Soviet Power: Energy Resources, Production and Potentials

Soviet Power: Energy Resources, Production and Potentials

Soviet Power: Energy Resources, Production and Potentials

Soviet Power: Energy Resources, Production and Potentials

Excerpt

The continued rapid rise in Soviet industrial output, and more especially, the impressive increases in the heavy industry sector, have aroused wide public interest in the non-Soviet world. In the United States, accustomed for so long to an unchallenged position as the world's leading industrial power, the rate at which the U.S.S.R. is cutting down the American lead has been a matter of no little concern. Those who, a decade ago, claimed to welcome Soviet competition in the economic arena are now not so sure.

Whether the Soviet Union will overtake the United States in overall industrial output in the early 1970's, as Mr. Khrushchev confidently claims, depends obviously not only on the continued effectiveness of the Soviet industrial machine, but also on the response of the U.S. economy to the challenge. On the latter there will be much argument.

But none will dispute that the ability of the Soviet Union to continue its present rate of industrial growth in the decades to come will depend to a very considerable degree on its mineral resources -- their variety, their amounts, and their distribution. For the very nature of the Soviet state precludes it from becoming dependent on foreign sources of supply of essential minerals, as the United States, to an increasing extent, has come to be.

A decade ago Demitri Shimkin, at the end of an exhaustive survey of what was then known of Soviet mineral resources (Minerals: A Key to Soviet Power), concluded that the mineral wealth of the Soviet Union, as then known or inferred, approximated that of the United States. Since then, U.S. resources have been consumed at an almost frightening rate by the ever increasing demands of industry, while new discoveries have not added reserves at a comparable rate. In the U.S.S.R., on the other hand, consumption of minerals, while it has increased . . .

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