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 Texas Association of Business (“TAB”), also known as the “Texas State Chamber,” has a sizable record of negative engagement with climate policy at the state and federal levels. With the self-proclaimed goal of providing “the best business climate in the world,” TAB regularly cites economic concerns in its advocacy against climate-forward policies. TAB appears to maintain a strong interest in cementing Texas’s role as a global leader in oil and fossil gas production, with frequent calls for increases in production and exports.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: TAB’s messaging on climate policy calls into question the authority of scientific consensus on environmental protection, suggesting methodologies that regulators employ to craft policy frameworks can be “unsound” and constitute “regulatory overreach.” TAB sows doubt about the well-established linkages between human activity and climate change, suggesting that non-human factors play an outsized role in creating the natural phenomena we see today. Further, to bolster its positions calling for deregulation and in working to lock fossil resources into the energy mix, TAB often cites national security concerns, suggesting that regulations intended to mitigate climate change in fact only make the country and our allies vulnerable to other major world powers that will hold energy resources for ransom. Too, TAB emphasizes the economic impacts of climate policy, stating that it advocates a market-based approach to solve this broad-spanning issue, rather than a government-led approach.
Engagement with Climate-Related Policy: TAB has engaged with climate policy both within the Texas state legislature and within the courts. The Texas State Chamber has published its priorities for state legislative sessions for 2019, 2021 and 2023. However, TAB has not offered the same level of formal disclosure for its priorities at the federal level; its last published federal priorities paper dates back to 2019. Analysis of the positions stated plainly in these papers reveals consistent deregulatory stances that oppose IPCC guidance on the urgency of responding to climate change and the significant shifts in society that must occur in order to effectuate meaningful mitigation. TAB has stated firm opposition to climate-forward federal policies such as the Clean Power Plan and the Green New Deal, while advocating to curb the scope of emissions regulation policies like the Clean Air Act. Of note, in 2015 TAB co-signed an amicus brief in the West Virginia v. EPA case that culminated in a landmark Supreme Court decision in 2022 that stripped the EPA of its ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing stationary sources within the States – the outcome TAB had hoped for. At the state level, TAB touted its efforts to “defeat an ‘anti-renewables’ campaign in Texas’s 86th legislative session, a prima facie showing of support for pro-renewable policy; a closer examination reveals the scope of the policy TAB helped to hammer down only narrowly applied to renewable energy production and opposing the policy fell within TAB’s regular messaging of supporting market-based responses to climate change rather than policy (see Texas Tax Code 3(b) Chapter 312, Sec. 312.0021).
Position on Energy Transition: TAB strongly advocates for a long-term role for fossil fuels in the energy mix, both at domestic and international levels. As part of its legislative priorities, TAB frequently states its support for infrastructural buildout that will lock oil and fossil gas into the energy mix, calling for greater pipeline and refinery development. Further, TAB explicitly opposes any regulatory measures that would impose standards within the energy mix that require fuel-switching from traditional sources. Its support for renewable energy sources is founded upon economic incentives, rather than motivated by a desire to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. For example, TAB funded a 2023 research report that promoted economic incentives for renewable energy production, such as tax and landowner payment mechanisms. The report does not mention the words “climate change,” “greenhouse gas,” “emissions,” or “carbon.” TAB frequently uses social media to promote Texas energy, often voicing support for renewables and clean energy at the same time that it advocates for the sustained role of oil and fossil gas in the energy mix. In 2022, TAB CEO Glenn Hamer met with German diplomats to encourage their investment in Texas energy resources with the goal of increasing fossil gas and oil production and international exportation.