Why It Matters to Us
Growing debate within public, regulatory, and investor groups related to the transition to a low carbon economy has contributed to an enhanced focus on fossil fuels, including natural gas. As the largest producer of natural gas in the United States, we believe it is our duty to serve as an informed resource to policymakers on issues directly affecting us and the natural gas industry. Pursuing thought leadership opportunities and advocating for responsibly developed natural gas may lead to improvements to, and better perceptions of, the industry, while supporting our goal to be the natural gas operator of choice.
Additionally, we have an opportunity to elevate the conversation with policymakers to explain how natural gas can be used not just as a resource for meeting growing energy demands domestically and globally, but also as a tool for enhancing the quality of life in many disadvantaged communities. Nearly 3 billion people live in energy poverty. Natural gas is the most evolved tool to help address this, as natural gas is a low-cost, reliable, and clean source of energy — but the benefits do not end there.
Responsible development of natural gas can help improve disadvantaged areas by providing a low-cost, low-impact, and reliable source of energy, while also providing a number of direct and indirect benefits to the broader community through job creation, landowner royalties, road improvements, and philanthropic investments in educational programs and municipal services.
What We Are Doing
We engage on issues that affect our operations and communities so that we and others in the industry fairly and safely produce natural gas. We aim to be a thought leader that state and local elected officials seek out for consultation on questions related to our industry. We engage with regulators, legislators, and other natural gas companies to proactively shape policies in the best interest of all stakeholders. In 2021, we increased our outreach with legislators. Some examples include our response letter to Senator Warren, our letter to Secretary Granholm, engagement with the Environmental Defense Fund, our Chief Executive Officer joining the Bipartisan Policy Center’s American Energy Innovation Council, and frequent discussions with other U.S. Congressional representatives including Senator Joe Manchin’s staff regarding our West Virginia operations.
Public Policy Issues and Engagement
When considering and engaging on policy issues for the industry, we aim to see the larger impact on communities, operators, the environment, and the economy. We collaborate with government agencies such as the National Safety Council and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to improve safety regulations related to the industry. We also work to support federal, state, and local policies that promote stable investment climates for natural gas exploration, production, storage, and transportation. These may include policies governing environmental protection, taxes, natural gas production, transportation, and expanding the use of natural gas in sectors such as transportation, manufacturing, and electricity generation. The impact on our stakeholders remains a key driver for our influence and engagement.
We typically seek to engage in shaping policies affecting our company and our industry at the local and state levels directly, while we often engage in federal policies through membership in trade associations. In all cases, we take a tailored approach to engaging in policy issues. For example, in early 2022, following the publication of our letters to Senator Warren and Secretary Granholm, we published materials demonstrating the case for increasing exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to replace foreign coal and the benefit it would have on reducing emissions across the globe.
Governance and Policies
We conduct our public policy activities in compliance with applicable local, county, state, and federal laws — guided by our Public Relations and Government Affairs teams, collectively referred to as “Stakeholder Affairs.” Additionally, the Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility (PPCR) Committee of our Board of Directors receives regular reports regarding these activities at each PPCR Committee meeting. The PPCR Committee reviews and receives reports regarding our approach to public policy matters — including corporate political spending; diversity; environmental, health, and safety; and energy.
Our Political Contributions and Political Activity Policy and Lobbying Disclosure and Compliance Policy help manage our interactions with regulatory agencies and elected officials. We require, among other things, that employees not engage in lobbying activities on our behalf and that corporate treasury dollars not be used for political purposes without prior approval from our General Counsel. The PPCR Committee annually reviews our contributions made to political candidates and discusses public policy issues that affect us to help ensure compliance with our policies and applicable law.
Our political involvement is limited to the United States and we comply with the laws and regulations in each jurisdiction where we are politically active. This includes adherence to federal and state campaign finance laws regarding political spending in support of political parties, politicians, and related institutions. We fund our political spending through three sources:
- The non-partisan EQT Corporation Federal Political Action Committee (the Federal PAC), sourced solely from voluntary employee contributions;
- The non-partisan EQT Corporation State Political Action Committee (the State PAC), sourced from voluntary employee contributions and transfers from the Federal PAC; and
- EQT corporate treasury dollars.
Members from our executive team comprise the Board of Directors of our PACs and our General Counsel serves as Chair of both PAC Boards. Our PAC Boards meet as necessary to approve political contributions and to take other actions. At each meeting, representatives from our Stakeholder Affairs team present to the PAC Boards on relevant political issues and key political races. At each meeting the PAC Boards also discuss fundraising efforts and solicitation and contribution strategies for the PACs.
We are committed to being an active participant in member and trade organizations to improve our industry. We participate in the Our Nation's Energy Future Coalition, a group of natural gas companies working together to voluntarily reduce methane emissions across the natural gas supply chain. We are a member of the Environmental Partnership, where upstream companies share best management practices to improve environmental performance. We also participate in industry associations — such as the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the Gas & Oil Association of West Virginia, and the American Exploration and Production Council — to discuss local, state, and federal issues pertinent to natural gas and the ISNetworld® Appalachian Working Group to share safety-related best practices.
In 2021, we continued to use our associations dashboard in our digital work environment to track our corporate memberships. The dashboard tracks our membership status, renewal date, membership dues, the organization type, and the geographic focus of each organization in which we are a member or have considered joining. This data can be accessed by all of our employees, helping ensure both accuracy and full transparency of our membership data.
Additionally, every proposed corporate membership is submitted for approval to our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Committee and the ESG Committee also reviews all of our active corporate memberships on an annual basis. The ESG Committee uses a pre-defined scoring rubric to assign a membership score to each proposed membership based on the organization’s influence, historical success in achieving its stated goals, and whether the organization’s mission is aligned with our corporate mission and strategy. The ESG Committee used our membership tracking tool and scoring rubric to reassess all of our corporate memberships in 2020 and, based on such assessment, we chose to discontinue certain memberships while taking a more active role in the organizations that scored highly in our analysis.
In 2021, we increased our participation in the American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC) and the Gas & Oil Associated of West Virginia through participation in various subcommittees. We also contributed to helping develop AXPC’s ESG disclosure framework and continue to play an active role in helping guide AXPC in developing their position on regulatory and ESG-related issues such as Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions disclosures and development of the responsibly sourced gas market. We also joined new organizations focused on building a better understanding and developing the role of natural gas in the low carbon economy, such as the Institute of Gas Technology and the Stanford Natural Gas Initiative. At least one of our employees is assigned as the relationship manager for each of our corporate memberships and many of our employees also sit on the boards of local chambers of commerce and industry associations of which we are members. We provide a list of our corporate memberships, disclosing 2021 dues paid and the portion allocated to lobbying under How We Are Doing.
Thought leadership is a critical component to achieving our mission. We firmly believe that natural gas is an essential energy form in the United States with strong potential to satisfy the growing demand of energy globally. We also recognize the importance of reducing GHG emissions from our operations. That is why, in the fourth quarter of 2021, we began an initiative to replace all of the natural gas-powered pneumatic devices from our operations by the end of 2022. Natural gas pneumatic devices have historically been a significant source of methane and GHG emissions within the oil and natural gas production industry and, therefore, replacement of these devices present the industry with an opportunity to meaningfully reduce emissions with limited capital outlay. In 2021, we published a white paper, Pneumatic Device Replacement, Low-Cost Opportunity for Methane Abatement, outlining our strategic rationale for this project with the aim to encourage peers to take on similar initiatives to support their emissions reduction targets.
Additionally, in 2021, we used our position as a leading natural gas company to publicly respond to claims made by Senator Elizabeth Warren about our industry. Thereafter, in early 2022, we published a letter to United States Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, in response to a letter sent to Secretary Granholm from several senators advocating for a limit on natural gas exports. We believe that LNG is the most impactful green initiative on the planet. The transition to sustainable LNG is proven, is actionable using today’s technologies, and can be executed rapidly. The United States is well positioned to lead this transition with plentiful access to natural gas resources and we remain committed to using our voice to educate policymakers about the environmental, social, and economic benefits of natural gas production and consumption. For more information, please read our Response Letter to Senator Warren and our Letter to Secretary Granholm.
How We Are Doing
Public Policy Issues
We continued working with legislators and regulators in 2021 to help develop policies and regulations that further safe and efficient natural gas development. In 2021, we provided guidance to legislators, administration officials, and regulators on the following issues:
- Royalty statement transparency — Pennsylvania and West Virginia
- Carbon Capture Unitization and Storage — Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and Federal Government
- Blue hydrogen — Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Federal Government
- Methane mitigation — Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Federal Government
- LNG exports — Federal Government
- Responsibly Sourced Gas — Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Federal Government
- Unitization and additional leasing laws — West Virginia, Ohio
- Severance tax — Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio
- Energy infrastructure — Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio
- Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — Pennsylvania
- Critical infrastructure legislation — Pennsylvania
Through our Federal and State PACs along with our corporate treasury dollars, we contributed over $100,000 to political candidates and organizations in 2021 as shown below.
2021 Political Contributions
|Beneficiary of Contribution||Amount ($)|
|EQT Corporation PACs||Candidates for, and members of, U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate||$7,500|
|Candidates for, and members of, Pennsylvania state elected office||$50,600|
|Candidates for, and members of, West Virginia state elected office||$6,500|
|Candidates for, and members of, Ohio state elected office||$3,500|
|Candidates for, and members of, county and municipal elected office||$3,150|
|Total PAC Political Contributions||$71,250|
|EQT Corporation||EQT corporate treasury contributions to political candidates and other political organizations||$30,000|
|Total 2021 Political Contributions||$101,250|
We also paid over $650,000 in corporate memberships in 2021, with approximately $160,000 of that total allocated to lobbying. The table below details our corporate-level participation in membership organizations during 2021.
2021 Membership Associations
|Association Name||Membership Dues||Dues Allocated to Lobbying|
|Allegheny Conference on Community Development||$52,250||$3,657.50|
|American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC)||$120,000||$84,000|
|Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship||$6,000||$0|
|Center for Corporate Social Responsibility at Waynesburg University||$2,000||$0|
|Doddridge County Chamber of Commerce (West Virginia)||$1,000||$0|
|Fayette County Chamber of Commerce (Pennsylvania)||$800||$0|
|Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute||$28,000||$0|
|Gas & Oil Association of West Virginia||$30,000||$0|
|Greene County Chamber of Commerce (Pennsylvania)||$700||$0|
|Harrison County Chamber of Commerce (West Virginia)||$495||$0|
|Independent Producers Environmental, Health, and Safety Forum||$0||$0|
|Institute of Gas Technology||$50,000||$0|
|Marcellus Shale Coalition||$150,000||$32,250|
|Marion County Chamber of Commerce (West Virginia)||$595||$0|
|Marshall County Chamber of Commerce (West Virginia)||$775||$0|
|Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce (Pennsylvania)||$475||$0|
|Monongahela Area Chamber of Commerce (Pennsylvania)||$330||$0|
|Northern Appalachian Alliance for Carbon Capture, Utilization & Storage, and Hydrogen||$60,000||$0|
|Ohio Chamber of Commerce||$6,000||$1,800|
|Ohio Oil and Gas Association||$40,000||$16,000|
|Oil and Gas Methane Partnership||$0||$0|
|Our Nation's Energy Future Coalition||$15,000||$0|
|Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry||$40,750||$20,375|
|Peters Township Chamber of Commerce (Pennsylvania)||$300||$0|
|Propane Gas Association of New England||$750||$0|
|Public Affairs Council||$2,800||$0|
|St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce (West Virginia)||$500||$0|
|Stanford Natural Gas Initiative||$35,000||$0|
|The Environmental Partnership||$0||$0|
|Utilities, Telecommunications, & Energy Coalition of West Virginia||$1,000||$0|
|Washington County Chamber of Commerce (Pennsylvania)||$800||$0|
|West Virginia Chamber of Commerce||$7,000||$875|
|West Virginia Manufacturers Association||$1,000||$160|
|Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce (Pennsylvania)||$625||$0|
|Wetzel-Tyler Chamber of Commerce (West Virginia)||$500||$0|
|Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce (Pennsylvania)||$437.50||$0|
 Includes contributions to candidates for, and members of, the Pennsylvania General Assembly candidates for Pennsylvania governor and candidates for Pennsylvania judicial seats.
 Includes contributions to candidates for, and members of, the West Virginia legislature, candidates for West Virginia governor, and candidates for West Virginia judicial seats.
 Includes contributions to candidates for, and members of, the Ohio legislature, candidates for Ohio governor, and candidates for Ohio judicial seats.
 Excludes organizations in which EQT Foundation (and not EQT Corporation) is a member.