Ten of the top 25 U.S. companies that invested the most on America's future last year were energy-based, according to The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI).
The rankings, "U.S. Investment Heroes of 2014: Investing at Home in a Connected World," is a survey of the leading nonfinancial domestic companies by their capital spending in the United States.
For the third year in a row, AT&T was the leader with $20.9 billion in spending in 2013, followed by Verizon Communications ($15.4 billion).
At No. 3 was ExxonMobil Corp. with $11.1 billion in capital spending in the United States, followed by Chevron Corp. with $10.6 billion. Walmart rounded out the top 5 with $8.7 billion.
"Investment generates jobs, greater productivity, and the higher incomes Americans desire," said PPI Chief Economic Strategic Michael Mandel, who co-authored the report. "Companies that invest in the U.S. are creating more opportunities for economic mobility and growth, and our government should implement policies that continue to encourage these companies to invest here at home."
The annual report, also co-authored by Diana Carew, focuses on identifying the U.S.-based corporations with the highest levels of domestic capital expenditures, as defined by spending on plants, property and equipment in the United States.
U.S. energy giants that spent the most money domestically last year also included ConocoPhillips at No. 8 with $6.3 billion, and at No. 9, Occidental Petroleum Corp. with $5.5 billion. Exelon came in at No. 10 with $5.4 billion in spending last year, followed by Duke Energy with $4.8 billion.
Hess Energy Corp. was No. 14 on the list with $3.9 billion in domestic spending, while Energy Transfer Equity LP had the No. 16 spot with $3.5 billion. Enterprise Products Partners LP was at No. 18 with $3.4 billion, while Freeport McMoRan Inc. claimed the No. 24 position with $2.7 billion in spending.
Companies with big sidelines in the energy industry also were in the rankings, with Union Pacific in the No. 17 position with $3.5 billion in spending during 2013, while General Electric was at No. 20 with $3.3 billion.
In terms of investment, the energy production and refining category was the third biggest in the PPI ranking, with six companies accounting for a total of $40 billion in domestic capital spending. All together, the 25 companies invested more than $152 billion in the United States in 2013, with the top 10 companies alone investing almost $100 billion of the total.
The report is based on PPI methodology, which uses a three-year cumulative capital expenditure list. The top 10 companies combined invested $293 billion in the United States from 2011 to 2013, PPI noted.