Paying even higher energy prices to avoid high oil prices?
STAHL: So what do you say to people out there, like Al Gore and now Mr. Obama, that say we have to devote ourselves, devote ourselves, to reducing our dependence on oil?
ABDALLAH JUM'AH, CEO OF LARGEST SAUDI OIL COMPANY: My answer to this is we have to be realistic. We don't have the alternatives today. If there are alternatives, be my guest and come and bring them in. They are not there.
STAHL: You're saying whatever the world does in terms of wind, nuclear, coal, we're still going to need oil, and a lot of it?
JUM'AH: You're still going to need oil, and...a lot of it.
STAHL: Politicians use this all the time that. We're addicted, addicted to foreign oil. And addiction has a dark connotation, because if you're addicted, there's a suggestion that there's a drug dealer who's trying to keep you hooked. And it's in the air that you want to keep us hooked.
ALI AL-NAIMI, SAUDI OIL MINISTER: There is nothing addictive about oil. If you look back 100 years, what would the world be without it?
STAHL: Even President Bush, who's an oilman, even he has said we're addicted to this, and we have to get off this oil.
AL-NAIMI: But listen to what the professionals say and what do they advise: it's not going to happen today. It's not going to happen ten years from now. It's probably not going to happen 20 years from now. It's not going to happen 30 years from now. Okay? Because you are still going to be using fossil fuels. . . .
Sure we can reduce are demand for oil, possibly we can reduce it a lot, but we only have to decide how much poorer that we want to be. If you want to pay even more for energy from these alternative energy sources, fine. But just realize that we would be using those other products if they were indeed cheaper. Why is it so bad that we are using oil just because we are using it? If you are worried about high prices, the higher the price the less likely people will be to use oil. But why pay even higher prices to avoid these high prices?