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On this day in , the teenage coming-of-age comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High opens in theaters around the United States. Sign up now to learn about This Day in History straight from your inbox. On this day in , Kate Bionda, a restaurant owner, dies of yellow fever in Memphis, Tennessee, after a man who had escaped a quarantined steamboat visited her restaurant. The disease spread rapidly and the resulting epidemic emptied the city.

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Yellow fever, which is carried by Cary Stayner, the serial killer convicted in the grisly murders of four women near Yosemite National Park, is born on this day in Responding to increasing Soviet pressure on western Berlin, U. The massive resupply effort, carried out in weather so bad that some pilots referred to it as The German engineer Felix Wankel, inventor of a rotary engine that will be used in race cars, is born on August 13, , in Lahr, Germany.

Wankel reportedly came up with the basic idea for a new type of internal combustion gasoline engine when he was only 17 years old. In , This Day In History. Latin America. Art, Literature, and Film History. Iran's revolution sparks panic over another oil-supply shortage, and oil prices double.

Long gas lines return to the United States. In July, President Jimmy Carter gives his fifth major speech on energy policy , which includes announcing more energy conservation measures and a phase-out of oil price controls. A frustrated Carter admonishes the nation for worshiping "self-indulgence and consumption" and having "a crisis of confidence.

It also establishes the U.

Fidel Castro born

Synthetic Fuels Corporation, intended to produce two million barrels a day in liquid fuel from non-petroleum sources like coal within five years. Iran and Iraq go to war in September Though the United States is officially neutral, it renews diplomatic ties with Iraq , which have been severed since 's Arab-Israeli conflict. Continuing attacks on both Iraqi and Iranian oil facilities remove four million barrels a day in oil production from the global market.

The Reagan administration issues a national security directive in to increase the U. The war lasts eight years. Congress imposes a moratorium on new offshore drilling off the California coast in in response to public outcry and lingering environmental concerns caused by an oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in Within a few years, the ban is extended to all new leases in U.

This ban continues to the present day.

However, existing offshore drilling , from leases before the moratorium and from allowed parts of the Gulf and Alaska, represents about 8 percent of all U. Between increasing production in allowed offshore areas and a drop in overall U. The Reagan administration fully deregulates crude prices in , allowing U. Global demand begins to drop due to high prices and conservation measures, and another oil surplus ensues.

By , the United States imports about 28 percent of its oil, down from more than 45 percent in The collapse in price encourages oil companies to shift to cheaper foreign exploration, and U. The super tanker Exxon Valdez strikes a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling eleven million barrels of oil and damaging coastline and fisheries. Considered one of the worst environmental disasters in U. Iraq invades Kuwait on August 2, , following a dispute over the Rumaila oil field on the border.

In a speech on August 8, , President George H. Bush says Iraq's aggression poses an economic threat to the United States, which now imports half its oil. Bush also declares the "sovereign independence of Saudi Arabia [a] vital interest" and deploys troops to the country. Nations dependent on Persian Gulf imports, such as Japan, provide much of the funding for a U. The Bush administration releases thirty-four million barrels of oil from the U.

The European Union is losing its global clout - Notes de la FRS

Iraq surrenders in late February In , the Clinton administration announces a partnership to develop and produce affordable, fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles. But inexpensive oil and a booming economy drive up consumption in the United States. While Japanese and European car companies move ahead with commercialization of the first hybrid passenger vehicle, sales of gas-guzzling sports utility vehicles SUVs —considered light trucks and thus exempted from tougher U.

SUVs make up a large part of the fleet of U. Between and the country's record demand for oil in , consumption increases by 3. In , most of the world's leaders sign the Kyoto Protocol , an international mechanism for countries to reduce and adapt to rising greenhouse gas levels in order to mitigate climate change. But the United States, the largest greenhouse emitter of the time, refuses to ratify the treaty and for the next decade faces international criticism for its slow adoption of emissions-reduction policies.

And though a third of manmade emissions come from petroleum, U. Environmental advocates target the U. Asia's economic crisis in causes a drop in demand in what has been a growth region for oil markets. The downturn, plus an increasingly constrained environment for oil concessions globally, encourages a string of oil mergers among the world's largest private oil companies, including ones between BP and Amoco the largest foreign takeover of a U.

In February , Hugo Chavez assumes office as president of Venezuela, and embarks on a social revolution that includes financing new social programs with the country's oil revenues. Venezuela continues to be one of the largest sources of U. Both Venezuela and Russia nationalize much of their oil resources and restrict access by international oil companies.


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In , Canada surpasses Saudi Arabia as the largest single exporter of oil to the United States, providing 1. A decade before, Canada begins investing heavily to develop its oil sands, which requires more money and effort to extract and refine than conventional oil.

In , oil sands represent about 15 percent of total Canadian crude production, but by oil sand production is nearly half.

Still, heavily polluting oil sand production increasingly becomes an environmental concern. Congress passes the Energy Policy Act , which includes new incentives for transportation fuel alternatives and flex-fuel cars as well as new subsidies for domestic oil exploration. The law mandates that 7. In his State of the Union address , U.

President George W. Bush says "America is addicted to oil. Some energy experts criticize U. In , a time of near record-high U.

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Experts debate the cause of the record prices , blaming it on factors such as the economic rise of India and China, commodity market speculation, and basic issues of supply. Fuel prices and high food prices begin to cause unrest around the world. In the United States, high gas prices in a presidential election year invigorate debate about increasing domestic production, especially ending the moratorium on offshore drilling and in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Reserve.


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Shortly after the global financial crisis begins in , oil prices plummet. The law also mandates greater production of non-corn-based ethanol, and requires biofuels blended with gasoline and diesel to be at least 20 percent less in greenhouse gas lifecycle emissions than the petroleum-based fuels. In May , the Obama administration announces accelerated CAFE standards of 39 mpg for cars and 30 mpg for light trucks, which the administration highlighted as part of its climate change policy goals.

In the spring of , U. President Barack Obama lays out his plans for U. But in April, a deepwater drilling rig explodes and sinks in the Gulf of Mexico, causing a massive, four-month oil spill.

The European Union is losing its global clout

The Obama administration, in response, places a temporary ban on all new offshore drilling projects in order to review U. Calls renew for strengthened measures to reduce U. In February , Libya becomes the first major oil-producing nation to join a spate of popular uprisings in the region, which topples regimes in Egypt and Tunisia. With the largest reserves in Africa, Libya represents about 2 percent of global oil production. Global oil prices spike nearly 10 percent in one day. Though the country does not supply oil to the United States, concerns grow that the situation in Libya and potential unrest in other oil-producing nations could lead to a new global oil crisis.

In a March 30 speech , U.