By Ben Geman - 08/10/12 04:52 PM EDT
Former Shell Oil Co. President John Hofmeister uncorked a colorful analogy Friday to describe U.S. energy policy fights.
Said Hofmeister on CNBC when asked about Chinese oil company CNOOC’s much-discussed plan to buy Canadian oil producer Nexen: “I think the Chinese are going to take care of the Chinese, that’s what it means, and they are going to keep doing it, and doing it, and doing it, while we have this great fight going on in the United States between Don Quixote and Jabba the Hutt.”
Don Quixote, who famously tilts at windmills in the 17th-century novel bearing his name, appears to be a stand-in for military renewable energy policies that Hofmeister views with some skepticism.
"And Don Quixote is out doing wind farms on military bases," he continued, "but how about some oil wells on military bases? We are not doing anything that takes care of the traditional energy sector in a meaningful way," he said.
Asked to explain what Jabba the Hutt represents, Hofmeister, who heads the group Citizens for Affordable Energy, appeared to compare the gigantic nemesis of "Star Wars" hero Han Solo to the economy.
“Jabba the Hutt is consuming oil every day. We are this huge economy that is going to keep consuming oil,” he said.
The comment is part of a wider interview about energy and economic policy.
“There is an invisible tax on the American consumer coming from the absence of public policy,” Hofmeister said.
He said that renewable energy won’t crowd out oil and gas any time soon.
“I tell students in college these days that their grandchildren are going to work in the hydrocarbon business,” Hofmeister said.