Conoco Officials Tout Need for Biofuels

John Davis

conoco-phillips.jpgThere’s nothing like a New England town hall meeting, and officials from ConocoPhillips got an earful of Yankee questions from a group at a hotel in New Haven, Connecticut.

The New Haven Independent reports about 100 people turned out to hear what the oil giant had to say and to quiz the officials about the future of energy in this country. The article says the folks got a bit of a surprise:

ConocoPhillips has been saying a lot of things lately that you wouldn’t expect to hear from one of the largest oil companies in the world. Sigmund “Sig” Cornelius, senior vice-president of planning, strategy & corporate affairs, told the crowd that the science is in: “It’s undeniable that the concentration of greenhouse gases in the environment is increasing … We recognize that combustion of fossil fuels contributes to greenhouse gases. We want to be part of the solution.”

The need to increase renewable components of our energy portfolio was a resounding theme throughout the evening. Panelists and audience members alike repeated the need for more biofuels, such as biodiesel, in the nation’s energy portfolio. In response to a question from New Haven State Rep. Robert Megna, [Sabrina Watkins, manager of environmental technology] said that Conoco is investing “tens of millions of dollars” on biofuel research and that while biodiesel holds a tiny percentage of the market share, there is “plenty of room for growth.” She also added that it is a matter of “and, not or”, meaning that Conoco sees biofuels and renewables as one part of diverse fuel portfolio.

Company officials also touted the idea of energy conservation.

Biodiesel, Ethanol, News