The Carter Energy Plan

Davidson, Paul
September 1977
Challenge (05775132);Sep/Oct77, Vol. 20 Issue 4, p53
Academic Journal
This article focuses on the Carter energy plan. Economists know that both supply and demand factors affect energy prices and uses. On the supply side the fundamental supposition of the Carter-Sehlesinger policy is that the United States is helplessly caught between a cartel constraint and a Malthusian domestic shortage of petroleum. Schlesinger's supply assertion is based on data provided by the major oil companies and analyzed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Unfortunately, industry reserve estimates are suspect, for there is a tremendous economic incentive to underreport in order to pressure the U.S. government to permit higher wellhead prices. Governmental agency projections released to coincide with new Presidential policies should also be viewed with a jaundiced eye. For example, the Cabinet Task Force on Import Controls, using information supplied by the major oil companies, predicted that with an oil price of $330 a barrel, U.S. producers could profitably produce 13.5 million barrels of oil per day by 1980.


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