OIL: Up the Quotas

Oil import quotas have been something of a sacred cow through four successive U.S. Administrations, certainly including Richard Nixon's. Yet last week Nixon signed a proclamation allowing importers to bring in an average 230,000 bbl. more a day for 1972, about 15% more than before. Because there are just over seven months left in the year, the daily increase will really amount to 400,000 bbl.

The President had little choice. For the third straight year, the U.S. faces a fuel and energy shortage. This, combined with heavy overloads on power systems at peak periods of use, may well dim lights and...

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