Does OPEC Still Have the U.S. Over a Barrel?

tags: OPEC, oil embargo



Steven Mufson, author of “Keystone XL: Down the Line,” covers energy and other financial news for The Washington Post.

In October 1973, the Arab members of OPEC pointed at the United States — and fired.

The Arab nations in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries imposed an embargo on direct oil shipments to the United States in retaliation for U.S. support for Israel, which was battling invasions by Egypt and Syria. They also announced production cuts of 5 to 10 percent....

The 1973 oil shock — which led to a quadrupling of international oil prices — exposed U.S. and European weaknesses. The embargo, magnified by ham-handed U.S. price controls and rationing, triggered gasoline lines and forced President Richard Nixon to call for a 50 mph highway speed limit, a six-degree cut in winter thermostat settings, shorter hours for gas stations and fewer Christmas lights. And yes, he became the first of eight consecutive presidents to call for energy independence.

Four decades later, does OPEC still have the United States and Europe over a barrel?...



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