ExxonMobil’s year-end earnings were announced today, and our 2012 worldwide profit was $44.9 billion. Here are a few facts that you might want to consider when you hear some talking about increasing our taxes.
The first is that ExxonMobil’s direct contribution to the U.S. economy in 2012 was $68 billion.
That works out to $5.6 billion a month … $1.3 billion every week … or $186 million every single day in direct contributions to the American economy.
Let me break down that $68 billion for you:
- Capital spending and operating expenses in the United States – on new wells and pipelines, refinery maintenance and upgrades and other costs – amounted to $30 billion.
- We had tax expenses of $12 billion.
- And of the more than $30 billion we returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and share buy-backs, $26 billion went to the United States, where more than 85 percent of our shareholders live.
Here’s the part that most people find hard to believe – but it’s true: This direct contribution to the United States economy in 2012 was seven times – yes, that’s right, seven times – higher than the $9.7 billion in U.S. earnings that we made last year.
And as I said, we had more than $12 billion in tax expenses in the United States – or a billion dollars each month.
Something else to consider is that our U.S. earnings of $9.7 billion – which represent 21 percent of our total earnings – came from domestic revenues of about $150 billion. That translates into 6.4 cents of U.S. earnings for every dollar of revenue (worldwide the figure is 9.3 percent).
A look at our contribution to the U.S. economy backs up studies prepared for the American Petroleum Institute that found that enabling private-sector investments in oil and gas is far more beneficial to the U.S. economy than raising industry taxes.
Given recent comments from the White House and from congressional leaders about targeting the oil and natural gas industry for new taxes, it’s important that Americans have all the facts about industry earnings. A firm understanding of those facts will be critical as the political discussion in the United States turns to addressing government spending and Washington’s desire for extra revenues.