At a press briefing in midtown Manhattan yesterday, Richard Driehaus, chairman and CIO of Driehaus Capital Management, strongly endorsed the alternative energy sector, an opinion that runs counter to some other leading industry authorities.

The prosperity of alternative energy stocks at large can be specifically attributed to high oil prices and those prices are only moving up, Driehaus said. In the two weeks since Hurricane Katrina, for instance, the PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio exchange-traded fund, is up by 58%, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Katrina, however, is not entirely responsible for the spike, as the energy ETF was up by 35% in the three months before the hurricane's landfall, the WSJ noted.

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