Category: History

The Destabilizing Force of the 1973 Oil Embargo

1973 Oil Embargo pic
1973 Oil Embargo
Image: npr.org

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based energy executive and attorney Duke Ligon has built up a distinguished career as counsel, founder, or board member of a wide range of oil and gas companies in his region. A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, he has served his alma mater as an advisor to its Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business. As part of his long career in the industry, Duke Ligon oversaw operations for an oil importing program associated with the White House Energy Policy Office and the federal Oil Policy Committee before and during the days of the global embargo that began in 1973.

The embargo came about after members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) chose to retaliate for the United States’ support of Israel during the Arab-Israeli War. OPEC’s membership consisted then, as it does now, of a number of the oil-exporting nations of the Middle East. In addition to forbidding petroleum exports to the United States, OPEC members banned countries such as the Netherlands, which had also given support to Israel, from receiving their oil supplies. In addition to these prohibitions, exporters elected to introduce cuts in the amount of oil they produced for world markets.

By that time, the American economy had become increasingly dependent upon the importation of foreign-produced petroleum products, and the embargo only exacerbated that situation. By the time the embargo ended in early 1974, American gas prices had more than doubled.

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Preserving History – The Civil War Trust

The Civil War Trust pic
The Civil War Trust
Image: civilwar.org

A resident of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Duke Ligon has served as the senior vice president and general counsel of Devon Energy, and is the owner and manager of Mekusukey Oil Company, LLC. In addition to his professional work in the Oklahoma City area, Duke Ligon is a member of the board of directors of several charitable organizations, including the Civil War Trust.

Founded in 1989 as the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, the Civil War Trust is dedicated to preserving battlefields throughout the United States. In addition to the Civil War, it also works to save the battlefields of the War of 1812 and the Revolutionary War, making it the country’s most effective and largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization. Primarily focused on purchasing and restoring battlefield land, the Civil War Trust also connects hundreds of visitors each year to the history and events that affected the history of the nation.

One of the Civil War Trust’s recent preservation efforts focuses on 313 acres in Virginia, an area where at least five significant battles were fought between 1862 and 1865, including the Battle of Sailor’s Creek. In addition to the 885 acres already preserved, including areas around the historically significant Lockett and Hillsman farms, the total preserved area would still only be roughly one-fifth of the battle’s more than 5,800 acres. Funded primarily by federal grants, the expected cost of the project totals almost $1 million.