Valero Energy

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Modifications to InfluenceMap Scoring
San Antonio, United States
Brands and Associated Companies
Ultramar, Diamond Shamrock, Beacon

Climate Lobbying Overview: Valero Energy appears to be broadly lobbying negatively on climate change policy. It has made relatively limited top-line statements about its broad climate positions but has repeatedly engaged negatively with specific legislation or policy intended to reduce emissions. In particular, it has lobbied extensively on the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2019 and 2020, advocating a range of policy positions that would likely weaken the ambition of the policy.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Valero appears to have relatively limited top-line messaging on climate policy. It has not expressed a clear position on the Paris Agreement, and although evidence from its 2018 report “Climate Risks and Opportunities” suggests it does not support drastic action to respond to climate change, it does not appear to have clear position on the requirement to cut emissions to net zero by 2050 or to limit temperature increase to below 1.5C.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Valero appears to have a mostly negative engagement with climate change policy. In July 2020, a Valero executive appeared to suggest Valero were unlikely to support a future US carbon tax due to concerns over the post-COVID economy and the risk of carbon leakage. This follows Valero Energy making a major financial contribution to the campaign in October 2018 against a carbon tax in Washington State (the No on 1631 campaign). However, in April of 2021 a Valero executive suggested the company could be supportive of a carbon tax in an investor call. In September 2017, Valero appeared to oppose more ambitious GHG emissions targets in Wales, emphasizing the risk of carbon leakage, stating “Valero urges Welsh policymakers not to use the Paris Agreement to go beyond current UK regulatory requirements.”

Valero’s engagement with climate change policy appears most heavily focused on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). A particular point of concern has been the point of obligation of the policy. Valero Energy has advocated for this to be moved from refineries to fuel retailers and in January 2020 petitioned the US Supreme Court, arguing the EPA has violated the law by not considering such reforms (the EPA has warned that this change could undermine the policy by complicating enforcement). Valero has also taken legal action against the EPA over the RFS previously; in September 2019, it argued in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals that the mandates for biofuel set by the EPA were too high. Following this in November 2019, Valero submitted a comment to the EPA opposing proposals to increase the percentage obligation of biofuels for refineries that did not hold exemptions. In April 2019, a Valero executive appeared to support waivers for small refineries from the RFS and in January 2020, it appeared to support the introduction of a high-octane gasoline standard after the Renewable Fuel Standard "sunsets" in 2020, which could lead to decreased share of biofuels if not accompanied by complementary policies.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Despite some positive top line statements of support, Valero does not appear to be fully supporting the transition of the energy mix. In July 2020, CEO Joe Gorder stated that “fossil fuels are going to be with us for a very long time” and appeared to support increased future oil consumption. Similarly, in October 2020, prior to the US Presidential election, a Valero executive appeared to support a long-term role for oil and gas in the energy mix, seeming to emphasize that a transition from these energy sources in line with IPCC guidelines was unlikely. In March 2019, Valero appeared to oppose proposals to transition the energy mix in San Antonio, Texas, to 100 per cent clean energy by 2050, citing an unfeasibly high economic cost. In August 2019, Valero supported legislation that would criminalize anti-pipeline protests in the USA.

Industry Association Governance: Valero has not produced a dedicated disclosure of all its membership to industry associations, beyond a list of groups to which it has given funding above a certain threshold. It therefore has not disclosed any information on to what extent Valero is aligned with these groups on climate change policy or how Valero is engaging with these groups in this area. In Valero’s list of groups that it funds, it has disclosed membership of important industry associations lobbying on climate change policy, such as the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA). However, it has not disclosed several other important relationships, such as FuelsEurope, nor the fact that CEO Joe Gorder is President of the Board of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), another group actively engaged in lobbying on climate change policy.

Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures
Communication of Climate Science
Alignment with IPCC on Climate Action
-1 NS NA -1 -1 NS -1
Supporting the Need for Regulations
NS NS NS -1 -1 NS NS
Support of UN Climate Process
Transparency on Legislation
-2 NA -2 NA NA NA NS
Carbon Tax
Emissions Trading
Energy and Resource Efficiency
Renewable Energy
NS NS NS -1 -1 -2 0
Energy Transition & Zero Carbon Technologies
-1 1 NS -1 -2 -1 NS
GHG Emission Regulation
0 -1 NS -2 -2 NS NS
Disclosure on Relationships
-1 NS -2 NA NA NA NS
Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.