It has been about a month since we launched the Federal Oil & Gas Lobbying Bot on Twitter. Since then, it has been tweeting out a constant stream of announcements about which oil & gas companies and associations have been lobbying which Canadian government politicians and ministries. (Read more about the bot.)
We’ve looked at the raw data from the lobbyist registry, and pulled out highlights from September, the most recent month with complete data.
Fossil fuel lobbyists met with government officials a minimum of 102 times in September: over four times per working day.
This only counts the federal government, not provincial or territorial governments.
That’s an incredible amount of access granted to companies that have been fighting against effective climate regulations, advocating to be allowed to continue extracting oil & gas indefinitely, and for more subsidies to help them do it.
Environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs), such as Environmental Defence, also engage in lobbying, but do so in the public interest, not in the private interest, as oil and gas companies do. ENGOs are granted far less access to key government decision-makers.
The politicians listed below continue to take meetings with the oil and gas industry – which they don’t have to! – and to listen while industry lobbyists make their case.
The numbers here are under-counts. Although we’re tracking over 50 companies and lobby associations, the complete list of oil and gas companies lobbying the government is longer than that.
Now, without further ado…
WHO LOBBIED THE MOST
The three organizations that held the most lobbying meetings with the federal government in September 2022 were:
- Pathways Alliance, with 16 meetings
- Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), with 14 meetings
- Pembina Pipeline, also with 14 meetings
Some of these meetings had more than 10 government officials present, all hearing directly from industry representatives about what they want from the government.
WHO WAS LOBBIED THE MOST
The Ministries which took the most meetings with oil & gas companies and associations were:
- Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), took 30 meetings
- Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), took 27 meetings
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), took 22 meetings
Honourable mentions go to the very powerful Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose staff took seven meetings with industry lobbyists, and Finance Canada, headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, whose staff took 13 meetings.
WHICH MINISTERS TOOK THE MOST LOBBYING MEETINGS
The Ministers who took the most meetings were:
- Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, took 11 meetings
- Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, took nine meetings
- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry of Canada, took four meetings
On several occasions, Ministers Wilkinson and Guilbeault would take these lobbying meetings together, along with several members of staff.
One big omission the Lobby Bot made in September was not tracking the Pathways Alliance, the association of six oil companies responsible for over 90 per cent of the oil production in the oil sands (Suncor Energy, Cenovus Energy, Imperial Oil, CNRL, MEG Energy, and ConocoPhillips Canada). So, though Pathways Alliance was the busiest lobbyist, those meetings weren’t tweeted out by the Lobby Bot. We are fixing this omission, and are keeping an eye on the Pathways Alliance. We tracked the Pathways Alliance September meetings separately (all 16 of them!), and the numbers are included above.
We need to raise our voices to tell politicians to stand firm on the need for strong climate action, like implementing a hard cap on oil & gas industry emissions, and not handing out subsidies to these companies.
Until next month’s update, follow the lobby bot on Twitter here.