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Encyclopedia > 1979 energy crisis
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Line at a gas station, June 15, 1979.
Line at a gas station, June 15, 1979.

The 1979 (or second) oil crisis occurred in the wake of the Iranian Revolution. Amid massive protests, the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, fled his country in early 1979, allowing Ayatollah Khomeini to gain control. The protests shattered the Iranian oil sector. While the new regime resumed oil exports, it was inconsistent and at a lower volume, forcing up prices. Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations increased production to offset the decline, and the overall loss in production was about 4%.[citation needed] However, a widespread panic resulted, driving the price far higher than would be expected under normal circumstances. In the United States, the Carter administration instituted price controls.[citation needed] Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (4472x3008, 1178 KB) Information from LOC TITLE: Gasoline lines CALL NUMBER: USN&WR COLL - Job no. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (4472x3008, 1178 KB) Information from LOC TITLE: Gasoline lines CALL NUMBER: USN&WR COLL - Job no. ... 1980 Iranian stamp commemorating the Islamic Revolution After Islamic Conquest  Modern (SSR = Soviet Socialist Republic) Afghanistan  Azerbaijan  Bahrain  Iran  Iraq  Tajikistan  Uzbekistan  This box:      The Iranian Revolution (also known as the Islamic Revolution,[1][2][3][4][5][6] Persian: انقلاب اسلامی, Enghelābe Eslāmi) was the revolution that transformed Iran... One of the worlds longest-lasting monarchies, the Iranian monarchy went through many transformations over the centuries, from the days of Persia to the creation of what is now modern day Iran. ... Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran (Persian: ‎ Moḥammad Rez̤ā PahlavÄ«) (October 26, 1919, Tehran – July 27, 1980, Cairo), styled His Imperial Majesty, and holding the imperial titles of Shāhanshāh (King of Kings), and Aryamehr (Light of the Aryans), was the monarchial ruler of Iran from September 16... For the song by the Smashing Pumpkins, see 1979 (song). ... Ayatollah Khomeini founded the first modern Islamic republic Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini (آیت‌الله روح‌الله خمینی in Persian) (May 17, 1900 – June 3, 1989) was an Iranian Shia cleric and the political... OPEC Logo The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is an international organization made up of Iraq, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Angola, Algeria, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. ...

The Carter Administration began a phased decontrol of oil prices on 5 April when the average price of crude oil was $15.85 (US). Over the next 12 months the price of crude oil rose to $39.50 (its all time highest real price until early 2006). During this period domestic oil output rose sharply from the large Prudhoe Bay fields while oil imports fell sharply. However, since there were no price controls on imported oil, this had no impact on boosting the supply of gasoline in 1979. Hence, long lines appeared at gas stations, as they had six years earlier during the 1973 oil crisis. As the average vehicle of the time consumed between 2-3 liters (about 0.5-0.8 gallons) of gasoline (petrol) an hour while idling, it was estimated that Americans wasted up to 150,000 barrels of oil per day idling their engines in the lines at gas stations.[1] Pumpjack pumping an oil well near Lubbock, Texas Ignacy Łukasiewicz - inventor of the refining of kerosene from crude oil. ... In economics, the distinction between nominal and real numbers is often made. ... For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ... Prudhoe Bay is a census-designated place located in North Slope Borough, Alaska. ... At the height of the crisis in the United States, drivers of vehicles with odd numbered license plates were allowed to purchase gasoline only on odd-numbered days of the month, while drivers with even-numbers were limited to even-numbered days. ... Gasoline or petrol is a petroleum-derived liquid mixture consisting mostly of hydrocarbons and enhanced with benzene or iso-octane to increase octane ratings, used as fuel in internal combustion engines. ... Modern gas station A filling station, gas station or petrol station is a facility that sells fuel for road motor vehicles – usually petrol (US: gas/gasoline), diesel fuel and LPG. The term gas station is mostly particular to the United States of America and Canada, where petrol is known...

During the period, many people believed the oil companies artificially created the oil shortages to drive up prices, rather than created by natural factors beyond any human control or influence. Further, while in a market economy, shortages would be expected to drive up prices, causing a contraction in demand; of themselves shortages would be unlikely to result in lines at the gas pump but for artificial regulations and price controls. Many politicians proposed gas rationing, such as the Governor of Maryland, Harry Hughes, who proposed odd-even rationing (only people with an odd-numbered license plate could purchase gas on an odd-numbered day), as was used during the 1973 crisis. Coupons for gasoline rationing were printed but were never actually used during the 1979 crisis.[citations needed] Rationing is the controlled distribution of resources and scarce goods or services: it restricts how much people are allowed to buy or consume. ... Robert L. Ehrlich, the 60th and current Governor of Maryland. ... Harry Hughes Harry Roe Hughes (b. ...

President Jimmy Carter made symbolic efforts to encourage energy conservation, such as urging citizens in a famous July 15, 1979, 'malaise' speech to turn down their thermostats. He also installed solar power panels on the roof of the White House and a wood-burning stove in the living quarters. However, the panels were removed during the administrator of his successor, Ronald Reagan, after a leak. The panels were never replaced. Carter's fire-side speech argued the oil crisis was "the moral equivalent of war". More importantly, Carter, as part of his administration's efforts at deregulation, proposed removing price controls that had been imposed in the administration of Richard Nixon during the 1973 crisis. Congress agreed to remove price controls in phases; they were finally dismantled in 1981 under Reagan.[citations needed] James Earl Jimmy Carter, Jr. ... July 15 is the 196th day (197th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 169 days remaining. ... For the song by the Smashing Pumpkins, see 1979 (song). ... Solar power describes a number of methods of harnessing energy from the light of the sun. ... For other uses, see White House (disambiguation). ... Wood burning is the largest current use of biomass derived energy. ... Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981 – 1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967 – 1975). ... Deregulation is the process by which governments remove, reduce, or simplify restrictions on business and individuals in order to (in theory) encourage the efficient operation of markets. ... Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. ...

In 1980, following the Iraqi invasion of Iran, oil production in Iran nearly stopped, and Iraq's oil production was severely cut as well. In that instance, oil lines only reappeared in the United States in a few isolated incidents.[citation needed] 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday. ...

At the same time, Detroit's then-Big Three automakers (Ford, Chrysler, GM) were marketing downsized automobiles which met the CAFE mandates passed in 1978; by the mid-1980s, a majority of rear wheel drive family sedans and station wagons sold poorly despite government mandates from CAFE; vehicles like the Ford Fairmont and Dodge St. Regis were short-lived in response to second energy crisis.[citation needed] GM's Cadillac division experimented with their V8-6-4 powerplant (the ancestor of the modern-day Active Fuel Management and/or variable displacement), which was a market failure.[citation needed] Rear wheel drive was a common form of engine/transmission layout used in automobiles throughout the 20th century. ... Ford Fairmont is a name that has been used for two unrelated models of automobile; one in Australia and one in North America. ... The Dodge St. ... Cadillac is a brand of luxury vehicles, part of General Motors, produced and mostly sold in the United States and Canada. ...

When RWD family sedans were marketed during this era, this is where Japanese imports were building inroads; by the start of the 1980s, every automaker was making the transition to front-wheel drive.


  1. ^ J. Leggett, 2005, Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and the Global Energy Crisis. page 150, lines 12-13.

See also

energy Portal

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