Guess who’s an “Investment Hero” … again?
For the third consecutive year, the Progressive Policy Institute has published its list identifying non-financial companies “that pour the largest capital expenditures into the domestic economy.”
And for the third consecutive year, it ranks ExxonMobil No. 3 on its list for our more than $11 billion in capital investment in the United States in 2013.
According to the Progressive Policy Institute, the U.S. remains mired in an investment drought dating back to the Great Recession. But one industry that has not scrimped in its investments in our nation is the energy sector.
Of the 25 corporations that make up the Institute’s Investment Heroes list, 10 are involved to some degree in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas or involved in energy distribution and power.
The fact that 40 percent of the corporations on the Investment Heroes list are energy companies underscores the centrality of energy to daily life. It also underscores the incredible commitment our industry makes to ensure that we can power the technology and trade that create jobs, improve life, and keep our economy growing.
The Institute also tabulated the three-year investment totals, and ExxonMobil placed high up on that list as well. Chevron, Occidental Petroleum, ConocoPhillips, and Exelon joined us in the Top 10, meaning half of that august group was energy companies.
Encouraging Future Investment
While the Progressive Policy Institute report commends companies for investing, its real message is reserved for policymakers:
Facilitating business investment needs to be high on the list of concerns for regulators – an explicit goal instead of a fortuitous outcome. Of course, regulation has a wide variety of important goals, including consumer protection, worker protection, and environmental protection. But the key lies in striking the right balance between providing consumer protections and enabling innovation and growth.
We believe a pro-investment agenda starts with a regulatory and tax policy environment that encourages more companies to be domestic investment heroes. Policies that provide a good macroeconomic environment for investment will pay off big in jobs, productivity, and wages.
That last sentence made me think about the billion-dollar petrochemical expansion ExxonMobil recently started in the Houston area.
The pro-growth policies in a state like Texas can serve as a model for what Washington and other states can do to encourage further investment.
There’s no reason we can’t replicate the economic success of Texas in other parts of the country and with other industries. It’s nice to see a group like the Progressive Policy Institute that understands the connection between sound policy and economic growth.