The 1970's Energy Crisis

Essay by pupacHigh School, 11th gradeB+, May 2008

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The 1973 oil crisis began on October 17, 1973, when the members of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries OAPEC announced that they would no longer ship petroleum to nations that had supported Israel. With a high demand, and little supply the price of oil was high. The high prices affected most Americans because most people drove cars as a main form of transportation.

In 1973, there was a disruption in the supply of petroleum. This was not really an energy shortage, there was no shortage of anything except petroleum, and there was a lot petroleum available, but the countries who provided it were attacking America by cutting off oil supplies. One effect was that the price of a gallon of gas went from 30 cents a gallon to over a dollar, their were similar increases in other countries, other effects were a nationwide speed limit of 55 mph, many people switched from driving trucks and vans to driving more fuel-efficient cars, and very long lines at the gas pumps.

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries raised the price of oil to thirty dollars barrel by reducing production. Because OPEC members reduced production, oil and gas shortages resulted across the world. These shortages, coupled with the high prices, caused hardship for many businesses. Other businesses moved overseas. Due to this immigration of businesses unemployment increased in the 1970s.

The Middle-Eastern countries had cut off exports of petroleum to Western nations as punishment, the oil restriction would not ordinarily have made a great impact on the US, panicking investors and oil companies caused a rise in oil prices. The OPEC was displeased with participation in recent Arab-Israeli conflicts. The Arabs refused to recognize Israeli as a state and launched attacks along its borders throughout 1949. The attacks escalated into a...