Over a Barrel

A new age of cheap oil could undo the nascent green revolution

Illustration by Alex Nabaum for TIME

There's one major loser from inexpensive oil, especially if it's managed poorly, and thatís the environment.

The 2012 election was supposed to be decided by sky-high gas prices. A gallon of regular gas cost more on average during 2011 than it ever had before, and in the first few months of the year, amid growing tensions in the Middle East, there seemed to be no limit to how expensive oil could get. But since Brent crude--a benchmark used by oil markets--reached $128 a barrel in March, oil has been on a long downward slide, falling below $90 a barrel, with investors expecting further declines. All of which means that gas could be closer to $3 a gal....

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