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Chevron chief seeks policy 'reorientation'

The US needs a “reorientation” of energy policy that makes affordability the priority, says Chevron Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John S. Watson.

Instead of heavily subsidizing noncommercial energy forms, the US should “commit our country to affordable energy, broaden access to resources, create responsible and balanced tax policies, [and] increase efficiency and investments in R&D,” Watson told the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC.

“Every policy objective should be viewed through the lens of affordability,” he said.

While development of alternative energy sources is important, the Chevron chief said, the government should help through research and development rather than subsidization.

“In a free-market economy, emerging industries that depend on the whim or capacity of government to subsidize them indefinitely are not sustainable,” Watson said.

Calling for “a fundamental reorientation of energy policy that puts economic objectives and economic security at its core,” he criticized current policy for restraining oil and gas development in favor of energy forms from which potential supply is limited.

“We need a refreshed policy approach that recognizes the value of fossil fuels and allows a market-driven transition to affordable substitutes over time,” Watson said. “Only an energy policy with affordability as its central goal has the potential to deliver long-term economic, energy, and environmental security.”

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