Despite Washington’s newfound green enthusiasm, oil giants, and the exchange traded funds (ETFs) that track black gold, aren’t jumping on the bandwagon.

When it comes to renewable and alternative energy, most large oil companies are either sitting on the sidelines, balking at investing in new technologies favored by President Barack Obama or even straying from commitments they have already made, states Jad Mouawad of the New York Times.

Royal Dutch Shell has announced that it would freeze its research and investments in wind, solar and hydrogen power and will focus any alternative energy efforts on biofuels. In fact, the company has sold much of its solar business and pulled out of a project to build the largest offshore wind farm.  Additionally, BP has started to back off from its renewable program and focus more on petroleum. As for American oil companies, they don’t oppose alternative energy, but believe that alternative energy in itself will not be able to sustain the the world’s energy needs.

From an economic perspective, in order for alternative energy to really take a bite out of the energy sector, Obama will have to offer huge tax credits, because investment dollars are just not flowing in.  Additionally, most of the big oil companies are focusing on improving fuel economy and reducing emissions.  Lastly, some crude analysts believe that the big oil companies are waiting on the sidelines for a winning technology to emerge before entering the sector with guns blazing.  As for now, it appears that black gold isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

To grab exposure to oil companies and companies that will benefit with the demand of crude, take a look at the following ETFs:

  • PowerShares Dynamic Energy Exploration (PXE): which is down 9.1% year-to-date, but has crossed its 50-day moving average and is flirting with its 200-day moving average

  • iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment Index (IEZ): which is up 3.7% year-to-date and has crossed its 50-day moving average

Kevin Grewal contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.