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The Adjustment of U.S. Oil Demand to the Price Increases of the 1970s

Since the 1979-80 oil price doubling, U.S. oil consumption has declined by about 20 percent, in part because of price-induced conservation. This has caused self-congratulatory euphoria, especially in the first few months of 1986, when both the oil price and OPEC were collapsing. We argue here that the euphoria could well be short-lived. U.S. oil consumption will resume its growth and, within five to ten years, could be higher than ever. Combining these results with the consensus projection of declining domestic production, the outlook for rapidly growing dependence on imported oil is disturbing. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

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Energy Specializations: Petroleum – Markets and Prices for Crude Oil and Products

JEL Codes: Q41: Energy: Demand and Supply; Prices, Q42: Alternative Energy Sources, Q31: Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation: Demand and Supply; Prices, Q38: Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation: Government Policy, D40: Market Structure, Pricing, and Design: General, C51: Model Construction and Estimation

Keywords: Oil demand, US, Oil price increases, OPEC, oil dependence

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol9-No2-7

Published in Volume 9, Number 2 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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