Article | 1987

Energy: The Avoidable Oil Crisis

By Amory Lovins

This article, published after the oil shocks of the 1970s, details strategies for reducing oil shortages and keeping costs low, thereby preventing another oil crisis. The authors see three possible strategies for responding to oil shocks: protectionism, trade, and substitution. While they explain how each of these strategies could help the U.S. avoid an energy crisis, the practice of substitution would serve America’s energy needs most effectively. Substitution (that is, substitute the use of oil with increases in efficiency or alternative fuels) avoids all of the problems posed by protectionism and trade while increasing security, saving money, and avoiding damage to the economy and environment. This document also includes letters from readers in response to the article.