The United States and International Energy Issues

EMD-78-105: Published: Dec 18, 1978. Publicly Released: Dec 18, 1978.

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GAO conducted a study of the major international energy issues facing the United States and other nations, which must be resolved before the adoption of sound, cohesive national energy policies, by interviewing 400 experts in 15 countries. GAO believes that the international ramifications of United States energy problems are not well understood or integrated into a coherent set of national energy policies. There is a heavy demand for energy and reliance on insecure foreign resources to meet the need raises concerns about a national energy policy and about the well-being of countries even more dependent on imported energy than the United States. Efforts to deal with the national energy situation are regarded as inadequate, with ever increasing reliance on foreign supplies and other nations becoming troubled by United States indecision.

GAO identifies 11 major international energy issues to be resolved and aims at a better understanding of the global dimensions of energy problems which must be understood and solved. These are: national security implications of dependence on imported fuels, potential disruption in foreign fuel supplies, global energy supply-demand problems, decisions of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, international nuclear energy issues, activities of the private sector, financial problems related to oil imports, international environmental concerns, conflicting energy and foreign policy objectives, impact of tax policies on energy requirements, and reconciliation of foreign and domestic energy policies. These considerations are examined for their ramifications on major relevant legislation.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The legitimate aspirations of all peoples must be considered in tailoring an international energy policy. In addition, a systematic, integrated analysis of the identified issues should be undertaken to establish their importance and how they are interrelated, and to assist in producing effective legislation to meet them.

    Agency Affected:


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