Jane Van Ryan
Posted April 29, 2011
If you're a regular reader of the EnergyTomorrow blog posts, you've noticed that we've been focusing on a new study this week that quantifies the contributions of oil and natural gas industry stock to state pension plans. On Wednesday, we also hosted a blogger conference call to answer questions and explain the study's findings in more detail. Robert Shapiro, chairman of Sonecon, LLC, and one of the authors of the pension plan study, and Kyle Isakower, API's vice president of regulatory and economic affairs, said the study found that oil and natural gas industry stock substantially out-performed other pension-plan stock holdings during a recent five-year period marked by both a strong economy and the recession.
"If I were the financial manager of the teachers' pension fund in Missouri, I'd ask my money manager: Why are you only investing 3.3 percent?" Robert said during the call. Referring to oil and natural gas stocks, he added, "These have had high returns...I want to see 4 to 5 percent of our portfolio in these assets, like other funds do. That's what I would do as a financial guy."
Additionally, Kyle explained that, contrary to popular belief, oil and natural gas companies are owned by everyday Americans - not corporate "fat cats."
"When the government considers policies, whether they'd be a tax policy...or whether they're talking about access [to energy-rich areas] or regulation of the industry, be it through EPA or other agencies, any of these policies that make the oil and natural gas industry less economically viable to operate here in the United States doesn't just hurt the corporate insiders; it hurts everyday Americans," Kyle maintained. "And that is certainly the point that we're hoping to get through with this study."
The bloggers on the call included:
- The Bear, The Absurd Report
- Geoff Styles, Energy Outlook
- Jim Hoeft, Bearing Drift
- Lew Waters, Right in a Left World
- Mark Perry, Carpe Diem
- Merv Benson, Prairie Pundit
- Michael Swartz, Red Maryland; Monoblogue
For more information about oil and natural gas industry earnings or public pension plan ownership, I encourage you to listen to the audio recording of the call using the player and follow along with the full transcript below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.