Corporate Policy & Compliance -
The Board of Directors has adopted a broad policy with respect to the corporation's political activities. This policy is contained in the board's Corporate Governance Guidelines and reproduced below:
The Corporation shall comply with all applicable federal and state laws governing contributions of corporate assets for political purposes.
In accordance with law, the Corporation may administratively support one or more federal or state political action committees (PAC) comprised of the voluntary contributions of employees or retirees but individual donations to such PACs shall not be coerced in any way nor shall an individual's donation decision affect in any way that person's employment status or performance evaluation.
Among management's tools for implementing this policy are its Standards of Business Integrity, which include, among others, standards regarding political contributions and lobbying. Most employees worldwide are required to certify annually to their understanding of, and compliance with, these standards.
Board Oversight -
The Governance & Nominating Committee of the board has oversight responsibility for the corporation's legislative affairs and political action committee activities. The board requires the director of Government Relations to report on these matters at least annually.
Corporate Contributions -
Federal election laws and the laws of many states prohibit candidates from receiving corporate campaign contributions. Under U.S. federal law, Praxair may not contribute corporate funds or make in-kind contributions to candidates for federal office or to national party committees, and no employee or agent may approve such contributions on the company's behalf. Praxair, Inc. and its affiliates do not make corporate contributions to state or local political parties or candidates for public office, political parties, committees, PACs, ballot initiative campaigns, or to organizations organized under Sections 527 or 501(c)4 of the Internal Revenue Code, even where permitted by applicable law. In addition, Praxair does not use corporate funds to make any direct independent expenditures on behalf of candidates running for local, state, or federal office.
In the U.S., Praxair administers and pays the administrative expenses of the PraxairPAC, a political action committee registered with the Federal Election Commission. The PAC is funded through voluntary employee contributions. Corporate funds are not contributed to the PraxairPAC. PraxairPAC receipts and disbursements are reported in detail, as required, to the Federal Election Commission and are publicly available at www.fec.gov.
PraxairPAC contributions to federal candidates, and state candidates where permissible by law, are made on a case-by-case basis without regard to political party affiliation. Contributions are normally directed to those officials who are most supportive of or are willing to consider Praxair's position (often members of key committees or holders of leadership positions) on issues impacting the company.
The PraxairPAC's Executive Committee has broad employee representation and approves all political contributions made on behalf of the PAC. PraxairPAC is governed by a series of internal policies and adheres to a strict set of by-laws.
Government Advocacy -
Praxair, Inc. engages in government relations to monitor and participate in the public policy-making process at both the state and federal levels in the United States. Information pertaining to this activity and associated expenditures are reported to the U.S. Congress in accordance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 and can be found at http://www.senate.gov/legislative/Public_Disclosure/LDA_reports.htm. With respect to state and local lobbying activity, Praxair adheres to all state and local lobbying laws requiring registration and reporting. Lobbying priorities reflect the interests of the company, not of individual officers or directors.
Praxair is also a member of several industry groups that may participate in U.S. political activity on behalf of different economic sectors. These groups are: the American Chemistry Council, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, American Iron & Steel Institute, Advanced Biofuels Coalition, Coal Utilization Research Council, Compressed Gas Association, Electricity Consumers Resource Council, HR Policy Association, U.S.-Brazil Business Council, and the U.S.-China Business Council. Reasons for Praxair's participation in these groups vary and can be for reasons other than advocacy support including advice, education, customer relations, and the ability to exchange ideas on technical, safety or scientific issues. While the company may or may not agree with every public policy position that these associations advocate, Praxair monitors, and aims to be an active participant in shaping the policy agenda, if any, of any group of which it is a member. In addition, Praxair annually provides notice to its U.S. trade associations that no portion of dues paid by Praxair are to be used for contributions and expenditures (including independent expenditures) in support of, or opposition to, any candidate for any office, ballot initiative campaign, political party, committee, or PAC.
Information pertaining to the lobbying activity and associated expenditures of these industry groups can be found at: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/Public_Disclosure/LDA_reports.htm.
Further information related to the lobbying and political expenditures of these industry groups is publicly available on their respective IRS Form 990s and can be accessed at: http://www2.guidestar.org/Home.aspx