We have expanded the list of climate policies we assess company engagement with to incorporate land-use related policy, referring to legislative or regulatory measures to enhance and protect ecosystems and land where carbon is being stored. Assessments under this category are currently underweighted in terms of their contribution to the overall company metrics. This weighting will be progressively increased over the next 6 months.
We adjusted the terminology used to describe the queries running down the left-hand side of our scoring matrix and added additional explanatory text to the info-boxes. This has no impact on the scores and methodology. It has been done following user feedback to improve clarity.
Climate Lobbying Overview: The Business Roundtable demonstrates a mix of both positive and negative positions on U.S. climate policy. While the group's top line-messaging on climate appears to have shifted more positively in recent years, it has continued to advocate negatively on key policy areas from 2021-23, such as the regulation of methane and Inflation Reduction Act. In addition, its communications are often limited to top-line statements, which do not comment on legislation or regulation in detail.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: The Business Roundtable’s recent top-line messaging on climate policy has been limited. Previously, in January 2021, the Business Roundtable issued a statement strongly supporting the Biden administration’s decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement. In September 2021, during negotiations over the Build Back Better Act, the Business Roundtable published an article supporting US climate policy in general but strongly opposing the reconciliation bill as a means of passing climate policy in the US. It strongly pushed back on the revenue provisions likely needed to pay for the climate provisions in the bill, as reported by Politico.
Engagement with Climate-Related Policies: In February 2023, the Business Roundtable submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on its supplementary methane proposal contesting the EPA’s legal authority to regulate methane emissions from existing sources. The group’s January 2022 comment on the EPA’s initial methane proposal offered unclear support for the regulation. Previously, in its 2020 climate policy position paper, the Business Roundtable supported a price on carbon but did not endorse specific carbon tax or cap and trade proposals and cautions against administrative burdens and implementation costs.
In August 2022, Business Roundtable expressed support for the climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act while opposing the bill overall.
Positioning on the Energy Transition: The Business Roundtable has frequently advanced energy-related policy positions that do not align with IPCC recommendations for transitioning the energy mix. Much of its engagement in 2022-2023 revolves around permitting reform. In May 2023, a senior executive from the Business Roundtable co-wrote an opinion article in RealClearEnergy with Duke Energy suggesting that permitting reform is necessary for increased fossil fuel production. The article cited the war in Ukraine and reduced production from OPEC as further justification for the US to export more energy. In addition, in a May 2023 press release, CEO Joshua Bolten advocated for the passage of a debt ceiling bill that included permitting reform provisions to facilitate all forms of energy infrastructure, including both pipelines and renewables. With similarly vague positions on its preferred roles for specific energy types, the association signed onto a coalition letter to Congress in March 2023 supporting policy reforms to facilitate the build out of all forms of energy infrastructure.
Notably, the Business Roundtable tweeted its support for the approval of the Willow oil drilling project in Alaska in March 2023.