In Search of an Energy Policy

Leonard, William N.
May 1976
Challenge (05775132);May/Jun76, Vol. 19 Issue 2, p52
Academic Journal
Two years after the Arab boycott, it is evident that only limited progress has been made in domestic energy policy. During the boycott itself a burst of action resulted in a nationwide restriction on highway speeds, which saved both lives and energy. Commercial aviation flights, which consume expensive jet fuel, were reduced. Some utilities converted from oil to coal. There was a new awareness by businessmen and householders that energy must be conserved. For a year or more, car buyers switched from large gas-guzzling cars to smaller fuel-saving cars. In a surprising move, Congress repealed the depletion allowance for large oil companies. But in 1976 the momentum of the past two years has slowed. Energy consumption and oil imports actually declined in 1975, results which can be attributed to warm winters and, more significantly, to reduced industrial fuel used during the 1974-75 recession. As business improves in 1976, fuel consumption and oil imports will rise. Stocks of oil are reported high, the price of gasoline has dipped slightly, and public concern with saving energy runs low.


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