Oil Companies Loath to Follow Obama’s Green Lead
In other news: Duh.
The Obama administration wants to reduce oil consumption, increase renewable energy supplies and cut carbon dioxide emissions in the most ambitious transformation of energy policy in a generation.
But the world’s oil giants are not convinced that it will work. Even as Washington goes into a frenzy over energy, many of the oil companies are staying on the sidelines, balking at investing in new technologies favored by the president, or even straying from commitments they had already made.
Our top story tonight: Duh.
BP, a company that has spent nine years saying it was moving “beyond petroleum,” has been getting back to petroleum since 2007, paring back its renewable program. And American oil companies, which all along have been more skeptical of alternative energy than their European counterparts, are studiously ignoring the new messages coming from Washington.
Duh: film at 11.
The administration wants to spend $150 billion over the next decade to create what it calls “a clean energy future.” Its plan would aim to diversify the nation’s energy sources by encouraging more renewables, and it would reduce oil consumption and cut carbon emissions from fossil fuels.
The oil companies have frequently run advertisements expressing their interest in new forms of energy, but their actual investments have belied the marketing claims. The great bulk of their investments goes to traditional petroleum resources, including carbon-intensive energy sources like tar sands and natural gas from shale, while alternative investments account for a tiny fraction of their spending. So far, that has changed little under the Obama administration.
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Perhaps not surprisingly, most investments in alternative sources of energy are coming from pockets other than those of the oil companies.
A gum-popping tween could spot the stupidity of this discussion. Oil companies have no obligation to develop anything. Nothing at all. In seventy years, they’ll be out of business if they don’t, but that’s their problem. Our problem is what we are doing and not doing to develop clean energy sources, and by ‘we’ I mean you and me. We. Why doesn’t the New York Times know that?