News bites: Oil prices drop amid fears of ‘cliff’ dive

Oil prices fell early Friday as fears intensify that the U.S. will go over the “fiscal cliff.”

The Associated Press has more here.

A new survey shows that Americans are losing confidence that their energy-saving steps will help curb global warming, The New York Times reports.

Reuters reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed European Union energy legislation Friday.

He called it “uncivilized.”

“An EU antitrust case against Russian state giant Gazprom, as well as EU attempts to diversify its energy suppliers away from Russia and legislation to encourage competition have particularly angered Moscow,” the news service reports.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Japan’s incoming prime minister will likely form a pro-nuclear economic team.