Business leaders: Make renewable energy cheaper

"Far worse, they're distractions from the deadly serious business of creating a new national energy policy."

General Electric chief executive Jeff Immelt did not attend, but said in a video presentation that the government and the business community need to move forward.

"The technology exists, the time is now," he said. "We need a call to action — not a call to go to another conference."

Former President Bill Clinton laid out a 10-point plan Monday that included expanded research for carbon dioxide storage and accelerating a shift toward plug-in hybrid electric cars.

Texas oil baron T. Boone Pickens also presented his plan to develop wind energy to generate 20 percent of the nation's electricity, then use natural gas to power cars until hydrogen or plug-in electric cars become widely available.