IOGCC Raises Awareness of Oil Embargo 25th Anniversary
The 25th anniversary of the 1973 Arab oil embargo, which resulted in gasoline shortages and consumer panic, is fast approaching. The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission is working to create a public awareness project that reminds consumers and policy-makers about the real world impact of overdependence on imported oil.
Effects of the Arab oil embargo are widespread but have not reduced America's dependence on imported oil. Among the changes over the past 25 years: petroleum use per capita has dropped, in part because of a doubling of automobile efficiency. The U.S. also built the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for use in energy emergencies.
However, one of the most striking trends is the sharp increase in the amount oil imported from foreign sources. Oil imports have risen from 28 percent in the early 1970s to over 50 percent in 1998, according to statistics released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
EIA also reported that retail prices for electricity and gasoline are returning to the range that existed before the 1973 embargo. Gasoline prices have dropped 44 percent since their peak in 1981 and electricity prices have fallen 30 percent since their peak in 1982.