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Yesterday, ExxonMobil announced its second-quarter results – recording earnings of $10.7 billion. And while commentators talk about the contribution of this result to the company’s bottom line, it’s also important to note that it’s good for America’s bottom line, too. As I’ve talked about in previous posts, ExxonMobil contributes billions into the U.S. economy through federal and state taxes, royalties, jobs and capital projects while helping ensure continued supply of energy for U.S. consumers and businesses.

Many Americans, including many in Washington, are looking for ways to stimulate job growth and economic recovery. I suggest they look at what’s happening in the U.S. oil and natural gas industry, which – with its emphasis on innovation and technology – continues to be a powerful resource on both of these fronts.

It is not uncommon to read articles or hear of claims that international oil companies somehow “set” the price of crude oil and use this power to drive profits. But a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) would, I hope, convince readers otherwise. This online report, called “What Drives Crude Oil Prices?” shows that there are a multitude of factors that influence the price of oil and gasoline – and demonstrates that oil companies simply aren’t able to set prices.

Considering it is the “paper of record” for many Americans, I’m glad to see that The New York Times has published its own critique of a June 25 article about the U.S. natural gas industry. The original article, by Times reporter Ian Urbina, aspired to be an exposé about U.S. shale gas production. But in his column on Sunday, the Times’ public editor, Arthur S. Brisbane, chastised the article for many of the same flaws that a wide range of commentators and industry experts had already identified.