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Robert Bryce

Forty Years After OPEC Embargo, U.S. Is Energy Giant

Forty years ago this month, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an embargo on oil exports to the U.S. as retaliation for its support of Israel in the Yom Kippur War. It would last only five months, but it haunts U.S. energy policy to this day.

The modern global energy market bears scant resemblance to what existed 40 years ago. Today’s market is far more diversified and resilient. Thanks to the shale gas revolution and soaring domestic oil and gas production, the U.S. has reduced the cost of its energy and become a major exporter of refined products. Add in the political and economic tumult within many OPEC member countries, and it’s clear that, by almost any measure, OPEC is far weaker and the U.S. is far stronger than in 1973.