As the Obama administration seeks to spearhead a $150 million clean-energy overhaul, oil firms are conspicuously not getting on board—they're staying on the sidelines and, in many cases, betting against it, the New York Times reports. Shell is freezing its development work on wind, solar and hydrogen power, after selling its solar businesses and pulling out of a huge wind project. BP has been shrinking its renewable-energy efforts since 2007, and Exxon Mobil is ignoring the initiative.
The firms argue that while clean energy is a good goal, it's not near-term enough to be an imperative. Exxon says the proportion of hydrocarbon in global energy supplies will barely change by 2050. “In my view, nothing has really changed,” Exxon Mobil's CEO said after the presidential election. “To hang the future of the country’s energy on those alternatives alone belies reality.”