AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: Energy in America, Still a Problem

Written by Candace Hardin on September 2, 2014

In 1973, the United States experienced the original energy crisis. Surprisingly enough, it all started because OAPEC decided to retaliate against the United States and the Netherlands for their financial and military support to Israel.

OAPEC slowed production of oil in response to the 1973 Yom Kippur War between the Arab states and Israel.

This war was a culmination of the ill feelings that had brewed in Arab nations since the Allied Powers carved out a place of refuge for the persecuted Jews who survived the attempt at genocide by the Nazi regime. This resulted in the birth of the nation called Israel.

The neighboring Arab countries had never recognized the small country carved out of land that no one else had wanted prior to the reassignment to the Jewish people.

Since weapons flowed into Arab countries from the Soviet Union, the United States began to resupply Israel.

This caused the price of a barrel of oil to go from $3 to $12. Restrictions were placed on energy in both the United States and Europe.

Since this time, the rise and fall of the price of energy has dictated the rise or fall of the American economy.

Now, as always, it seems that energy is a huge election issue.

The so called global warming theory has led to the rise of what is called, “green energy.”

Green energy is the supposed panacea of our dependence on foreign oil.

In theory, this is a good idea. We should have alternative energy sources, fossil fuels have a limited life and will not last us forever.

However, the development of said energy is costly and has not enjoyed a large amount of success.

Electricity dictates almost every aspect of our modern life. We heat and cool our homes with it. We entertain ourselves with gadgets that are fueled by electricity. Our utility bills are a large portion of the average household budget.

Why has the production of energy, so valuable to all, become a monetary battleground in the political arena?

Why wouldn’t the production of cheap, available energy be for the common good?

Which is the best way to achieve the goal of inexpensive, reliable energy for all?

With traditional energy companies pouring money into political candidates that support their livelihood, and alternative energies backing those who would bring them opportunity to either exploit or explore new ideas, the average American is the one footing the bill for this pointless debate.

In the forty one years since the energy crisis of 1973, we are still driving cars with the internal combustion engine. We have no hover craft, no George Jetson briefcase sized space craft, nor any remarkable ways of personal flight, such as a jetpack.

It seems a lot of money is thrown around to no real avail.

The average American struggles to keep the lights on and the car gassed up at exorbitant prices as politics conducts business as usual.



Candace Hardin
Candace Hardin resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She is fluent in Spanish and a student of Latin and history. She is a columnist on and has a blog, Originally from North Carolina, her writing and beliefs have been heavily influenced by the Appalachian culture and tradition.