Let’s step back and get some historical perspective on the defining mood of the early 1970s and the events that prompted the US ban on exporting our crude oil.
The video below is from October 17, 1973. In it, NBC’s John Chancellor reports on OPEC’s plan to cut exports of oil to the US and other nations supporting Israel in the Yom Kippur War. Using their oil as a political weapon, OPEC decided to cut production by 5% each month until Israeli troops withdrew from occupied Arab territories. That threat would amount to almost 50% of their production in one year.
This embargo coincided with a domestic energy predicament: Production was about 100% of capacity, with little hope of gleaning any immediate resources from new US fields. It may be easy to see why, in light of these developments 40 years ago, US decision-makers moved to stockpile everything we could muster up.