Second Wind

Green Revolution Hit by Lower Oil Prices

Low oil prices and the credit crunch are threatening to stall the green revolution, reports The Guardian. The price of crude has slumped from a summer high of $150 a barrel to below $40, taking the wind out of the sails of turbine manufacturers and others trying to build low-carbon alternatives. Wind developers have been cutting back in the face of tough new conditions. FPL Group, America’s largest wind-power operator, is cutting spending this year by nearly a quarter to $5.3 billion. Even T. Boone Pickens, the veteran oil man who intervened in the presidential race and promised to build the world's largest wind farm in Texas, has slammed on the brakes because of lower oil prices. Where this leaves Obama’s pro-green energy policy is anyone’s guess. He appointed Nobel physics laureate Steven Chu as energy secretary, which has convinced environmentalists he is serious about his stated aim of hastening progress toward a low-carbon economy and the end of America’s dependence on imported oil. But with the economy in the tank, Obama’s green promises may amount to little.