Time Essay: Some Steps to Stop Oil Blackmail

The long lines at the gasoline stations are gone, and American homes will probably be warm and snug this winter. But high oil prices remain, and they threaten to knock the world off its axis. They greatly fuel the rocketing rate of inflation in most nations. They stunt economic growth almost everywhere. They compound balance of payment woes—Italy totters on the brink of bankruptcy—and thus threaten international trade, the lifeblood of an interdependent world.

Exorbitant oil prices also reduce food production; the hungriest nations find it ever harder to pay for petroleum-based fertilizers. These...

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