[Yesterday (May 15) was the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision [Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States finding John D. Rockefeller’s company guilty of restraint of trade and monopolizing the petroleum industry. The court’s remedy was to affirm a lower court decree effectively dividing Standard Oil into several competing firmsdissolution of Standard Oil. This post, taken from Robert Bradley’s Oil, Gas and Government: The U.S. Experience, summarizes the manifold contributions of John D. Rockefeller to a fledgling, powerhouse industry. Documentation for the points and quotations below can be found on pp. 1089–1094.], 221 U.S. 1 (1911)]
A resume of the contributions of Standard Oil prior to its court-ordered dissolution in 1911 offers an illuminating glimpse into entrepreneurship, the market process, and consumer service therein.
Rockefeller and the management team at Standard Oil can be credited with accelerating the maturation of the kerosene age in petroleum.…
[Editor note: The other posts in this series are The Great Energy Resource Debate (Part I: Peak Oil was … is here!) and The Great Energy Resource Debate (Part III: Pessimists Turn Optimistic!). Part IV will look at the theoretical case for resource expansionism in light of the preceding posts.]
[Editor note: Part I
“All oil and gas resources should be carefully husbanded—i.e. extracted as late and as slowly as possible. Our descendents will be grateful. We, too, shall need a long bridge to the future.”
– Amory Lovins, World Energy Strategies: Facts, Issues, and Options (New York: Friends of the Earth International, 1975), p. 127.
Yesterday’s post provided quotations from a variety of sources espousing a pessimistic, closed view of the mineral resource world as it pertains to oil, gas, and even coal.…
[Editor note: The posts in this series are The Great Energy Resource Debate (Part II: Neo-Malthusian Alarmism) and The Great Energy Resource Debate (Part III: Pessimists Turn Optimistic!). Part IV will look at the theoretical case for resource expansionism in light of the preceding posts.]
“It is clear that domestic [U.S.] oil, gas, coal, and nuclear cannot deliver vastly increased supplies, although it is equally clear that these sources cannot be ignored.”
– Robert Stobaugh and Daniel Yergin, “Conclusion: Toward a Balanced Energy Program,” in Stobaugh and Yergin, eds., Energy Future (New York: Random House, 1979), p. 216.
“The gas lines and rapid increases in oil prices during the first half of 1979 are but symptoms of the underlying oil supply problem—that is, the world can no longer count on increases in oil production to meet its energy needs.”