Political Contributions & Lobbying
We regularly and proactively communicate with our legislators, regulators and other policymakers through our Government Relations team and our executives and subject-matter experts where needed. We have a three-pronged approach to advocacy:
- Educating our elected officials, congressional delegations 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.
Engaging Stakeholders through 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 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 in this report for clarity
Engaging on Climate Change 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 is critical to our national security and economic prosperity. We will support 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; and
- Allows all energy sources to compete for innovation funding.
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, we have engaged with leaders of the Three Affiliated Tribes near our Bakken Asset in North Dakota for more than 10 years, discussing infrastructure, economic development, employment opportunities, land access and more. At our Permian Asset in New Mexico, we joined environmental organizations, academics, tribes, industry experts and other operators, and participated in the Methane Advisory Panel (MAP) in 2021. The MAP was tasked with identifying methods to reduce methane emissions, and its findings are the basis of new regulations adopted by the state.
In Texas, in response to Winter Storm Uri and the subsequent passage of Senate Bill 3, we encouraged the Texas Railroad Commission to adopt winterization requirements for critical power-generating infrastructure and highlighted our own proactive steps to prepare for cold weather. These include remote digital monitoring, smart alerts, line heaters, backup power generation and weatherization action plans. In Oklahoma, home of our STACK/SCOOP Asset and a state also affected by Winter Storm Uri, we participated in the Energy Assurance Tabletop Exercise. All of these responses are designed to help us maintain an uninterrupted supply of much-needed affordable energy.
We contribute to candidates and organizations that support responsible energy development. In 2021, we made direct corporate contributions totaling $55,000 to five candidates, political party organizations and political action committees (PACs), as allowed by state law in New Mexico.
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 2021, MEPAC donated $56,750 to 22 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 Health, Environmental, Safety and Corporate Responsibility (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 Contributions. Our 2021 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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