Political Contributions & Lobbying
Our Health, Environmental, Safety and Corporate Responsibility Committee (HES&CR) of the board of directors oversees corporate political, charitable and educational contributions inclusive of trade associations and other tax-exempt organizations at Marathon Oil. This includes lobbying expenditures, which are annually reported to the Committee. It also periodically reviews and makes recommendations to the board on, and monitors compliance with, the company’s policies, programs and practices concerning, among other things, social, public policy and political issues.
We regularly and proactively communicate with our legislators, regulators and other policymakers through our Government Relations team, our executives and subject-matter experts where needed. We have a three-pronged approach to advocacy:
- Educating our elected officials, congressional delegates and regulators on issues affecting the company and our industry.
- Elevating the conversation above partisan politics.
- Engaging with legislators and federal, regional and local regulatory agencies to serve as a resource, better understand and inform possible impacts on our operations and support responsible and reasonable laws and regulations.
We monitor evolving legislative and regulatory issues and have a cross-functional internal team dedicated to understanding potential impacts on our operations and preparing comments on proposed laws and regulations. In 2022, in advance of anticipated regulations on climate change from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, we formed a separate cross-functional team to understand what the proposed rules could mean for our operations, identify action plans and prepare comments on the proposed rules.
Participating in Industry Collaboration
Trade associations advocate for targeted public policies and allow us to proactively engage with our stakeholders as an industry. See here for a list of the key trade associations in which Marathon Oil employees participate and take leadership roles.
We support these organizations with our membership dues (a portion of which are used for lobbying efforts). We recognize that our advocacy positions will not always align with all advocacy positions taken by our various trade organizations. Therefore, we provide our advocacy positions on key issues related to climate change, taxation and other industry issues in this report for clarity.
Engaging on Public Policy
Marathon Oil shares the oil and gas industry’s commitment to providing abundant, low-cost and reliable energy while reducing carbon emissions. We believe real, lasting climate solutions are driven by innovation and technology breakthroughs that enhance our way of life and reduce emissions.
We believe that successful public policy must recognize that oil and gas underpin our standard of living and that American oil and gas are critical to our national security and economic prosperity. We will support climate policy that:
- Facilitates meaningful GHG emissions reductions.
- Requires proportional participation from all sectors of the economy.
- Utilizes fair, consistent and transparent measurement methodologies across industries.
- Encourages and appropriately accounts for early and/or voluntary actions.
- Minimizes inconsistent, redundant and/or contradictory regulations and policies.
- Attributes to energy producers only emissions arising during production operations.
Balances economic, environmental and energy security needs.
- Ensures the development of critical energy infrastructure.
- Makes the costs and associated climate benefits of any policy fully transparent to the American public.
- Ensures that the United States shoulders an equitable burden under international agreements.
- Does not disadvantage American oil and gas producers and workers against foreign competitors.
- Promotes innovation.
- Champions economy-wide public and private investment to develop cost-effective technologies that will materially reduce GHG emissions.
- Relies upon predictable and economically efficient policy frameworks, such as the use of market-based policies and/or offsets, to deliver outcomes at the lowest cost to society.
- Allows all energy sources to compete for innovation funding.
We also believe that any disclosures related to climate change issues or policy in our public filings should be based on whether those disclosures are material to the company.
Consistent with our position on Climate Change policy, we believe regulation of methane emissions specifically should:
- Encourage innovation and flexibility, instead of creating command-and-control regulations that hinder the goal of reducing methane emissions.
- Allow and incentivize the development and deployment of technologies to monitor and mitigate methane emissions for compliance purposes.
- Appropriately quantify and assess the feasibility, costs and benefits of implementing new requirements for existing facilities.
- Avoid creating duplicative and overlapping regulatory regimes at the federal and state levels.
- Properly interpret and follow the relevant provisions of the Clean Air Act.
Permitting and Taxation
Marathon Oil continues to support access to federal minerals and reasonable and predictable permitting terms. We also support tax deductions for Intangible Drilling Costs, a similar deduction afforded to other industries, to more quickly free capital for reinvestment in our business.
Working with Elected Officials and Community and Tribal Leaders
We believe that constructive engagements with local and state elected officials help us to be a more effective operator and community partner. We meet with county commissioners, mayors, county judges, tribal leaders and other local officials to update them on our plans, resolve issues, understand community concerns, and develop positive and meaningful relationships. As an example, at our Permian asset in New Mexico, we joined with natural resource experts, senior state government staff and other stakeholders as a member of the New Mexico Water Policy and Infrastructure Task Force in 2022. The group was tasked with developing recommendations to build the state’s water resilience and provide communities with equitable and sustainable access to water resources. For more information on our interactions with stakeholders, see our Stakeholder Map and Stakeholder Engagement section. Learn more about our work with tribal communities here.
We believe that constructive engagements with local and state elected officials help us to be a more effective operator and community partner. We meet with county commissioners, mayors, county judges, tribal leaders and other local officials to update them on our plans, resolve issues, understand community concerns, and develop positive and meaningful relationships.
We contribute to candidates and organizations that support responsible energy development. In 2022, we made direct corporate contributions totaling $161,700 to 28 candidates, political party organizations and political action committees (PACs) in New Mexico, as allowed by state law.
Through the Marathon Oil Company Employees Political Action Committee (MEPAC), eligible employees can contribute to candidates for U.S. federal and state elected office. In 2022, MEPAC donated $198,750 to 139 candidates, political party organizations and PACs. MEPAC is registered with the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC) and complies with FEC, state and local rules and reporting requirements.
MEPAC is managed by a board of employee directors, with the HES&CR Committee of the Marathon Oil board of directors serving in an advisory role. PAC contributions are based on a candidate’s position on business issues and without regard for the personal political preferences of company executives or PAC board members.
Marathon Oil also makes payments to organizations and trade associations that engage in, among other things, lobbying activities. Through these trade associations, we participate in the U.S. public policy dialogue about critical environmental and energy policies, including rulemaking comment periods regarding issues related to climate change. In the interest of good governance and transparency, we voluntarily report these payments and our policies and procedures for lobbying and political activities in our Report of Lobbying and Political Contribution.
Our 2022 Lobbying Report discloses corporate contributions made to tax-exempt 527s and 501(c)(4)s that exceeded $35,000 and which the recipient may use for political purposes. Based on information we received from our trade associations, the report also discloses the lobbying portion of our payments and dues made to trade organizations that, if made directly by the company, would not be deductible under section 162(e) of the Internal Revenue Code and that exceed $35,000.
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