Apr 17, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Shell provides a glimpse inside its lobbying

Ben Geman, author of Generate

Photo: Klaus Pressberger/SEPA.Media /Getty Images

Royal Dutch Shell paid the American Petroleum Institute, the industry's most powerful lobbying group, at least $12.5 million in 2019, the oil giant revealed.

Driving the news: The tally, which Shell tells Axios is consistent with recent years, shows up in a report Shell published yesterday on its trade group memberships.

Why it matters: The report, posted the same day Shell announced new climate pledges, provides a look at how much a major oil company pays to be part of various associations.

  • In 2019, the payments to API, which Shell says were between $12.5 million and $15 million, were far more than what they paid other groups listed in the report.
  • The next tranche lists payments of $1 million–$2.5 million to groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the European Chemical Industry Council.

Where it stands: Shell's first-time publication of the per-group payments arrives in an update to its April 2019 report that lays out areas where it disagrees with the posture of some associations.

  • Shell's latest review did not find grounds to quit any more groups after bailing on the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers last year over climate policy differences.
  • However, Shell says that it still has areas of "some misalignment" with several groups and will continue to push from the inside, for instance noting it will advocate that API should back carbon pricing.

The intrigue: The outcome includes staying with the Western States Petroleum Association, a group that BP abandoned in February, saying they were "unable to reconcile" their views.

  • Shell said it will press for the group to support the goal of the Paris climate agreement.

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