How Oil Profits Are Good for Americans

Nicolas Loris /

You could substitute a newspaper article from June 2008 with today’s gas price stories, and no one would know the difference. The story is the same: politicians blaming speculators and big oil while ignoring supply and demand issues and the impact of a weak dollar on oil prices.

It’s been easy for politicians to point the finger of blame at oil companies since the Gulf spill—although a large majority of Americans support offshore drilling. When politicians attack big oil, it’s important to remember who owns these companies and where that money goes.

Mutual funds and other firms hold almost 30 percent of oil stocks. Pension funds hold 27 percent; individual investors hold 23 percent; 14 percent is held in Individual Retirement Accounts; other institutional investments hold 5 percent; and corporate management holds 1.5 percent. That’s right: corporate management holds just 1.5 percent. (more…)