PG&E Corporation and its subsidiaries (together, "PG&E") engage at the federal, state, and local levels of government to ensure the concerns of customers, shareholders, and employees are adequately represented before lawmakers and regulators. Policy decisions of lawmakers and regulators at the federal, state, and local levels can significantly affect the business environment in which PG&E operates, especially because PG&E's core utility business is highly regulated. PG&E believes it is important to participate in the political process, including contributing to political campaigns, and engaging in substantive discussions with those officials whose decisions impact our business. These political engagement activities support PG&E's core business of providing safe, reliable and affordable gas and electric service to the millions of homes and businesses that depend on us.
As part of their oversight functions, the Boards of Directors of PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company oversee PG&E's political engagement policies, programs, and practices. The Compliance and Public Policy Committee of the PG&E Corporation Board of Directors is responsible for advising and assisting the Boards with respect to public policy and corporate responsibility issues that significantly affect the interests of the customers, shareholders, or employees of PG&E. This board-level oversight responsibility may include establishing general requirements and dollar thresholds for management approval of political expenditures, and reviewing public policy issues that may affect customers, shareholders, or employees. (Specific contributions may be approved by the PG&E Corporation Chief Executive Officer, a Pacific Gas and Electric Company President, or the companies' Senior Vice President – External Affairs and Public Policy.) The Boards of Directors also approve the overall corporate budgets that support PG&E's political activities.
Subject to this board-level oversight, management is responsible for developing the strategies and the day-to-day decisions and activities regarding how expenditures and advocacy activities can further PG&E's business objectives, and best serve the interests of customers, shareholders, employees, and the public.
Consistent with company values, PG&E is committed to full compliance with both the letter and the spirit of all federal, state, local, and foreign political laws and to maintaining the highest ethical standards in the way we conduct our business. Outside legal experts periodically review PG&E's political activity, as well as PG&E's political policies and practices.
Along with civic, charitable and volunteer activities, employees can participate in the political process. All eligible employees may make voluntary contributions to the company's political action committees: PG&E Corporation Employees EnergyPAC and Pacific Gas and Electric Company State and Local PAC. PAC contributions go directly to support candidates for elective office at both the federal and state levels. By law, PG&E cannot use corporate funds to make contributions to federal candidates.