From Watts Up With That?
America continues to increase its energy dependence on China for “green”, and on OPEC and Russia for oil.
Published April 21, 2023 at Heartland https://heartland.org/opinion/50-years-after-the-oil-embargo-crisis-of-1973-no-american-policy-for-energy-independence/
Ronald Stein is an engineer, senior policy advisor on energy literacy for the Heartland Institute and CFACT, and co-author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated book “Clean Energy Exploitations.”
The oil embargo of 1973 imposed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other Arab oil-producing nations was imposed in response to the United States’ support of Israel during the Yom Kippur War.
The embargo led to a sharp increase in oil prices and a shortage of fuels for the military, airlines, ships, and vehicles in the United States and other countries, as well as a shortage of products from oil.
Few may remember the long lines at gas stations which were one of the most visible effects of the oil embargo. In some cases, people waited for hours to fill up their tanks. The shortage of oil also led to price increases, and many people were forced to make sacrifices to conserve fuel.
The oil embargo of 1973 was a major event in the history of the United States. It led to a recession in the United States and other countries. It also led to thoughts of a needed energy policy in the United States. The United States began to develop alternative sources for oil and for electricity, such as solar and wind power.
President Richard Nixon played a key role in the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, which carries oil from Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope to the port of Valdez. Nixon signed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act into law in 1973, and he worked to overcome environmental and political opposition to the project. The pipeline began operating in 1977 and has since transported more than 15 billion barrels of oil.
President Richard Nixon gave a speech on America’s energy policy on November 7, 1973, in which he outlined his plans to reduce national energy consumption and called on U.S. citizens to follow his lead in achieving energy independence. In his speech, Nixon acknowledged that the United States was facing an oil crisis for the American economy’s demands for fuels, and the products that are based on crude oil, and he blamed the crisis on several factors, including the Arab oil embargo, the growth of the U.S. economy, and the country’s continued reliance on foreign oil.
Now, 50 years later, none of the administrations that followed Nixon have done anything to establish a policy for America’s energy independence from another embargo disaster. We’re talking about a 50-year span of administrations from Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush, Jr., Obama, Trump, and now Biden.
As World War I and II historians Russia, China, and OPEC know, the country that controls the minerals, crude oil, and natural gas, controls the world! They all know there is no substitute for fossil fuel product dominance in the foreseeable future, even on a longer-term horizon. To believe a transition to just electricity from renewables is possible from the products manufactured from fossil fuels and act accordingly is suicidal for humanity. As former Congressman Don Ritter of Pennsylvania wrote “It’s the real “existential threat.”
Today, President Biden and California Governor Newsom remain oblivious to the fact that wind and solar only generate electricity. Neither Biden or Newsom can identify one product that wind and solar can manufacture for mankind. And worse, neither has a backup plan to replace all the products and fuels that are based on oil!
Biden is campaigning to rid America of oil, and Newsom, by continually decreasing California’s in-state oil production, Newsom’s personal energy policies continue to force California, the 4th largest economy in the world, to be the only state in contiguous America that imports most of its crude oil energy from foreign countries. That dependence, via maritime transportation from foreign nations for the state’s crude oil energy demands, has increased imported crude oil from 5 percent in 1992 to almost 60 percent today of total consumption. California’s growing dependency on other nations, like Saudi Aramco is a serious national security risk for America.
Today, both Biden and Newsom campaign to go green with EV’s, and wind and solar for electricity generation. Through the encouragement of tax incentives and subsidies to go green, they are providing financial incentives to China, who already controls the supply chain for the minerals and metals to go green, furthering our total dependence on China to achieve the green goals of America.
In the 1970s, Nixon also took steps to increase domestic energy production. He opened more federal lands to oil and gas drilling, and he encouraged the development of new sources for electricity, such as solar and nuclear power. He also created the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA), which was responsible for researching and developing new energy technologies.
Nixon’s energy policies were not without their critics. Some argued that his policies were too focused on conservation and not enough on production. Others argued that his policies were too expensive and that they would harm the economy. However, Nixon’s energy policies were generally successful in helping the United States to weather the energy crisis of the 1970s.
Here is a list of some of President Nixon’s energy successes in the 1970s:
- Opening more federal lands to oil and gas drilling
- Created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970
- Created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1970
- Created the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1970
- Created the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 1972
- Signing the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act into law in 1973
- Creating the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) in 1974
- Passage of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975
Those 1970s agencies were created in response to several challenges facing the United States at the time, including environmental pollution, occupational safety and health hazards, and consumer product safety. The creation of those agencies helped to improve the quality of life for Americans and to protect the environment.
Today, America is offering tax incentives and subsidies to go green at any cost, and implementing policies to rid the country of oil with no backup plan for a supply chain of products from oil that are the basis of the economy. Instead of achieving energy independence, America continues to increase its dependence on China for “green”, and Russia and OPEC for oil products demanded by our economy.
With no policy for energy independence, God help America!
Ronald Stein, P.E.
Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure
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