One of the threads running through a major energy conference in Houston is how oil and gas companies can cut their carbon footprint and prevent the worst impacts of climate change.
Just don't ask about New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal.
The freshman Congress member's sweeping proposal to overhaul the U.S. economy and transition to clean energy is predictably unpopular among energy executives. But even beyond the C-suite, energy thought leaders assembling at CERAWeek by IHS Markit in Houston are largely dismissing the Green New Deal as unrealistic, unworkable and politically divisive.
Instead, the climate talks at CERAWeek have largely focused on the kind of bottom-up, market-oriented solutions that Ocasio-Cortez dismisses as too conservative. Those conversations have largely overshadowed the Green New Deal, which calls for generating 100 percent of the nation's electric power from renewable sources and largely phasing oil out of the transportation sector in just 10 years.
"I think one of the reasons why you're not hearing a lot about it is because it's so unrealistic," said Mike Sommers, president of the American Petroleum Institute, the industry's biggest trade group.
"When talking about the Green New Deal, I think for most of our members, yes, they take it seriously from a public relations perspective, but you look at what it actually means, and more than anything, it's a plan to have a plan right now."
Yet the oil and gas industry is not the only part of the energy world casting doubt on the Green New Deal in Houston this week.