Today, the price of oil fell under $53 a barrel, the cheapest crude since the 2009 recession. Petroleum’s price plummet over the last six months (explained by Vox) means cheaper gasoline prices, a short-term win for cash-strapped American drivers but a potential setback for the climate. Heck, inexpensive gas has even summoned the climate-wrecking SUV from its too-shallow grave.
On the bright green side, a glut of bargain-basement oil could potentially slow production, especially at super-dirty sources like the Bakken shale oil of North Dakota. Such “unconventional petroleum” is expensive to extract and then refine. The longer oil prices remain low the harder it is for the fossil fuel industry to turn a profit on shale oil.
So, will 2015 be the year the U.S. fossil fuel industry finally hits the breaks on the shale boom?
Unfortunately, the U.S. Energy Information Administration doesn’t think so. Data through September 2014 show that oil production in North Dakota continued…
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