It did in the 1980s, when exports were ramped up, prices went down, and a fledgling clean energy industry took a hit. Were that to happen now it would be disastrous.
But it isn’t. From International Business Times:
As oil prices have dropped steadily over the past six months … forecasts for renewables have remained strong. Renewables are still predicted to generate one-third of the nation’s new electricity in the next three years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It’s a promise that investors still seem wary of as shares for solar and wind have trended down on the perception that falling crude prices will threaten renewables once again, according to a post on Forbes by staff from the Environmental Defense Fund, a New York-based advocacy group.
A few key developments … have positioned U.S. renewable energy companies to succeed regardless of spikes or drops in the price of oil. These principles should largely hold true not just for the U.S. but also around the world, according to analysts at Bloomberg. “The collapse in world oil prices in the second half of 2014 will have only a moderate impact on the fast-developing low-carbon transition in the world electricity system,” they said in a statement last month.
One of the reasons for the difference, apparently, is the decoupling of oil and clean energy as sources for electricity. Oil was used for about one sixth of our electricity production in the 1980. Today, fossil Carbon based electricity generation is mainly from coal and natural gas, which have not experienced a drop in prices.