Four transparent ways MPC engages in policy matters
The involvement of corporations in politics is a touchy subject. As a company, Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) has to keep in mind that millions upon millions of people rely on its work to produce the fuels and other products they use every day to make their lives better. And they expect this work to be done in a safe, clean and affordable manner.
At the same time, lawmakers and regulators are considering, debating, passing and enforcing laws and rules that can have a profound effect on MPC’s ability to meet the public’s expectations for reliable, affordable fuels.
So the question is: How does the company balance these sometimes conflicting factors?
The answer is: political engagement. Here are the four primary ways MPC is involved in policy matters:
- Lobbying: The company employs staff lobbyists, as well as contracted lobbyists, who work at the federal and state levels. Why? It’s often the case that lawmakers and regulators are not experts in the refining and petroleum fuel industry. So lobbyists work with them on ways to meet their objectives without compromising MPC’s ability to meet energy consumers’ needs.
- Corporate contributions: Where allowed by law, MPC makes contributions to candidates for state and local offices. Focus is placed on candidates who support policies that help the company do its important work efficiently and effectively. It doesn’t matter what party they belong to – MPC only considers their positions on issues important to the critical work of the industry.
- Employee contributions: The Marathon Petroleum Corporation Employees Political Action Committee (MPAC) is a voluntary organization that some employees are eligible to join. If they choose to join, they make contributions to MPAC, which then decides (through a board of directors) which political candidates should receive funding. About 53 percent of eligible employees are members of MPAC.
- Trade association memberships: MPC belongs to trade associations that represent the industry in which the company operates. These associations, like the American Petroleum Institute or the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, allow MPC to join other companies in the industry to speak out collectively on issues that affect us all.
In order to be transparent about involvement, MPC discloses its lobbying, political contributions and high-cost trade association memberships on its website, http://www.marathonpetroleum.com. On the “Political Engagement and Disclosure” pages, found under the “Corporate Citizenship” tab, there are links to these disclosures so that interested parties can access this important information.
Access to the following is available on MPC’s website:
- Quarterly federal lobbying disclosure reports for the past five years
- Corporate contributions to political candidates, including names, dates and amounts
- MPAC contributions to political candidates, including names, dates and amounts
- Maps of the states where MPC has filed lobbyist disclosures and political contributions
- A list of the trade associations to which MPC paid annual dues of more than $50,000 in 2014 and 2015
- A detailed discussion of the philosophy and purpose of political engagement