OIL: Living with OPEC

A prime goal of U.S. oil diplomacy over the past two years has been to break up the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The U.S. tried to weld consuming countries into a bloc that would reduce oil imports and accelerate development of alternative sources of energy, with the aim of shrinking OPEC revenues enough to prod some of its 13 member nations to cut prices, thus dissolving the cartel. The strategy seemed justified: OPEC's quintupling of prices since late 1973 has aggravated both inflation and recession in industrialized countries. But the attempt...

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