Dominion believes that an open, transparent and accessible political process is one of the most important components of a successful democracy. Accordingly, the company encourages all its stakeholders to participate in the political process. We support both the letter and the spirit of all applicable federal and state laws governing our political activities as well as all of our actions using high ethical standards.
Employees should feel free to advance issues they personally care about. Dominion will provide employees with its position on important issues, and we respect the employees' rights to disagree with the company positions. Because laws and regulations governing political activities and contributions are complex, employees must not act on Dominion's behalf or in any way give the impression that their own opinions represent those of the company unless they are expressly authorized to do so. In limited circumstances, employees may engage in political activity on company time if it is approved by Dominion's Corporate Public Policy department.
Federal law generally places limits on a corporation's ability to participate in the political process. Thus, Dominion does not contribute corporate funds directly to federal or state political candidates, committees or parties. However, on a limited basis, we use corporate funds to make contributions to 527 organizations (tax-exempt organizations that engage in political activities) and trade associations with the approval of the senior governmental affairs officer. Dominion also makes contributions to a limited number of 501(c)(4) organizations whose primary purpose is to promote social welfare, including Rotary Clubs, Volunteer Fire Departments and chapters of the League of Women Voters. These contributions are not given for political purposes.
Each state where Dominion does business has different regulations governing political contributions in state and local elections. Dominion participates in the political process in accordance with all state laws, and any and all corporate contributions are expected to comply with all applicable state laws and regulations. Our contribution decisions are based on what is in the best interests of Dominion and not based on the personal preference of our executives.
We also have a voice on state and federal issues through trade associations. The associations we join represent a broad array of professional and industrial interests. This is because Dominion is active in both the electric power and natural gas industries. Our trade association memberships cover three areas: the electric industry, the nuclear power industry and the natural gas industry. Additionally, we are active in chambers of commerce because we actively promote the economic health of the jurisdictions we serve.
Information on Dominion's Corporate Political Contributions
As part of our continued commitment to good governance and transparency, we are pleased to provide a voluntary report of corporate contributions made to 527 organizations. We are also providing a report, based upon information when provided by a trade association, of the lobbying portion of payments and dues to trade organizations that if made directly by Dominion would not be deductible under section 162(e) of the Internal Revenue Code.
> View Dominion's Annual Reports of Contributions
Dominion encourages its employees to be active members of their communities. Along with participation in civic, charitable and volunteer activities, this includes participation in the political process. All eligible employees of Dominion may make voluntary contributions to the Dominion Political Action Committee, also known as DOM PAC. DOM PAC is directed by a board of employees which makes and approves all decisions regarding DOM PAC's political contributions budget. DOM PAC contributions go directly to support political candidates at both the state and federal levels. PAC may support candidates in congressional and presidential elections.
All PAC contributions are publicly disclosed on the Web site of the Federal Election Commission.
Information on DOM PAC Political Contributions
As noted above, all DOM PAC contributions to federal elections may be found on the Federal Elections Commission website. You can view DOM PAC contributions to state and local political campaigns on the websites of election boards of those states where we do business. These states include: CT, IN, MD, NC, NY, OH, PA, VA, WI, WV. Information relating to Virginia contributions may also be found at the websites of the Virginia Public Access Project, a state-based campaign finance disclosure organization.
Our Audit Committee, which is comprised entirely of independent directors, annually reviews the company's policy and political expenditures, including corporate payments to trade associations.
Dominion actively participates in the political process to help shape policies that advance our business strategies and goals, promote effective public and government relations, and serve the interests of key stakeholder groups. By engaging with elected officials, regulators, community and business leaders, and environmental and safety agencies, among others, we strive to conduct our business as transparently as possible in hopes of building public trust and forming lasting partnerships that are mutually beneficial.
Dominion engages registered lobbyists, both federal and state, to support its legislative and regulatory activities. These lobbyists are carefully selected and are engaged only with the approval of our senior governmental affairs officer at the appropriate entity.
Management provides regular updates on lobbying activities to the CEO or to the President of the applicable subsidiary. When appropriate, management also discusses Company lobbying activities with Dominion’s Board of Directors as part of its oversight responsibilities.
Dominion and its subsidiaries and their lobbyists are required to file lobbying reports with the Congress and with state agencies on a regular basis disclosing information about their lobbying activities. The reports include information on the issues lobbied, the agencies contacted and the expenditures made, and are available for public review on the websites of the U.S. House of Representatives (www.house.gov) and the U.S. Senate (www.senate.gov), as noted below. In many cases, State reports are made available for review on the applicable state agency website.
Dominion works with trade associations in its government relations activities. Depending on their roles, these organizations may be subject to lobbyist registration and disclosure reporting obligations, with their reports made available to the public by the federal and state agencies overseeing lobbying activities. For the trade associations where Dominion has contributed $50,000 or more, and the organization informs the Company a portion of annual dues was used for lobbying, Dominion discloses the name of the trade association and the dollar amount used for lobbying in its Annual Report of Contributions which is discussed above.