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Gulf Oil States Seeking a Lead in Clean Energy
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — With one of the highest per capita carbon footprints in the world, these oil-rich emirates would seem an unlikely place for a green revolution.
Gasoline sells for 45 cents a gallon. There is little public transportation and no recycling. Residents drive between air-conditioned apartments and air-conditioned malls, which are lighted 24/7.
Still, the region’s leaders know energy and money, having built their wealth on oil. They understand that oil is a finite resource, vulnerable to competition from new energy sources.
So even as President-elect Barack Obama talks about promoting green jobs as America’s route out of recession, gulf states, including the emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are making a concerted push to become the Silicon Valley of alternative energy.