Executives, Government Officials Mark 40th Anniversary of Arab Oil Embargo
From Detroit News
The 1973 Arab oil embargo — launched 40 years ago Thursday — dramatically reshaped what Americans drive and continues to impact future vehicles, experts said at a day-long panel discussion here.
At the conference Wednesday, executives and former government officials recalled the 1973 energy crisis, which prompted gas lines, a tripling in oil prices and an embrace of conservation measures in the United States. Some states even asked residents not to put up Christmas lights to save energy that year.
“You know, OPEC was founded in 1960. And like most of us, it didn’t start causing trouble until its teens. In 1973, OPEC pulled the IV drip on our petroleum habit and we went into shock,” General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson told the Securing America’s Energy Future summit Wednesday on the 40th anniversary of the oil embargo. “It was an easy thing to pull off.”
The U.S. was unprepared, he said.
New-car fuel economy had declined from 14.8 mpg in 1967 to less than 12 mpg. Akerson noted gasoline was cheap at 38.5 cents per gallon or about $1.96 in today’s money. “The average new car only got about 11.9 miles per gallon – a huge step backward from 1923 when cars averaged 14 mpg,” Akerson said.
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