CBS Evening News for Thursday, Nov 29, 1973
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(Studio) [Film reports] Current crisis in heating fuel and gasoline goes far beyond Arab oil boycott. Govt. policy and giant oil companies may be responsible. 8 major companies control energy supply from oil field to gas pump. Vertical integration explained more fully. Govt. agencies probe matter to determine if major oil companies mainly responsible. [FTC James HALVERSON - believes 8 major oil companies' control contributes to present shortage.] FTC (Federal Trade Commission) charges against 8 majors outlined. Oil companies don't have enough refineries in United States even if Arab oil boycott lifted. Oil companies blame government for not enough refineries, citing environmental restraints and uncertainties created by import quotas on crude oil. Govt.'s reasons for not lifting government import quotas sketched in Senate report Details of report explained. Last winter, threat of oil shortage in New England warned. Office of Emergency Preparedness reports government received assurances from oil companies in April `72 that oil in plentiful supply for last winter. By July, different version surfaced from oil companies Office of Emergency Preparedness Elmer Bennett believed oil companies made threat to pressure price controls' removal by government Govt. requested oil companies operate refineries at 92% to prevent shortage in `72; by November, oil companies' production dropped to 88%. Cost of Living Council reported in November `72 that oil companies could make profit on home heating oil production despite oil companies' objections. Production incrd. in February `73 after oil companies recd.price hike; heating oil shortage averted. [Exxon board chairperson J.K. JAMIESON - believes oil companies have narrow responsibility to consumer to supply fuel and heating oil in time of shortage. Ind. would go broke if companies continued on such a track.] [Petroleum Ind. Research Foundation Incorporated John LIGHTBLAU - believes industry must think of profit; government must decide on policies in public interest.] Dismantling large oil firms gains more proponents in Congress Senator Frank Moss favors legislature to dismantle major oil companies Reasons outlined. White House doesn't plan gasoline rationing now, but cabinet-level energy group considers rationing system. System explained. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield calls for immediate gasoline rationing. House committee passes law to set national speed limit at 55 m.p.h. Federal Power Commission requests utilities report on feasibility of 10% power cut.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite (narrates)