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 natural gas, as well as other fossil fuels. As the largest producer of natural gas in the United States, we believe our duty is to serve as an informed resource to policymakers on issues directly affecting EQT and natural gas industry activities. Pursuing thought leadership opportunities in the industry 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. Responsible development of natural gas can help improve these areas by providing a low-cost, low-impact, 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
Our support of issues that affect our operations and communities are rooted in ensuring 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 seek opportunities to engage with regulators, legislators and other natural gas companies to proactively shape policies in the best interest of all stakeholders.
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 periodically evaluates these activities. 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 policy.
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 activity on behalf of EQT, nor use corporate treasury dollars for political purposes without permission from our General Counsel. The PPCR Committee annually reviews all contributions made to political candidates and discusses public policy issues that affect EQT to help ensure compliance with our policies and with applicable law.
political spending and policy issues
Our political involvement and public policy activities are limited to the United States, and we comply with the laws and regulations in each jurisdiction where we are active politically. This includes federal and state campaign finance laws regarding political spending in support of political parties, politicians and related institutions. We do not engage in political activity or make financial or in-kind contributions to political parties, politicians or related institutions outside the United States. We fund our political spending through:
- The EQT Corporation Federal Political Action Committee (PAC), sourced solely from the voluntary contributions of EQT employees
- The EQT Corporation State PAC, sourced from voluntary contributions of EQT employees and transfers from the EQT Corporation Federal PAC
- EQT corporate treasury dollars
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 (NSC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to improve safety legislation 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 in our influence and engagement.
In 2019, we improved internal transparency related to our political giving by creating an election tracker tied to our digital work environment. We are committed to the continuation of holding ourselves accountable to align our political giving with our mission and goals. This includes a greater focus on local giving as compared to supporting federal candidates, as our presence and support of local communities more significantly affects our business and relationships.
EQT is committed to being an active participant in collaborations to improve our industry. We participate in the ONE Future Coalition, a group of natural gas companies working together to voluntarily reduce methane emissions across the natural gas supply chain, and The Environmental Partnership, where oil and gas companies share best management practices to improve environmental performance. We also participate in industry associations, such as the Marcellus Shale Coalition and the American Exploration & 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. Many EQT employees also sit on the boards of local chambers of commerce and industry associations. We provide a list of our industry association memberships, disclosing dues paid and the portion allocated to lobbying under How We Are Doing.
Thought leadership is a critical component to achieving our mission. We believe firmly that natural gas is an essential energy form in the United States with strong potential in developing nations. In 2020, we are working to build a coalition of EQT stakeholders — such as employees, contractors, leaseholders and community members, among others — in order to provide these stakeholders with information about the benefits of natural gas. The goal of our coalition, known as the EQT NetworQ, is to provide vital information and elevate issues of interest to our stakeholders, as well as empower these individuals to speak up and act as a voice for industry support and positive changes.
How We Are Doing
We continued working with legislators and regulators in 2019 to help create policies and regulations that further safe, efficient natural gas development. Compared to 2018, we increased our focus significantly in support of local candidates and issues. In 2019, EQT provided guidance to legislators regarding the following legislative issues:
- Post-production deductions — Pennsylvania and West Virginia
- Co-tenancy and additional leasing laws — West Virginia
- Severance tax — Pennsylvania
- Energy infrastructure
Aligned with these issues, the EQT Corporation Federal PAC and EQT Corporation State PAC contributed $163,450 to political spending, as shown below.
2019 Political Contributions
Beneficiary of Contribution
EQT Corporation Political Action Committees
|Candidates for U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate||$13,750|
|Candidates for, and members of, the Pennsylvania General Assembly; candidates for governor of Pennsylvania; candidates for Pennsylvania judicial seats||$80,700|
|Candidates for and members of the West Virginia legislature; candidates for West Virginia governor||$23,000|
|Candidates for and members of the Ohio legislature; candidates for Ohio governor||$15,500|
|Candidates for county and city offices in Pennsylvania and West Virginia||$30,500|
|EQT Corporation||EQT did not have corporate political spend in 2019.||$0|
|Total 2019 Contributions||$163,450|
We also paid $859,629 in corporate memberships in 2019, with approximately $145,100 of that total allocated to lobbying. The table below details our participation in industry and trade organizations.
2019 Membership Associations
2019 Association Name
|Dues Allocated to Lobbying|
Allegheny Conference on Community Development/Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce
American Exploration & Production Council
|Doddridge Chamber of Commerce||$100||-|
|Greater New Martinsville Chamber of Commerce||$520||-|
|Greene County Chamber of Commerce||$700||-|
|Harrison County Chamber of Commerce||$475||-|
|Independent Oil and Gas Association - West Virginia||$30,000||-|
|Independent Petroleum Association of America||$60,000||$21,000|
|Kentucky Oil and Gas Association||$5,000||-|
|Marcellus Shale Coalition||$190,000||$57,570|
|Marion County Chamber of Commerce||$570||-|
|Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce||$434||-|
|Monongahela Area Chamber of Commerce||$330||-|
|Natural Gas Supply Association||$250,000||$20,000|
|Ohio Oil and Gas Association||$12,000||$3,720|
|Our Nation's Energy Future Coalition (ONE Coalition)||$20,000||-|
|Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce||$20,000||$10,000|
|Peters Township Chamber of Commerce||$300||-|
|Public Affairs Council||$2,800||-|
|Ritchie County Chamber of Commerce||$100||-|
|St. Clairsville Chamber of Commerce (Ohio)||$500||-|
|Tyler/Wetzel Chamber of Commerce||$500||-|
|U.S. Chamber Litigation Center||$50,000||-|
|Utilities, Telecommunications & Energy Coalition of West Virginia||$3,000||-|
|Washington County Chamber of Commerce||$800||-|
|West Virginia Chamber of Commerce||$7,000||$875|
|West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association||$55,000||$8,800|
|West Virginia Manufacturers Association||$1,000||$140|
1 This figure represents our total membership amount, including $25,700 paid by EQT Corporation and $102,800 paid by EQT Foundation.