by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As appearing in the Daily Sentinel

Economist Stephen Moore has published a chart listing quarterly profits of America’s four largest technology firms. The numbers are unfathomable for mere mortals like us. Tesla earned $2.3 billion — that’s not total income, just profits (total income was over $30 billion). Profits were $6.7 billion for Meta (Facebook and Instagram), $19.4 billion for Apple, and $16.7 billion for Microsoft. That is just profits earned in the second quarter of this year, so multiply it by four and you see how rich some of these folks are getting.

As astonishing as those numbers are, though, all four of them combined made less money than Saudi Arabia’s main oil company, Saudi Aramco. Its profits exceeded $48 billion in that same quarter. As Moore wrote, “Saudi Arabia is loving life” these days. The U.S. government’s anti-fossil fuel policies have caused two significant problems for Americans. First, they have dramatically driven up the price of gasoline, home heating and other energy costs. Second, they have made the economy more dependent once again on foreign energy sources, especially imported oil.

That has implications far beyond the prices we pay at the pump. It is spectacularly enriching Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, Iran and other producing countries around the world, many of which are not allies. No rational person watching the belligerent behavior of those countries could conclude that sending them hundreds of billions of American dollars is a good idea.

This is a recent development, historically speaking. Oil was only discovered in Saudi Arabia in 1938, by Chevron, and it transformed the entire region after World War II. Before that, Saudis were mostly nomadic, tribal and comparatively poor. The Saudi economy was bolstered mostly by tourism revenue from Muslim pilgrimages to Mecca. Today, oil generates over $150 billion a year for Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi royal family is the world’s wealthiest, with a net worth estimated at $1.4 trillion. The country is the world’s largest arms importer, spent $68 billion financing civil war in Yemen, and spends fortunes destabilizing Qatar, Egypt, Libya and other parts of the Mid-East, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. A vast share of that money came from the U.S. over the past seven decades.