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Anadarko CEO: 'Ethanol Didn't Work'

Ask Anadarko Petroleum Chairman, CEO and President Jim Hackett about corn-based ethanol and he’ll tell you it was a “disastrous policy direction to take.” Government mandates gave rise to an energy source that, in the end, wasn’t much of an alternative. But that hasn’t stopped ethanol proponents from claiming it was a step in the right direction, he said.

Hackett would rather have science decide that. He’s all for pouring money into research before Washington gets behind the next big thing. It’s better, he said, than “forcing tax subsidies to prop up an industry that at the end of the day we’re not even sure works – because corn-based ethanol didn’t work.”

Hackett, saying that “certain virtual realities are being created for us” by environmentalists, is not a firm believer in global climate change. “Clearly manmade emissions don’t help in that regard,” he continued, but if hydrocarbon burning should be decreased, it should happen on the consumption side first, and not the production side. It’s the best near-term answer to the problem, he said.

Since Anadarko’s main business, natural gas, is the cleanest-burning of the hydrocarbon sources, Hackett said, we should encourage further drilling, possibly even in previously off-limits areas. Conventional fuels like nat gas, he said, will be needed until we find a viable alternative to oil.

Watch the video for more on Hackett’s take on energy independence and why APC stock popped Tuesday.

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    Jim Cramer is host of CNBC's "Mad Money" and co-anchor of the 9 a.m. ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

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