Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Big Oil squares off against Silicon Valley

Big oil squared off against Silicon Valley Wednesday, Oct. 11 at the first-ever "Advancing Renewable Energy" conference in St. Louis organized by the U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture. American Petroleum Institute President Red Cavaney warned renewable cheerleaders not to overpromise and be wary of underperforming. He said biofuels need to be self-sufficient. Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla shot back that in the very next session that oil has never been self-sufficient. And that, Khosla added, says nothing about the "indirect" subsidies benefitting oil companies in the form of gasoline priced way below its environmental, health and national security costs. "Oil has been locked up and not subject to innvovaton" the way the telecommunications and Internet industries have been, Khosla said.

On one facet of the debate they seem to agree: let the free markets decide. Which begs the question: who is willing to surrender their subsidies first?

renewable energy, biofuels, gasoline, Vinod Khosla, Red Cavaney, oil companies, Silicon Valley, American Petroleum Institute,


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