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8.01 The 1970s Honors
Transcript of 8.01 The 1970s Honors
Texas oil production is rising rapidly, and state regulators say that it could double by 2020. Talk has re-emerged of detaching the nation from foreign oil. But the energy crisis half a lifetime ago changed Texas and the nation, in ways that still reverberate today. It launched an era of alternatives. As prices for oil and natural gas rose, Texas began encouraging energy conservation and building coal and nuclear power plants. Wind power - now an area in which Texas leads the nation - got its start then, as Panhandle tinkerers erected the first, tiny turbine farms. Some policies of the 1970s seem unrecognizable.
Friday, May 2, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
Explain why the chosen issue was a problem in the 1970s and how the government responded to the issue.
The 1970s Energy Crisis
The 1970s energy crisis was a problem during this time because prices ballooned out of control in the 1970s, especially in response to the cost of oil upon which so much activity depended. The cost of oil began rising in the late 1960s because of lowered supplies. Then, in response to American support for Israel, OPEC placed an embargo on oil to the United States in 1973, adding to the crisis in the U.S. economy. The United States depended on Arab exporting countries for about one-third of its oil. The resulting "energy crisis" led to long lines at gas pumps, rationing, high prices, and shortages.
8.01 The 1970s Honors
World leaders need to take action on the energy crisis that is taking shape before our eyes. Oil prices are soaring and it looks less and less likely that this is a bubble. The price of coal has doubled. Countries as far apart as South Africa and Tajikistan are plagued by power cuts and there have been riots in several nations because of disruptions to electricity. Rich states, no longer strangers to periodic blackouts, are worried about security of energy supply. In the developing world, 1.6 billion people around a quarter of the human race have no access to electricity. The fundamental changes are underway in the energy field whose significance we have not yet fully grasped. Global demand for energy is rising fast as the population increases and developing countries such as China and India undergo dramatic economic growth.
Explain what the situation is today and how the government is currently addressing the issue.
The recession combined with general distrust in the White House contributed to Jimmy Carter's win in the 1976 election. In an echo of earlier Democrats, Carter started public works projects to help reduce unemployment. It did decrease briefly, but inflation then rocketed to its highest levels of the decade.
On Oct. 17, 1973, Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting States stopped shipping oil to the United States due to its support of Israel, which had just come under attack from Egypt and Syria. It was "energy Pearl Harbor Day," in the words of energy guru S. David Freeman. Oil prices soared, and gasoline lines began stretching around blocks. Today, lines at the pumps are a distant memory. Oil and natural gas seem abundant, harvested by sophisticated hydraulic fracturing technologies.