Where I was going with my original comment was that the CEO I was talking to was an "all of the above" alternative supporter. Algae, switchgrass, wind, nuclear, biomass conversion, butanol, solar, etc. Most environmentalist I know, pick and choose. Pro-wind, but not nuclear. Pro-nuclear, but not wind, because the windmills kill birds. Here where I live, we have about 40 eagles (brown and bald) killed a year in the wind farm, and there is a big worry about the California Condor, as this is part of their range.
To my knowledge, these energy companies don't try to discredit anybody, as it is not personal. They may fund attempts to verify or discredit faulty experiments, because bad policy built on faulty science is prone to damage their business. The scientific process includes aspects of independent verification. If an experiment cannot be reliably repeated, then there was an error in the process. Honest scientists welcome verification by adverse critics, as it proves their experiment as valid. If your published work cannot be repeated, or if it does not stand up to independent verification, then it isn't valid.
The energy companies want honest results from all of the research they do. If a promising technology doesn't add up now, they keep working on it until it does. Many of the environmentalists I know, keep pushing very sub-optimal technology as a solution, ignoring the total burden. It's great that you can make it work off grid, but if that requires 20 lead-acid cell batteries, a wind turbine, six solar panels, a diesel generator and a propane tank to power your minimal electrical consumption, then there is a problem. Especially if the twenty year cost of maintenance is over twenty times the cost of conventional grid and gas service.
I advocate for intellectual honesty. I'm not a member of any cult, and I think that cults have no place in scientific debate. Most people I know of who do not subscribe to man-made global warming theories and who have actively examined the plausibility of theories with real-world data, have zero connection to energy companies. They don't want to be treated like mushrooms, and when they attempt to verify analyses and inquire about raw data, rather than "filtered" data, they are met with stone walls. This how the pursuit of intellectual honesty is met by charlatans.
Conversely, I have sat in a few lectures by academics, who were funded explicitly because their research was in search of more "evidence" of man-made global warming. In one case a very sincere academic lectured about his hair-brained scheme to re-sequester CO2 by building giant artificial waterfalls with a particular mineral (don't pay attention to the energy required to quarry the rock or pump the water). I believe many were very good people, who were faced with the problem of finding continued funding for their research. Just like mediaeval artists, the funds keep flowing, if you paint what your patron wants. This is the current problem where dogma has largely been substituted for intellectual and scientific honesty in this field, because funds are tied to the outcome. The few climate scientist who have changed their position from pro-man-made to semi-skeptical, have been ostracized and treated as apostate from the cult.
Greenhouse gasses are to the anti-oil crowd, what bullets are to the anti-gun crowd. It is a means to a political end. The political/religious attacks on energy companies do not make poor alternatives work any better. There is no big oil conspiracy to thwart alternatives. In their labs, they are well-ahead of any of these rink-dink companies that waste our taxpayer dollars.