April 8, 2009

Big oil resists lure of going green

U.S. President Barack Obama's drive to create a clean energy future has little more than token support from the world's oil giants, industry observers said.

In my view, nothing has really changed, with a new administration that pledged to spend $150 billion in the next decade on energy alternatives, Rex Tillerson, chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil told The New York Times.

We don't oppose alternative energy, he said. But to hang the future of the country's energy on those alternatives alone belies the reality of their size and scale.

While the administration presses forward, Royal Dutch Shell has retreated from its involvement in various wind and solar power projects, the Times said. BP has scaled back on alternative energy development.

In spite of ads projecting a green image, the scale of (big oil's) alternative investments is so mind-numbingly small that it's hard to find them, Nathanael Greene, a policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council said to the Times.

Big Oil does not consider renewable energy to be a mainstream business. It's a side business for them, Michael Eckhart, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, said to the newspaper.