The fossil fuel industry has lobbied the federal government over 1017 times so far this year! In October, the 30 oil and gas companies and industry associations we monitor set a new 2023 record with over 154 monthly lobby meetings, surpassing their previous high.
That’s over seven meetings per working day! It’s no wonder the government is slow to release its climate policies – not a day goes by where it isn’t being pressured to prioritize Big Oil’s interests.
The top lobbyist in October was the Pathways Alliance. This coalition of tar sands production companies had an astounding 23 lobby meetings with federal officials in October – that’s more meetings than there are work days.
The Pathways Alliance represents the six companies that together produce 95 per cent of tar sands oil in Canada (Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, Cenovus Energy, ConocoPhillips Canada, Imperial, MEG Energy and Suncor Energy). While the Pathways Alliance promotes itself as working towards net-zero, their target only refers to reducing emissions from their extraction operations. However, the vast majority of emissions occur when their fuel products are burned.
The Pathways Alliance is using its net-zero extraction emissions target to try to justify further expanding production. Reports from the United Nations, International Energy Agency, the Canadian Energy Regulator and Canadian researchers all agree that fossil fuel production cannot expand. Even current levels of fossil fuel production are incompatible with avoiding catastrophic climate disasters.
This is the second time Pathways Alliance has been the most active fossil fuel lobbyist on Parliament Hill. They were also the top lobbyist in July. You can check out the Lobby Bot blog from that month where we dig into some of the Pathways Alliance’s greenwashing.
WHO LOBBIED THE MOST
The companies that held the most lobbying meetings with the federal government in October 2023 were:
- Pathways Alliance Inc. – 23 meetings
- Enbridge Inc. – 18 meetings
- Cenovus Energy Inc. and NorthRiver Midstream Inc. – 15 meetings each
WHICH MINISTRIES WERE LOBBIED THE MOST
The Ministries that had the most meetings with oil & gas companies and associations were:
- Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) – 35 meetings
- Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) – 29 meetings
- Privy Council Office (PCO) – 23 meetings
WHICH MINISTER WAS LOBBIED THE MOST
These federal ministers took the most meetings with oil & gas companies and associations:
- Stephen Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, met with lobbyists from Enbridge, Suncor, and the Canadian Gas Association.
- Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Labour, had two meetings with the Canadian Gas Association.
- Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources; Randy Boiissonnault, Minister of Employment; and Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport; and Anita Anand, President of the Treasury Board, each met with fossil fuel lobbyists once in October.
As the oil and gas industry continues to pressure the federal government to delay climate policies through their lobbying efforts and advertising campaigns, it’s important that the government hears from you. Environmental Defence will keep tracking this fossil fuel industry and advocating in the public interest for ambitious, urgent climate action. Will you join us?
WE’VE GOT A NEW LOBBY BOT WEBPAGE
Don’t forget to check out our new LOBBY BOT landing page!
You can find all our lobby bot content, see highlights of key lobbying numbers, read more about why lobbying matters and how you can challenge the influence of oil and gas companies – like telling the federal government to put the interest of the people in Canada ahead of the narrow self-interest of oil and gas companies or learning how to meet with your MP and asking them to stand up for climate action.
Until next month’s update, follow the lobby bot on Twitter here.