FirstEnergy maintains a responsibility to its shareholders, customers and employees to advocate for public policy issues that impact the company and its stakeholders. We strive to engage thoughtfully and responsibly, as we advocate for our interests and attempt to effect positive change for the communities we serve. We communicate our positions with policymakers regarding issues that impact the company and its stakeholders because we have a legitimate stake in policy debates and outcomes. We understand and comply with all rules that govern lobbying, including public disclosure and reporting requirements.
FirstEnergy has significantly limited our participation in the political process. Specifically, we ceased all contributions to 501(c)(4) entities and paused FirstEnergy Political Action Committee (FEPAC) disbursements and employee contributions. We also terminated several consulting relationships. However, where appropriate, we reserve the right to make contributions to non-candidate initiatives that support our business priorities and create value for our stakeholders. We understand, respect and comply with all legal limitations on corporate contributions.
These steps have allowed us to reshape our approach to political and public policy engagement, ensuring closer alignment to our strategic goals and core values, as well as more robust oversight and disclosure of the company’s advocacy going forward. Additionally, we are evaluating revisions to our Corporate Political Activity Policy, which describes the criteria for certain political contributions and ballot initiative expenditures made with corporate funds, as well as the process for approving such contributions and expenditures.
As we develop FirstEnergy’s strategies, programs and positions regarding a variety of issues that affect the company, we seek insight from various stakeholder groups, including local, state and federal policymakers, consumer and small-business advocates, peer utilities, customers, investors, non-governmental organizations, chambers of commerce and trade associations. We are committed to considering and balancing all our company’s strategies and goals, including those related to climate change, in the assessment and development of our positions on proposed legislation and regulations.
Our Corporate Engagement Report provides insight into our public policy engagement and advocacy in alignment with our commitment to the highest standards of business conduct and ethical behavior as the foundation for achieving our mission. The report also encompasses information related to direct and indirect lobbying activities, including contributions to 501(c)(4) organizations and to 501(c)(6) trade organizations, where membership dues exceed $25,000. That includes an evaluation of any pertinent alignment between those organizations and our climate position and strategy—including our pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and our support for the intent of the Paris Agreement. Quarterly updates to contributions noted in the Corporate Engagement Report can be found here.