Public Policy

We advocate for public policies that support programs to create a pipeline of qualified veterans and others to provide quality, highly skilled workers for the energy industry

As a regulated investor-owned utility in California, PG&E regularly engages on public policy issues of importance to our company and customers. Given the scope and geographic reach of our business, we are involved in a wide range of public policy matters at the local, state, regional and national levels.

Our Approach

PG&E seeks to advance public policies that enable us to better meet the needs of our customers and employees, while adding value for our shareholders and supporting our goal of environmental leadership. This includes seeking policies that will enable us to provide our customers with the safe, reliable and affordable services they expect.

Much of our public policy work is done through coalitions. For example, we actively work with trade organizations such as the Edison Electric Institute, American Gas Association, Nuclear Energy Institute and National Hydropower Association, as well as through organizations such as the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, Clean Power Plan Initiative, 316(b) Coalition, and Alliance to Save Energy to advocate for responsible federal policies that support energy efficiency and clean energy.

PG&E’s track record also includes taking stands on sometimes controversial policy issues when doing so is in the best interest of our business and in keeping with our values. Examples include our public opposition to California’s Proposition 8 in 2008, which made same-sex marriage unconstitutional; our early and sustained support for Senate Assembly Bill (AB) 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006; and our support for California’s aggressive vehicle emissions standards.

Public Policy Governance at PG&E

The Public Policy Committee reviews PG&E’s political contributions program. At the senior management level, the Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs leads the development and implementation of PG&E’s public policy activities.

The Public Policy Committee of the PG&E Corporation Board of Directors reviews PG&E’s political contributions program. The PG&E Corporation Board of Directors establishes management approval limits for political contributions from PG&E to candidates, measures, initiatives, political action committees and certain other organizations that may engage in political activity. These approval limits may be delegated further within PG&E. The Public Policy Committee also directs the preparation of an annual report detailing political contributions made by PG&E during the preceding year.

PG&E Corporation and its affiliates and subsidiaries are committed to full compliance with both the letter and the spirit of all applicable federal, state, local and foreign political laws and to maintaining the highest ethical standards in the way we conduct our business.

PG&E makes corporate political contributions to:

  • Political action committees (PACs);
  • Political parties and other organizations that engage in voter registration and similar activities that encourage citizen involvement in the political process; and
  • Nonprofit organizations, including those formed under Section 501(c)(4) and 527 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Along with civic, charitable and volunteer activities, employees can participate in the political process. All eligible employees may make voluntary contributions to the following PACs: 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 and political parties at both the federal and state levels, as well as other political action committees. By law, PG&E cannot use corporate funds to make contributions to federal candidates.

2013 Milestones

Selected public policy issues at the state level include:

  • Residential rate reform. We support reform of residential electric rate structures and advocate for a simpler system of rates in keeping with Assembly Bill (AB) 327, a state law passed in 2013. AB 327 authorizes the CPUC to to narrow the discrepancies between rates paid by lower-use and higher-use customers. This reform will bring rates more closely into line with the actual cost of service.
  • Clean energy. We engage in public policy discussions that focus on the broader goal of delivering less greenhouse gas-emitting resources of electricity.

Selected public policy issues at the federal level include:

Measuring Progress

In 2013, PG&E Corporation Employees EnergyPAC made contributions of $411,850. PG&E contributed $2,743,791 to state and local political candidates, ballot measures, political parties and other committees. Our annual political contributions are publicly reported on PG&E Corporation’s website.

Political Contributions—2013
PG&E Employees Federal PAC Contributions
U.S. House $174,850
U.S. Senate $55,000
Leadership/Other PAC $182,000
Total $411,850
PG&E Employees State and Local PAC Contributions
Total $0
Corporate Campaign Contributions
Total California Corporate Contributions to Candidates $459,425
Total Corporate Contributions to Other Committees $2,284,366
Total $2,743,791

PG&E also discloses its policies and procedures regarding its lobbying activities and trade association payments, including the portions of any annual trade association membership dues over $50,000, to the extent those dues are used for lobbying purposes.

Trade Association Dues—20131
Portion of Dues That Were Non-Deductible
Total $487,057
1 Represents the portion of membership dues to trade associations that was non-deductible under Section 162(e)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code. Includes trade associations that received annual membership dues over $50,000. The reported amount is based on information provided by the trade associations to PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

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