Energy Crisis

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A global energy crisis is defined as any great shortfall in the supply of energy to an economy. Energy is oil, electricity, or other natural resources like coal and natural gas. When the energy supply to an economy becomes endangered or scarce, prices raise to record highs. This paper will cover historical events that caused energy crises in the past, recent events that affect today's energy prices, and what is being done and proposed to lessen the United State's dependence on some forms of non-renewable energies. In the history of the United States alone, there have been several energy crises. For example in 1973, many of the major Arab oil-producing states helped to pass an oil export embargo in response to western support of Israel. The new embargo forced the price of oil to almost quadruple by 1974. U.S. imports of oil from the Arab countries dropped from 1.2 million barrels a day to 19,000 barrels. The United States government was quick to respond to the embargo. A national maximum speed limit of 55 was enforced to help reduce gasoline usage. President Nixon appointed an official energy czar and created the Department of Energy in 1977. The National Energy Act of 1978, which was designed to discourage energy consumption and to accelerate the transition to alternative fuels, was also in response to the crisis. The increased prices hit the unemployed, the aging workers, and the younger workers the hardest. Schools and offices closed down to save on heating oil and factories cut production and laid off workers. Rationing of gasoline had motorists facing long lines at gas stations. Drivers of vehicles with license plates that had an odd number as the last digit, were only allowed to purchase gasoline on odd-numbered days of the month, while drivers with even last digits could only purchase fuel on even-numbered days. A few months later the burden eased. The embargo was lifted in March of 1974 but the aftermath lasted into the 1980's. In 1979...
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