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Energy is an Important Driver of U.S. Investment

By / 9.25.2013

Given the ongoing boom in oil and natural gas production, it’s no surprise that U.S. and non-U.S. energy companies are among the top companies investing in America. Still, the sheer magnitude of the investments by these companies means the contribution of the energy sector to economic growth should not be ignored or discounted in the larger conversation.

Of the U.S. companies highlighted in our new U.S. Investment Heroes report, eight of our top 25 U.S. Investment Heroes of 2013 were energy companies. Together, we estimate these eight companies invested a total $56 billion over the last year in plants, property, and equipment in the United States, comprising almost 40 percent of the total $150 billion invested by the top 25 companies. Exxon Mobil, the top energy company on our list, invested over $12 billion in the U.S. in 2012 alone.

Due to incomparability across financial statements, our non-U.S. Investment Heroes report separately considered companies in energy production, automotive manufacturing, and industrial manufacturing.

Still, our research found that of the three categories, energy companies were by far making the biggest bet on America’s future.  Global energy giant BP was the top non-U.S. Investment Hero out of all the companies we considered across the three categories, putting a combined $19.3 billion into the U.S. economy in 2011 and 2012. (To the best of our knowledge, these funds did not include any payouts related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.) Together, the top four energy non-U.S. energy companies we considered invested an estimated $58.7 billion in 2011 and 2012.

At a time of weakness in other industries, these studies highlight that energy production is a bright spot for U.S. business investment. That this message is clear in both our U.S. Investment Heroes and non-U.S. Investment Heroes reports suggests energy will continue to be a driver of U.S. growth and job creation.