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The Importance of Oil In US Foreign PolicyDuring the oil and energy crisis of the mid-1970s Americans became painfully aware of the consequences of the United States dependence on foreign sources of oil Unfortunately research and exploration for alternative sources of oil in North America has not been pursued vigorously enough to cease such foreign dependence As a result in the mid-1990s Americans find themselves in the same precarious position as they were during the 1970s The Persian-Gulf War in 1991 was all the proof needed to convince the United States of how strongly oil still influences our foreign policy and international relations in generalOil and US Foreign Policy Historical IssuesThe United States has had a long history of supporting and aiding oil-rich countries in time of political or economic crisis Specifically the US has relied predominantly on oil imports from the Middle East since the 1920s This was a result of several eventsThe availability and cost of gas became a critical issue in 1920 because there were numerous oil shortages on the Pacific Coast According to Beaver 1991 Union Oil and Standard Oil of California rushed petroleum by rail from Texas to the Los Angeles area in order to ease the acute shortage of gasoline and the long lines at service stations In Portland Oregon gasoline was rationed during the summer months as the price climbed to 50 cents per gallon Beaver 1991 p 241As a result of this situation and another historical factor consumption of oil almost doubled during the decade This factor was Americans love of the newly invented automobile Right after World War I and throughout the 1920s the US began to experiment with ways of developing its own energy resources namely the use of synthetic fuels However during the 1920s synthetic fuel development was ultimately not successful However the issues surrounding oil did become more clearly defined According to Beaver 1991 the availability and cost of conventional energy sources national
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