A common misperception is that energy companies have no intention of investing in clean energy and therefore government programs must do the heavy lifting. In fact, U.S. based oil and gas companies have spent over $121 billion from 2000 through 2007 on new energy technologies in the North American market, says the Energy Information Administration. Almost $104 billion of that went for carbon-based alternatives to petroleum, such as oil sands and waste residues. And nearly $16 billion went for efficiency improvements (cogeneration) and advanced-technology vehicles including electric cars.
In all, oil and gas firms ponied up almost 70% of all funds U.S. companies invested in new energy sources and 35% of all the money spent developing and researching electric vehicles.