A battle over energy policy is emerging between two financial titans and spilling into the public forum of the financial news media.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and energy investor T. Boone Pickens both made public remarks this week that showed two very different views regarding America's national energy policy.
Geithner threw the first punch Wednesday during an address to Congress over the federal budget.
Geithner said that U.S. oil and gas companies should not receive federal subsidies, including tax incentives for exploratory drilling for new energy resources, because their operations contribute to global warming.
|Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner|
"We don't believe it makes sense to significantly subsidize the production and use of sources of energy that are dramatically going to add to our climate change," Geithner said to the Senate Finance Committee. "We don't think that is good economic policy and we think changing those incentives is good for the country."
Geithner made no distinction between oil drilling and natural gas drilling in his address to Congress.
Pickens responded to Geithner's comments on Thursday in an interview on CNBC. Pickens predicted that crude oil prices could surpass $75 a barrel before the end of this year, and said that more domestic drilling is needed to keep prices down and to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.
U.S. energy companies "are on their back right now" because historically low energy prices have reduced the number of rigs in the field by "500 or 600 already," Pickens said.