Energy Crises: Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Hard Choices in the 1970s

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University of Oklahoma Press, Apr 1, 2021 - Business & Economics - 412 pages
The 1970s were a decade of historic American energy crises—major interruptions in oil supplies from the Middle East, the country’s most dangerous nuclear accident, and chronic shortages of natural gas. In Energy Crises, Jay Hakes brings his expertise in energy and presidential history to bear on the questions of why these crises occurred, how different choices might have prevented or ameliorated them, and what they have meant for the half-century since—and likely the half-century ahead.

Hakes deftly intertwines the domestic and international aspects of the long-misunderstood fuel shortages that still affect our lives today. This approach, drawing on previously unavailable and inaccessible records, affords an insider’s view of decision-making by three U.S. presidents, the influence of their sometimes-combative aides, and their often tortuous relations with the rulers of Iran and Saudi Arabia. Hakes skillfully dissects inept federal attempts to regulate oil prices and allocation, but also identifies the decade’s more positive legacies—from the nation’s first massive commitment to the development of alternative energy sources other than nuclear power, to the initial movement toward a less polluting, more efficient energy economy.

The 1970s brought about a tectonic shift in the world of energy. Tracing these consequences to their origins in policy and practice, Hakes makes their lessons available at a critical moment—as the nation faces the challenge of climate change resulting from the burning of fossil fuels.

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Searching for Clean Energy January 1 to June 15 1971
Keeping Prices Low July 18 1970 to October 9 1972
Secret Plans November 4 1972 to January 19 1973
The Unraveling January 25 to April 30 1973
False Confidence in Foreign Oil May 4 to October 5 1973
The Embargo October 6 to November 8 1973
Bold Talk of Energy Independence November 7 to December
The Thrill of Early Victories and the Agony of Delay
Historic Agreements at Camp David and Capitol Hill
Avoiding Panic November 13 1978 to March 27 1979
Nuclear Scare Less Oil and Presidential Resolve
Gasoline Lines Redux May 4 to July 4 1979
End of the Second Oil Crisis July 4 to October
The Curse of Iran and the Crunch of Politics
End of an Administration and End of an Era

Murky Messages Longer Lines January 6 to February
Battling Proposals November 26 1974 to June 11 1975
A MuchMaligned Victory July 2 to December 31 1975
to 1977
A Comprehensive Plan January 20 to April 20 1977
Reagans Revolution and a Temporary Victory
Epic Events and Enduring Impacts

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About the author (2021)

An expert on U.S. energy policy, Jay Hakes has a long history of working on energy issues, including as Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration during the Clinton administration and as Director for Research and Policy for President Obama’s BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Commission. He also served for thirteen years as the Director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. Hakes is the author of A Declaration of Energy Independence: How Freedom from Foreign Oil Can Improve National Security, Our Economy, and the Environment.