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“As soon as they announced an embargo, one of President Nixon’s top advisers dubbed it ‘an Energy Pearl Harbor.’ There were no bombs, no bloodshed, no loss of life. But the embargo stunned Americans, as if they had come under a surprise attack, if not an outright act of war, because of the serious implications for the economy and the country’s security. By 1973, Americans relied on oil for almost half of all their energy needs, and each day imports made up an expanding portion of the country’s supply. . . . Oil was both the lifeline of the economy and vital resource for the country’s national defense. American oil had played a decisive role in the Allies’ World War II victory, and with the Cold War raging on, U.S. oil remained a top national security concern.”
-Source: Meg Jacobs, historian, Panic at the Pump: The Energy Crisis and the Transformation of American Politics in the 1970s, 2016