An Interesting Quote From The Prize

THIS IS INTERESTING … In my more-thorough-than-first-reading revisit of Daniel Yergin’s The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power, I have come upon this interesting paragraph describing the attempts of the U.S. government to coordinate oil supplies among Western countries in the face of the 1967 embargo (which was a consequence of the Six-Day War) when the oil-producing countries in the Middle East attempted to use the oil weapon:

The working assumption was that the oil committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, representing the industrial countries, would, in the event of a crisis, declare an emergency and implement a “Suez system,” as in 1956, and coordinate the overall allocation among the Western countries. Yet when the United States requested such a step, many OECD countries, confident that they would be able to make their own supply arrangements, resisted. American officials were shocked. Without an OECD resolution to the effect that an emergency was at hand, the Justice Department would not grant the antitrust waiver necessary for American companies to cooperate with each other. Only when the United States warned that, without an OECD statement, American companies would not share information (and, by implication, oil) with foreign copmanies did the OECD unanimously, though with abstentions by France, Germany, and Turkey [emphasis added by LK], approve a motion that the “threat of an emergency” existed, so allowing both American and international coordination measures to be put into effect.

Well, if that doesn’t ring a loud bell …