Corporate America and foreign oil

Scott Jagow Dec 13, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: Some big companies are quite concerned about the country’s dependence on oil from overseas. Today, a group of them starts lobbying Washington to do something. FedEx, UPS, Southwest Airlines, Dow Chemical . . . they’re all in the group. And so is investment bank Goldman Sachs. Bob Hormats is vice-chairman of that company.

BOB HORMATS: If we continue to become more reliant on supplies from very, very vulnerable parts of the world, the overall impact in the event of a disruption could be very bad for our economy and therefore very harmful to all the companies involved and more importantly to the entire economy.

JAGOW: What are these companies willing to do to help ease our dependence on foreign oil?

HORMATS: There are two areas. One, individually when they build buildings make sure that those buildings are very energy-efficient and the way they run their auto fleets, for instance, make sure they’re energy-efficient. But more broadly, press for policies in Washington which encourage greater efficiency of use of oil for instance in transportation, provide incentives for new energy technology and also developing the energy that we’ve got.

JAGOW: So are you asking to be regulated?

HORMATS: Not so much asking to be regulated although there are some elements of improved regulation, for instance greater fuel efficiency standards for automobiles, small trucks and such things over a period time. But also providing incentives from the government to develop the new types of energy technologies that can help reduce dependence over the medium-term. If we are, as many people believe we are, in a war against terrorism, if we are involved in a situation where energy dependence makes us more vulnerable to disruptions, then we should take a much more urgent approach which requires all interests to become involved and to make commitments and the government to take a much more proactive set of measures

JAGOW: Alright Bob thanks a lot.

HORMATS: You’re very welcome.

JAGOW: Bob Hormats of Goldman Sachs. This week plans a week-long ad blitz in Washington.

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