CARB. More generally, in July 2020, CEO Joe Gorder stated that “fossil fuels are going to be with us for a very long time” and appeared to support increased future oil consumption. Valero supported Critical Infrastructure Bills to criminalize protests against fossil fuel infrastructure in August 2019 in Oklahoma and June 2019 in Texas, as reported by the Intercept and San Antonio Business Journal, respectively.

Valero has also engaged heavily on the issue of biofuels and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In April 2022, a Valero comment to the EPA seemed to take a more favorable position on biofuels while urging the agency to consider the adverse impacts of other transportation fuel technologies, such as batteries needed in electric vehicles. Historically, Valero has taken legal action against the RFS, including arguing in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in September 2019 that the EPA’s biofuel mandates were too high.

Industry Association Governance: Valero discloses its membership with industry associations to which it pays $50,000+ per year in a Trade association's disclosure found on its website. The company is a member of the Business Roundtable (BRT), and also the National Petroleum Council (NPC). Valero's CEO Joseph Gorder sits on the board for American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), and Senior Executive Salo Zelermayer is chair of the Government Relations Committee.

A detailed assessment of the company's corporate review on climate policy engagement can be found on InfluenceMap's CA100+ Investor Hub here.

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.

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.