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Fact Check: Oil Company Investments
June 19, 2008

From the Inhofe-EPW Press Office

Fact Check: Oil Company Investments

In a Fox News Channel interview on June 19, 2008, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) debated Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) about energy issues. Senator Sanders echoed Democratic talking points demonizing oil companies for making a profit. According to Senator Sanders, “Since Bush has been President, the oil companies have made over $600 billion in profits. Most of that will buy back stocks and raise dividends, not use that money for oil exploration.”

Fact: According to a report by analysts at Ernst & Young, North America’s 20 largest oil companies have invested 50 percent more into exploration and production than they earned in net profit over the past 10 years. Additionally, data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Oil Daily shows that profit margins of oil and natural gas companies are ranked #7 among industries. Above them, at the top of the corporate profit list are beverages and tobacco, pharmaceuticals, electrical equipment and appliances, and computer and computer accessories.

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