Dallas Buisness Journal – Oil CEO blasts Obama's Energy Security Trust

image001 (1)President Barack Obama’s latest proposal to use oil royalties to pay for research into alternative energy touched a nerve with Chris Faulkner, CEO of Dallas-based Breitling Oil & Gas.

He sees this as government intervention, picking winners and losers, rather than letting the free market take its course.

“I don’t think the government has a good track record of investing money in a positive manner,” Faulkner said in an interview yesterday. “I don’t think it’s a very good idea at all. I don’t think it’s going to pass. I think it’s just posturing by the president. We’ll have to see if he can get this off the ground.”

Obama unveiled plans for the Energy Security Trust Friday at a laboratory in the Chicago area. The fund would collect federal royalty money from offshore drilling. Over the next decade, the money would be used to support research into alternative energy for vehicles.

Faulkner pointed out that the oil industry creates jobs and produces energy for the country without subsidies.

“We have an industry that supports itself,”he said. “(Renewable energy’s) been largely subsidized.”

He likened it to the government taking money from fast-food joints and giving it to restaurants that sell salad and health foods.

“Where does it all stop?” he asked.

Others, like David Knox, director of communications for NRG Energy, see this as a “rising tide that raises all boats.”

The Houston-based company owns eVgo, which has about 20 electric vehicle charging stations in DFW with plans for more.

“That’s something that helps all of the electric vehicle industry,” Knox said. “It is something that helps with energy security and energy independence.”

He’s also quick to point out that the charging stations, mostly in Walgreens parking lots, were funded with private dollars. Customers rent the charging equipment for their homes and can hook up to various charging stations for quick charges.

“We applaud any effort that is going to make that a better option for all Americans,” Knox said.

Nicholas covers energy, banking and other topics for the Dallas Business Journal.