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Devon’s CEO says summit ignored oil, gas producers

BY CHRIS CASTEEL Modified: December 4, 2009 at 12:56 am •  Published: December 4, 2009
WASHINGTON — The White House jobs summit on Thursday ignored an industry that is responsible for employing more than 9 million people, according to Devon Energy CEO Larry Nichols, who said the current agenda in Washington could lead to more job losses.

Nichols, the current chairman of the American Petroleum Institute, told reporters on Thursday that he didn’t know of any oil and gas company representatives who were invited to the jobs summit hosted by President Barack Obama.

"Their focus is on green jobs and certain kinds of jobs that in this administration are politically correct,” the Oklahoma City executive said.

One of the panel discussions at the White House summit focused on "green jobs,” and Obama said that included talk of business investments to spur job creation in clean energy production and energy efficiency. Obama said some participants wanted to know what the ground rules were going to be for carbon dioxide emissions. Congress is working on legislation aimed at capping carbon emissions since many scientists say carbon dioxide is causing global warming.

Nichols told reporters that the legislation would be "a huge tax on all businesses” and contribute to a "chill on job creation.