The American public has become extremely wasteful of energy, ignoring the consequences of its use of a finite resource a nd the destructive results on the natural environment by its insatiable demands. Transportation, residential-commercial consumers, and industry are prime culprits, aided and abetted by incessant urging on all fronts to become more and more dependent on mechanization and less and less mindful of consumption of energy-producing fuels. An expiration of fossil fuels by the year 2000 is possible. Ways and means are presented for curtailment of energy fuels use and the savings in quantities as well as dollars is most significant. Sound management is basic to conservation of these finite resources, and cooperation between the industry and conservationists can negate an energy crisis.


Certainly energy has been much highlighted during the past year and our President early in 1973, plans a special message on energy policy. This will, of course, involve delicate trade offs among pricing, pollution control and international politics. In the petroleum industry you are constantly politics. In the petroleum industry you are constantly aware of growing public interest and attention being given energy problems since the fuel shortage is beginning to be felt. Pressures on both sides "to do or not to do" the Alaskan oil pipeline, are impacted daily on the energy-environmental damage scene. Already we note that some midwestern factories have had to curtail operations because of scarcity of gas and heating oil, and in several states pipeline companies have been reducing gas deliveries to utilities and factories. To provide adequate heat for U.S. residences this winter some furnaces may have to be turned off in local and adjacent offices and manufacturing plants. Cheap energy has bulk up our economy and an adjustment to an era of scarce, and costly fuel will mean painfully wrenching changes if the U. S. is forced to produce and import enough fuel at greatly increased price ranges. There are indications that the President, though on an economy-minded budget-cutting spree, may have to increase research for developing thermonuclear fusion and the construction of operations to produce gas by burning coal at many of our coal mines. The individual will be called upon to spend funds to save energy, such as increasing the insulation of new homes and apartments, acceptance of smaller and lower-powered autos and increased gasoline taxes. The U.S. will rely more on importations of natural gas and oil from the Middle East, Canada and, possibly, even the U.S.S.R. since it is estimated possibly, even the U.S.S.R. since it is estimated to be some years at best before the Russians can produce and deliver large amounts of Siberian produce and deliver large amounts of Siberian natural gas to the U. S. The U.S.S.R. would require foreign companies desiring to export their natural gas to spend billions for surveys, pipelines and liquid gas tankers.


All of the above would indicate a greatly strained balance of payments. The bill for oil and gas imports could amount to $20 billion in 1980. This would mean an increase of over $3.5 billion from the 1971 figure. Considerable expenditure would be made in the Arab countries giving them added clout in world affairs and putting pressure on the U. S.'s friendly policy toward Israel. A proved reserve of 145 billion bbl of crude oil in Saudi Arabia, nearly four times the U. S.'s total and technically enough to carry the industrial nations through the 1970's, would probably be called upon to fill the gap between now and the time nuclear and other power sources can be developed and made available. It is fairly well conceded that oil and natural gas provide some 75 percent of all primary energy, provide some 75 percent of all primary energy, greatly affecting the U. S. economy. In the past, we blasted, dug, scraped and pumped our natural energy-producing resources without consideration for future supplies while giving the U. S. citizen a good quality of life at a moderate cost. Now we have found that our consumption of gas and oil is greatly in excess of this nation's proved reserves. We import over one-fourth of the oil needed to keep our economy running smoothly. Natural gas supplies are lagging far behind demand.

P. 75

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.