Leaders of industries directly affected by President Carter's energy program praised him yesterday for highlighting the nation's energy problem, but took issue with his plans to solve it.
Among the more vociferous of those criticizing the President's program was John Swearingen, chairman of the board of Standard Oil of Indiana.
Carter's proposals would result in less exploration for critically needed oil and natural gas supplies, Swearingen said in an appearance on "Meet the Press" (NBC, WRC). He was one of four representatives from the oil, coal, automobile and electric utility industries to appar on a special one hour segment o the show.
Swearingen said the President's proposals would "actually leave the [oil], industry with less money to drill wells and increase supplies than the industry currently has."
The oil industry "is perfectly willing to make sacrifices" to help meet the natio's energy needs. Swearingen said. "But you must realize, that additional oil supplies are not going to be fortthcoming unless the value received for the output exceeds the cost of getting them."
White House energy adviser James R. Schlesinger took an opposite view. Appearing on "Face the Nation" (CBS, WTOP), Schlesinger said the oil industry is making "absolutely invalid" and "misleading" statements in saying Carter's plan contains no incentives for increased production.
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The "new oil" increases are meant to spur exploration and production, Schlesinger said. He said the oil industry is dissatisfied with Carter's plan because it wants higher incentives (such as the elimination of price controls on "old oil" - oil now in production), bigger profits and a larger share of the nation's gross national product.
When the matter of high industry profits was put to Swearingen yesterday, he responded, "You're parroting here the kind of things that you hear from the leftwing of our country."
He added: "If you really want to accelerate the domestic exploration of oil and gas production in this country, the industry has to be given the money to do it. If the industry doesn't do it, there aren't but two other alternatives.
"One is for the government to do it. And the government can do it just like they run the post offices and the railroads. And the second is for the public to do without.And I don't believe the public wants to do without."
Just as dissatified with the particulars of Carter's plan was Carl E. Bagge, president of the National Coal Association.
Bagge said he "applauds the fact that the President has indicated that there is a problem and has laid his prestige on the line" with the energy conservation program he put before the nation last week.
But the program doesn't deal with the root causes of the problems that have led to a slacking of demand for coal," which is now considered the major alternative to oil and gas, Bagge said.
Current environmental restrictions on the use and production of coal are hampering production, Bagge said. He said those restrictions need to be rep. However, the President "has articulated a number of new contraints, both on the production of coal and the use of coal" in his energy program. "Something has to give," Bagge said. "There has to be some national balance between the securing of our environmental goals and a shift in this economy from oil and gas to coal."
Chrysler Corp., Chairman John Riccardo, appearing on "Issues and Answers" (ABC, Wmal), said yesterday that Carter's plan to tax large, gasoline-consuming cars is "like changing the rules in the middle of the game."
There already are laws requiring car companies to attain Carter's goals of a fleet average of 13 miles per gallon in next year's models and 27.5 miles per gallon by 1985, he said.
"I don't think we should impose a new tax until we see if this program works," Riccardo said.
Riccardo said he doesn't think a gas-guzzler tax would hurt large car sales. But he said his company is planning to make car "lighter and smaller, but with enough room inside to accommodate families of five or more."