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 Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Tennessee Chamber) demonstrates negative engagement on climate policy on the federal level and in the state of Tennessee. The group actively supports legislation that promotes the long-term role of fossil fuel infrastructure and has advocated against the climate provisions in the Build Back Better Act. The Tennessee Chamber is the Tennessee affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Chemistry Council, all of which strategically engage with negative positions on U.S. climate policy.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: The Tennessee Chamber appears to have limited, negative top-line messaging on climate policy. According to the group’s July 2021 Legislative Results and Outcomes report, it actively opposes any state climate legislation that places “unnecessary burdens” on Tennessee businesses. In November 2021, the Tennessee Chamber signed a U.S. Chamber of Commerce coalition letter which urged Congress to oppose the climate provisions in the federal reconciliation bill.
Engagement with Climate-Related Policy: InfluenceMap was unable to detect significant, publicly available evidence of the Tennessee Chamber’s engagement with climate policy in recent years. According to its July 2021 Legislative Results and Outcomes Report, the group listed Tennessee Senate Bill 795 without disclosing a position on its energy efficiency or renewable energy provisions.
Positioning on Energy Transition: The Tennessee Chamber demonstrates negative positions on the energy transition and has strategically advocated for policies toward expanding domestic fossil fuel infrastructure, including the recent preemption bill in Tennessee. According to a March 2022 article by the Associated Press, the Tennessee Chamber directly advocated to state Senator Ken Yager to introduce Senate Bill 2077 (SB 2077), which restricts any local government from prohibiting fossil fuel infrastructure in its jurisdiction. That same month, the group verbally testified before the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee in support of the bill, stating that prohibiting local governments from enacting an ordinance to limit fossil fuel projects was a necessary measure to ensuring “certainty to the regulated community, local governments, as well as general public, that these necessary critical infrastructures be developed.” In April 2022, Tennessee Chamber CEO Bradley Jackson wrote an opinion piece in the Tennessean in which he supported the legislation as a means to ensure that “Tennessee is not a roadblock to expanded American energy production and distribution.” In the same piece, Jackson cited the crisis in Ukraine as justification for expanding domestic fossil fuel production and infrastructure. SB 2077 subsequently passed in the Senate and was signed into law by Governor Lee in May 2022.
The Tennessee Chamber has supported similar bills to protect fossil fuel infrastructure in past legislative sessions. In its June 2020 Legislative Report, the group disclosed its support for the state’s fossil gas ban preemption bill, Senate Bill 1934, which was passed and signed into law in March 2020. The Tennessee Chamber also stated support for Senate Bill 0264, the state legislation that criminalized protest activities against fossil fuel infrastructure, in its Summer/Fall 2019 magazine. The bill was signed into law in May 2019. In a January 2022 Tweet, the Tennessee Chamber appears to support the electrification of transportation.