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Q&A: Lee Raymond, former chief of ExxonMobil

leeExxonMobil isn’t exactly the poster child of sustainable firms–and its old boss didn’t spend much time acting as such. However, he sure knew how to deliver profits to the business–and he’s a pretty pragmatic guy.

And now, in his new guise — delivering a new report from the National Petroleum Council, an advisory group — he seems pretty open about the need for encouraging all sources of energy, providing they provide economic (given this week’s oil price, Greenbang wonders what energy source isn’t economic right now).

Businessweek has the full Q&A here, it’s interesting stuff:

The NPC report says that world energy demand will increase by up to 60% in the next 25 years. Is production peaking?
What the report says is that there are more than adequate resources. The problems that the world faces are not related to what I call geologic risk. They’re related to above-ground risk. They’re related to political issues, access issues, financing issues, scale issues, technology issues. The important thing for people to understand is that major projects in this industry take a long time. So even in the most optimistic case, I suspect that the industry would have trouble keeping up with the growth in demand.

So how do we deal with that?
We make the point that it’s all hands on deck. By that I mean all sources of energy that meet the competitive standard set by the market should be encouraged. That’s coal, clean coal, nuclear, conventional oil and gas, nonconventional oil and gas, biofuels, solar. Anything that can clear the economic hurdle needs to be encouraged.

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