Public Policy Engagement

As a regulated utility, PG&E’s business is shaped considerably by public policy at the local, state, regional and national levels. We regularly engage on a wide range of public policy matters that are of importance to PG&E and our customers, knowing that the evolution of these policies plays a significant role in achieving safe, reliable, affordable and clean energy for our customers, as well as defining the structure of the market that impacts PG&E and other utilities.

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.

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, 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 early and sustained support for state Assembly Bill (AB) 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, that established California’s greenhouse gas reduction targets in 2006 and our support for California’s aggressive vehicle emissions standards.

Public Policy Governance at PG&E

The Compliance and Public Policy Committee of the PG&E Corporation Board of Directors maintains oversight of public policy matters. At the senior management level, the Senior Vice President of External Affairs and Public Policy leads the development and implementation of PG&E’s public policy activities.

The Compliance and Public Policy Committee 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 Compliance and 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:

  • Candidates for state and local office
  • 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
  • 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 PG&E’s political engagement. All eligible employees may make voluntary contributions to the following political action committees (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.

Recent Highlights

Selected public policy issues at the state level include:

  • Clean energy and climate change. PG&E fully supported SB 350 as an important step toward achieving California’s aggressive climate change and clean energy goals. Signed by California’s Governor, SB 350 increases the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50 percent by 2030, and doubles state energy efficiency goals. The bill supports the Governor’s April Executive Order, which set a new goal to reduce GHG emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. We continue to engage in public policy discussions that focus on the broader goal of delivering cleaner sources of electricity.
  • Residential rate reform. We support reform of residential electric rate structures and advocate for a simpler system of rates. Our proposal includes simplifying rates, bringing them closer to actual energy costs and supporting informed customer choice with an optional time-of-use rate.
  • Supplier diversity. We supported AB 1678, which requires utilities to include LGBT-owned businesses in their supplier diversity programs. PG&E was the first utility to pursue these businesses for our supply chain in 2012, and we are actively working with LGBT businesses to increase their access to strategic growth opportunities.

Selected public policy issues at the federal level include:

Measuring Progress

In 2014, PG&E Corporation Employees EnergyPAC made contributions of $544,000. PG&E contributed $3,330,437 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, 2014
PG&E Employees Federal PAC Contributions
U.S. House $219,000
U.S. Senate $91,000
Leadership/Other PAC $244,000
Total $544,000
PG&E Employees State and Local PAC Contributions
Total $14,850
Corporate Campaign Contributions
Total California Corporate Contributions to Candidates $368,850
Total Corporate Contributions to Other Committees $2,961,587
Total $3,330,437

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, 20141
Portion of Dues That Were Nondeductible
Total $581,090
  • 1 Represents the portion of membership dues to trade associations that was nondeductible 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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