September 4, 2009 / 10:55 AM / 8 years ago

Saudi prince urges U.S. to recognize oil dependency

2 Min Read

MILAN (Reuters) - The United States has no alternative to oil to meet its massive energy needs and should recognize its energy interdependence with the Middle East, Saudi Arabia's Prince Turki al-Faisal wrote in an article on Friday.

U.S. President Barack Obama has been pushing to boost green energy which cuts emissions of heat-trapping gases and reduces the use of fossil fuels. In his election campaign, Obama raised some potentially disturbing issues for the Saudis, such as ending dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

In the article translated into Italian and published by Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, Turki said energy independence was an unrealistic, groundless and harmful concept which was likely to re-emerge once economic recovery pushed oil prices up.

"There is no technology on the horizon which can replace oil to satisfy colossal needs of U.S. industry, transport and armed forces. Any future scenario will be characterized by mix of renewable and non-renewable energies whether you like it or not," Turki said.

His criticism comes as the U.S. Senate is working on a wide-ranging energy and environmental bill aimed to put limits on the amount of greenhouse gases that big industries are allowed to emit.

Turki, a former Saudi intelligence chief and envoy to Washington and London, said the United States, the world's biggest energy consumer, should put aside the rhetoric of energy independence and instead recognize interdependence of energy producers and consumers.

"Whether you like it or not, the destinies of the United States and Saudi Arabia are linked and will remain (linked) for decades," he said.

The United States is the biggest trading partner for the world's biggest oil exporter.

Reporting by Svetlana Kovalyova; Editing by Keiron Henderson

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