Thursday, October 16, 2008

Crude Dips Below $70/Barrel; Could it Be ‘Big Oil’ Hears Renewable Energy’s Following Footsteps?

We’re so whipsawed by wild swings in the markets and predictions of economic doom we don’t know what to believe anymore. What IS the truth about oil price’s fall to less than half the July price? Tell us; we really want to know!

"Supply & demand" is the accepted explanation, as proclaimed in a page one headline (10/17) in the Wall Street Journal: Oil's Slide Deepens as Downturn Triggers Sharp Drop in Demand.

Maybe that's it, or maybe not. Every dollar increase in oil’s price made the renewable energy alternatives more attractive to energy buyers, especially when the price soared above $145/barrel in July. “This isn’t good," we can imagine Big Oil saying. “We’ll be out on our ear inside a generation if this keeps up. Let’s put the brakes on and take the longer view. We can get it up to $200 soon enough.”

Some might think out-on-our-ear is as plausible as supply-and-demand. Whatever the true and complete explanation, alternative energy technologies don't look as attractive as they did three months ago only if we let the last three months predict the future. That wouldn't be smart.

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