The Political Economy of World Energy: A Twentieth-Century Perspective

By John G. Clark | Go to book overview
states to the security of oil flow. Cold War warriors in the USA accused the Soviets of fomenting instability in LDC states, immediately labeling Mussadiq and Nasser as puppets of the USSR.The price reductions of 1959 and 1960 reflected the great power of the MNOCs. But their ability to act unilaterally in production and price faced implacable challengers, both within the industry and without. Price reductions, notwithstanding, the MNOCs wielded less power in 1960 than in 1945. If the US government consciously depended upon American MNOCs to so manage affairs in producing areas that sources of supply remained secure, it was tied to an unreliable agent. A realignment of power had transpired, with OPEC a sign of the times. Some westerners sensed the drift and voiced warnings to a disinterested public. In Britain, an energy planning unit doubted the advisability of aggravating the nation's oil dependence upon producers that evidenced frightening instability. But this message emphasized new and reliable sources of oil rather then energy use diversification.64 As a rule, only those with a particular stake in such forms of energy as coal or natural gas deplored the absence of diversification.65Supply-siders ruled during the 1960s as they had in the past, exercising command from conference rooms in Washington, D.C., London, Amsterdam, and New York, and newly armed with the beguiling possibility of infinite energy through nuclear power. Oil in abundance existed. The optimism of supply-siders refused to accord any validity to either warnings of resource scarcity or of collective action by oil producers to withhold supplies.
Notes
1. For the above two paragraphs: A. S. Milward, The German Economy at War, London: Athlone Press ( 1965), pp. 3, 7, 12-15, 20, 119-20; C. C. Concannon et al., World Chemical Developments in 1935. U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. Trade Information Bulletin No. 832, Washington, D.C.: GPO ( 1936), pp. 19, 23, 29; W. Levy, "Japanese Strategy Based on Inadequate Oil Supply," World Petroleum, 13 ( January 1942), pp. 23-5; W. K. Hancock and M. W. Gowing , British War Economy, London: HMSO ( 1949), pp. 112, 118, 188-90, 257; I. H. Anderson, Aramco, the United States and Saudi Arabia: A Study in the Dynamics of Foreign Oil Diplomacy, 1933-1950, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press ( 1981), pp. 33-4, 42; H. Hassman, Oil in the Soviet Union. History, Geography, Problems, translated by A. M. Leiston , Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press ( 1953), pp. v-vi, 59.
2. For the above two paragraphs: Milward, German Economy, pp. 49-52, 158-60, 168-89; S. Olsson, German Coal and Swedish Fuel, 1939-1945, Gothenburg: Institute of Economic History of Gothenburg University

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The Political Economy of World Energy: A Twentieth-Century Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables xi
  • Maps xv
  • Abbreviations xvii
  • Preface xix
  • 1 - A Prospectus 1
  • Notes 8
  • 2 - Energy and the Maturation of Industrial Economies in the West, 1900-18 9
  • Notes 44
  • 3 - The Search for Energy During the Interwar Years 51
  • Notes 88
  • 4 - Energy Flows in a Politically Polarized World 95
  • Notes 138
  • 5 - The Owners of the World's Petroleum Resources 146
  • Notes 179
  • 6 - Cheap Energy, Security, and the Industrialized Nations, 1960-73 186
  • Notes 224
  • 7 - The West and the Energy Crisis of 1973-8 230
  • Notes 267
  • 8 - The Lesser Developed Countries and the Oil Boom of the 1970s 274
  • Notes 311
  • 9 - A Second Energy Crisis: the Iranian Revolution and Its Aftermath 319
  • Notes 358
  • 10 - Powering Energy Transitions and Transactions: a Summary and Conclusions 365
  • Notes 376
  • Index 378
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