glog-2213energy crisis

by DJ303
Last updated 8 years ago

Social Studies

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glog-2213energy crisis

Energy Crisis of the 70’s

The problem with oil imports came to head during the 1969-1970 winters which were the coldest in 30 years and power was randomly turned off to preserve energy which caused brownouts along the Atlantic Coast.The energy crisis of the 1970’s was caused by our reliance on foreign oil and triggered a nationwide movement that advocated energy conservation and alternate energy sources.During this period several agencies were created, one of those was the Department of Energy. Environmentalists were arguing the use of energy was causing damage to the environment.Nixon assigned James Akins to the White House, was the State Department chief oil expert and even before the crisis was at its worst in 1973 he suggested we reduce consumption, In April 1973 Akins published some of his ideas in Foreign Affairs in an article entitled “The Oil Crisis: This Time the Wolf Is Here” He was comparing the oil crisis with the Middle East to a ferocious wolf ready to attack. For the first time, the U.S. was vulnerable and not able to supply its allies in the event of a crisis. In the fall of 1973, the Yom Kippur War sent gasoline prices soaring in America. The Middle East the Arab- Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973 greatly affected the flow of oil throughout the world as they reduced or cut off their petroleum exports. OPEC, or the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which was originally formed to keep the price of oil down, was too fragmented and competitive to help solve the crises or to be a successful cartel. They were using petroleum as a political weapon by using the dependence of other countries on their oil supply and cutting off exports to those countries. Petroleum gave them the power to ruin the economies of other nations by increasing prices.

Past vs Present

Several events combined to bring about the energy crisis of the '70s. The first was a dramatic rise in American energy consumption, with the United States consuming a huge percentage of the world's energy in proportion to its population.The agricultural industry was the largest consumer of petroleum in the national economy at the time. Fewer oil wells were drilled in the U.S. starting in 1955 because foreign oil was cheaper and more accessible. But after 1973, foreign oil was more expensive and less available.

One of the most immediate effects of the embargo was a skyrocketing of energy prices, as a result of limited supply and heavy demand. Daylight savings time was moved to reduce demand for fuel.The world consumes 50% more energy today than in 1973. Most of the world’s largest oil fields were "young" in 1973; today they are emptier.

Facts to know:Petroleum or “black gold” provides the world with nearly half the energy used. (10, 330) 660 billion barrels or 67% of the world’s oil reserves are found in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia alone has 258 billion of these barrels which is one fourth of the world’s oil.



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