Energy Crises of the 1970s
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Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Flag
In the 1970s, Ohioans, like other Americans, experienced inconvenience and financial hardships, due to severe fuel shortages and inflated prices caused by the rising cost of crude oil.
During the 1970s, members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) artificially increased the price of crude oil to thirty dollars per barrel by reducing production and putting in place embargos on oil to various countries. This price was three times the cost of a barrel of oil cost just a few years before. Because OPEC members reduced production, oil and gasoline shortages resulted across the world. Also contributing to the shortages were various conflicts involving oil-producing countries, including the Yom Kippur War of 1973 and tensions between the United States and Iran in 1979. These shortages, coupled with the high prices, caused economic hardship for many Ohioans and Ohio businesses.
During the early 1970s, many Ohioans switched from driving trucks and vans to driving smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Unfortunately for many Ohio workers, the American automobile manufacturers, major employers in Ohio, suffered, as Americans purchased the smaller and more fuel-efficient cars from Japan.
By the early 1980s, OPEC nations increased oil production, ending the fuel shortages and higher costs for gasoline and oil. Unfortunately, for Ohioans, the energy crisis of the 1970s had already had a detrimental impact on the state's economy.