Oil, Natural Gas and Investing in America

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 29, 2015

U.S. oil and natural gas companies continue to lead in investing in the domestic economy, with five companies among the Progressive Policy Institute’s top 25 in 2014 U.S. capital expenditures. The list:


ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Occidental Petroleum and Hess lead an energy production/mining sector that invested $43.6 billion in 2014, closely following the $48.7 invested by telecom/cable:


That’s great news for the U.S. economy which, as the PPI report details, needs investment to expand. PPI calls the top 25 its “investment heroes” because “their capital spending is helping to raise productivity and wages across the economy.” The report:

Together, the top 25 investment heroes invested nearly $172 billion in the United States in their most recent fiscal year. That’s up from $152 billion from last year’s top 25, a 12.7 percent increase compared to the 7 percent gain for nonresidential business investment as a whole.

Energy investment means jobs, new and expanded facilities, equipment purchases and support for a vast supply chain that provides materials and services for industry. These companies also are big investors in greenhouse gas-mitigating technologies – $90 billion from 2000 through 2014, according to a T2 and Associates report, nearly as much as similar investments made by all other U.S.-based industries over the same period.

Investments that generate business activity also means tax revenues. This is reflected in taxes paid by the oil and natural gas companies that made PPI’s investment top 25, paying an effective tax rate of 36.17 percent (compared to the 25.85 percent rate paid by non-oil and natural gas companies on PPI’s list):


The key for the U.S. economy and American energy security is an energy strategy that sustains and grows development, bringing additional investment. This includes increased access to energy reserves, onshore and offshore, a common-sense regulatory environment and a fair, predictable leasing and permitting rules – again, to foster investment.

A pro-development energy approach will bring the investments that will yield economic growth, job creation and household savings, according to a study by Wood Mackenzie. As the PPI report shows, U.S. oil and natural gas companies are investing in America – and they’ll continue doing so with the right policies in place to support an investment climate.


Mark Green joins API after spending 16 years as national editorial writer in the Washington Bureau of The Oklahoman newspaper. In all, he has been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years, including six years as sports editor at The Washington Times. He lives in Occoquan, Virginia, with his wife Pamela. Mark graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in journalism and earned a masters in journalism and public affairs at American University. He's currently working on a masters in history at George Mason University, where he also teaches as an adjunct professor in the Communication Department.

Energy Tomorrow is a project of the American Petroleum Institute – the only national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry – speaking for the industry to the public, Congress and the Executive Branch, state governments and the media.