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Big oil chief goes after Silicon Valley

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Chevron's CEO knocked Silicon Valley's approach to energy, saying tech firms need too much government intervention.

QuoteIt used to be that Silicon Valley was all about staying out of the way. Now, particularly when it comes to energy related activity, they seem to want a lot of government intrusion. — Chevron CEO John Watson speaking at CERAWeek

He singled out the Renewable Fuel Standard, the federal biofuels mandate, and the Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) in California as "failures of policy." Watson, whose company has refineries in California, also attacked the state's cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases.

Why it matters: Chevron's criticism of Silicon Valley shows that while big oil companies like to promote their own alternative energy research, they oppose energy technology policies that layer requirements on the kinds of fuels they can deliver nationally or in the huge California market.

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