Oil Industry Profits

How to dismantle the typical oil industry profits argument of the left, if you must.

So, is it true? Are American oil companies making absurd profits off oil? The fact is, American oil companies are not the biggest profiteer of oil, government is.

“In 2007, the oil companies earned between eight and nine cents for every dollar of gasoline sales”(Levin 89). (1)

Whoa, not looking too profitable for the oil industry right off the bat. But, how much more proof do we need that American oil companies are not the ones profiting the most off oil? Well, this should seal the deal.

From 1977 to 2004, according to Tax Foundation data, U.S. oil companies cleared $630 billion after taxes while paying $518 billion in federal and state corporate taxes at an average rate of 45%. Over the same period, an additional $1.34 trillion in excise fuel taxes was collected from consumers by the oil companies and turned over to various governments. (2)

The numbers do not lie.

There is no doubt that the oil industry makes a great deal of money, but a lot of that money goes to the government through federal and state corporate taxes and in excise fuel taxes as cited above. This money is used to further expand the reach and power of government, which in turn, and in time, can restrict liberty.

M.R. Lopez


Levin, Mark R. Liberty and Tyranny – A Conservative Manifesto. New York: Threshold Editions, 2010. 89. Print.

(1) “The Truth About Oil,” 11.

(2). Editorial, “Record Profits Mean Record Taxes,” Investor’s Business Daily, Feb. 12, 2008, A10.

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