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Will Oil Price Decline Affect Green Movement?

drop.jpgAs the price of oil drops below $70 a barrel from its peak around $140 in July, American energy consumers may be going back to their old ways.

In October, New Energy Finance reported that between the second and third quarters of 2008, investment in renewable energy companies and capacity fell 24 percent. The company’s CEO, Michael Liebreich, told NPR that “we expect project finance to be more difficult and expensive to find in the next few months.”

EL reported recently that the drop in oil prices have dulled enthusiasm for investment in renewable energy.

So, will the “green” movement recede as oil prices fall and the economy declines? Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute told NPR that the current interest in alternative energy is international, “whereas in the past, alternative energy was viewed as a temporary phenomenon, I don’t think most people now see it as temporary.”

In addition, countries such as Australia and the U.K. have put strict environmental laws in place, which  force U.S. corporations to adhere to international restrictions so they can do business abroad, or get funding from foreign investor.

What’s more both U.S. presidential candidates have promised to step up efforts of tackling climate change. U.S. lawmakers recently approved a financial-bailout package, which included a provision to extended federal tax breaks for wind energy by one year and solar by eight years.

European leaders also recently agreed to stick to carbon plans and schedules, despite complaints from Germany, Italy and Poland that the plan would hurt their competitiveness.

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