U.S. corporations have $1 trillion in earnings overseas, and they'd be willing to bring that back home if the tax laws were changed, Duke Energy CEO James Rogers told CNBC Tuesday.
"If you could bring the money back and invest it in the United States and create jobs in the United States, that would be more money" than the Obama administration stimulus program, he said.
Duke Energy has $1 billion overseas, he said, and if Congress passed the Freedom to Invest Act, which provides temporary incentives to U.S. companies to repatriate global earnings, Duke would use the money to build more facilities and modernize its power grid, both of which would create jobs.
"We shouldn't wait until there's complete tax reform. That will take time," he said. "We need this shot in the arm now."
The surprise release of 60 million barrels of oil from the strategic petroleum reserves of 28 nations was nothing more than a symbolic gesture, Rogers said.
"It had no impact on oil markets. That's unfortunate," he said. "There are other forces driving the oil prices and that symbolic release meant nothing."
He thinks oil prices will move higher because of continued demand in the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China.