Energy Alternatives for California: The Current Crisis. 1--The Impact of Arab Oil Export Policies on the California Energy System.

by William R. Ahern, Horst Mendershausen

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A discussion of the impacts of the Arab oil embargo and how they interrelate with California's energy supplies and uses. During 1974, the state's dwindling gas supplies may decline 10-15 percent, oil supplies, 20-30 percent, and electricity, up to 30 percent from fall 1973 levels. Faced with increased demand for electricity, and drastically curtailed use of natural gas, electric utilities have turned to fuel oil. Previously, foreign oil imports have made up state losses from traditional sources and have filled all annual increases in demand. But when the Arab embargo takes full effect early in 1974, oil supplies can be expected to drop 18-20 percent. Further drains may be incurred by Department of Defense oil levies. Should the embargo remain, the state's total energy supply will continue downward for the next few years. We will be able to return to our former energy-consuming life only if the embargo is lifted and if Middle East production rises rapidly to fill the world's wishes for petroleum. However, a shortage situation is more likely. (Testimony before the Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Committee on Planning and Land Use, California State Assembly, Sacramento, December 11, 1973.)

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