Wilson, Carroll L.
July 1973
Foreign Affairs;Jul1973, Vol. 51 Issue 4, p657
Academic Journal
This article discusses the national emergency faced by the energy industries in the U.S. in the 1970s. The costs and perils of dependence upon Middle East nations around the Persian Gulf were eloquently stated by James Akins of the State Department in the last issue of this journal. His analysis of the expected scale of payments to Middle East countries and the inability of the largest producer, Saudi Arabia, to absorb or use a significant fraction of these payments for internal purposes underscores the perils of open-ended dependence upon these nations for our oil. The most critical aspects of the national energy emergency are the shift to such dependence and the enormous foreign-exchange drain it must progressively entail by the late 1970s alone. Recent symbolic interruptions by some Middle East countries, in protest against U.S. policy toward Israel, may be one hint of what the future holds; the continued hard bargaining on price is another. Although we will have to live through a period of substantial reliance on Middle East oil. It is hardly an acceptable national policy to leave the emerging situation in this highly unsatisfactory state. There are simply too many cumulative problems and dangers involved.


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