National Federation of Independent Business

InfluenceMap Score
for Climate Policy Engagement
Performance Band
Organization Score
All Sectors
Nashville, United States

Climate Lobbying Overview: The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is highly engaged on climate policy, with consistently oppositional positions. NFIB has an advocacy presence in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and engages most frequently with policy relating to the energy transition and greenhouse gas regulation. While NFIB makes its climate policy positions clear, the organization provides no disclosure on its own membership.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: NFIB does not provide any details on its acceptance of climate science, support for global emissions reductions in line with IPCC recommendations, or its position on U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement. NFIB has stated general opposition to both the Build Back Better Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, each of which contained provisions to address climate change. Evidence of NFIB’s engagement with specific climate policy issues conveys consistent deregulatory positions and advocacy for limitations on environmental considerations in the policymaking process.

Engagement with Climate-Related Policy: NFIB appears generally opposed to specific climate policies that aim to regulate and reduce GHG emissions. The group has filed amicus briefs in multiple cases concerning GHG emissions regulation at the federal level, most notably in February 2019 in support of defendants in Juliana v. United States, and then in December 2021 in support of plaintiffs in the landmark Supreme Court case West Virginia v. EPA. InfluenceMap found evidence that reveals NFIB was one of the original petitioners in West Virginia v. EPA when the case was first brought to the D.C. Circuit in 2016.

In concert with strong opposition to GHG emissions regulation, NFIB also takes negative positions on matters of carbon taxes and emissions trading. In May 2021, NFIB testified in opposition to the proposed carbon tax in the Climate and Community Investment Act in the New York Senate. Similarly, in Pennsylvania, a representative from NFIB provided written testimony to the legislature in March 2022 urging policymakers to reject Pennsylvania’s participation in the cap-and-trade coalition, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. With regards to energy efficiency, NFIB filed an amicus brief in December 2022 in Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) v. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), challenging NHTSA’s 2024-2026 fuel economy standards for vehicle models in the market. NFIB does not appear to show recent engagement on renewable energy policies.

Position on Energy Transition: NFIB is highly active on policies that affect the energy mix and the role of fossil fuels. NFIB strongly opposed the California Air Resources Board (CARB)’s 2022 Climate Change Scoping Plan – a comprehensive and broad policy framework that aims to decarbonize the California economy at large – by issuing public calls for its members to participate in the policy process, with suggested oppositional positions. Similarly, in January 2022, the New Mexico chapter of NFIB urged its members in an “Action Alert” to oppose a bill aiming to introduce low-carbon fuel standards (LCFS) in the state.

In addition to opposing policy to transition the energy mix, NFIB has supported measures that would protect or promote the use of high GHG-emitting fuels. In April 2021, the Michigan chapter of NFIB stated its support for the Line 5 Pipeline Project. More recently in Michigan, NFIB urged the Ann Arbor Planning Commission in a February 2023 letter to oppose ordinances that would ban the use of natural gas in new buildings. Similarly, NFIB wrote to the Minnesota House Climate and Energy Committee in January 2023 to oppose legislation that would set a net-zero energy standard for new buildings.

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