Let me share with you a quotation from a report issued bv the Chase Manhattan Bank while the Arab oil embargo was still in effect. "Reportedly, the annual cost of a gasoline rationing program would amount to $1.4 billion. Based upon past results, if that much money was devoted to an exploratory effort, it would be potentially capable of discovering more than 2 billion barrels of petroleum. That amount of petroleum would be equal to 19 percent more than all the gasoline consumed in privately owned automobiles in 1973."
While the threat of rationing has disappeared with an end to the oil boycott, that quote is still valuable in assessing America's changing energy supply picture. It is valuable because it points out very vividly the two fundamentally different ways in which we can respond to that change.
One way of responding is simply to spread the scarcity around. Before the embargo was lifted, many people were demanding that this be done with formal rationing programs--even though experience has shown time and again that such efforts are neither successful nor equitable despite their heavy cost.
A much more logical response -- and the only one that makes any sense for this nation and its people -- is to set out immediately to increase the available supply of all kinds of energy, and manage its use more effectively.
Poer, N. V., "Energy Conservation: Constructive but No Cure" (1974). UMR-MEC Conference. 50.
1st UMR-MEC Conference on Energy Resources (1974: Apr. 24-26, Rolla, MO)
Article - Conference proceedings
Industrial Energy Management
© 1974 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.