Terry Macalister Thursday July 7, 2005
has dismissed solar and wind energy as "inconsequential" and
urges politicians to concentrate on sources that would continue
to provide 99% of future energy needs.
Raymond, the chairman and chief executive, also argues that
areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska
should be opened to exploratory drilling.
His comments - in Exxon's house magazine, the Lamp - could
be indicative of White House thinking. He says improvements
in US air and water quality are being buried beneath "ideological
agendas or inflamed rhetoric that often pervades discussions
about energy and the environment".
Raymond has infuriated green groups and will worry G8 leaders
encouraging George Bush to do more to fight global warming.
Exxon is seen as a significant influence on presidential energy
said: "There are many alternative forms of energy that people
talk about that may be interesting. But they are not consequential
on the scale that will be needed and they may never have a
significant impact on the energy balance.
the extent that people focus too much on that - for example
on solar or wind, even though they are not economic - what
they are doing is diverting attention from the real issues,"
argues that even if alternative energy had double-digit growth
rates they would only supply 1% of the world's energy needs
in 25 years' time. "I am more interested in staying focused
on the 99%," he said.
Mr Raymond said he was not saying that US energy supply was
at risk if exploration did not take place in Alaska. "I don't
think we have a basis to say that. However, willful and deliberate
ignorance about the country's energy base is also not a wise
US Geological Survey suggested there may be the equivalent
of several billion barrels of oil below this area, part of
which is an important breeding ground for caribou.
said such a relatively small amount of hydrocarbons was reason
enough for oil firms to be kept out.
Raymond said: "That is a flawed argument because there are
not many exploration projects anywhere in the world that we
would pursue if they were predicated on such a standard."
Rau, a campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: "His refusal
to accept the need for renewables is consistent with an inability
to accept climate change is happening."
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