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GAO reported on U.S. participation in the International Energy Agency (IEA). IEA, established in 1974 and composed of 21 oil-consuming countries, is a multilateral organization created to facilitate responses to short-term energy disruptions and long-term supply problems. The IEA Emergency Sharing System is the mechanism available to respond primarily to short-term interruptions. As the principal proponent of IEA, the United States contributed 25 percent of the agency's budget for fiscal year 1981. IEA also serves as an energy policy coordinating forum for consuming nations. It has improved member countries' understanding of the oil market and provided them with a better sense of what needs to be done on an international and national level during a period of continuous supply uncertainty.

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