by Project Censored
Published: Updated:

While the American people dig still deeper into their pockets to pay for the ever-rising costs of gasoline (and to insure the ever-­rising profits of the oil companies), most believe it is the consequence of a serious oil shortage. There are at least two stories the media have not yet told the people about the real oil problem.

First, the oil shortage is not a phenomenon of the 1970’x. There was an oil crisis in the 1920’s and there have been approximately six major oil crises since then. Each time, after the oil companies got what they wanted, the crisis ended.

Second, it now appears that the real power behind the dramatic drive for increased oil prices in 1973/74 was the cozy relationship between the Shah of Iran, David Rockefeller (and his Chase Manhattan Bank), and Henry Kissinger.

Intelligence reports have identified the Shah as the major advocate for increased prices among the OPEC nations. (In 1973 alone, the cost of oil rose 470%.) Because of his close relationship to Kissinger, the Shah was confident the U.S. would not object to such price hikes. There also is evidence that Exxon, Mobil, Texaco, and Standard Oil of California actually encouraged such increases, knowing that extra costs could be passed on to the public for larger profits.

King Faisal of Saudi Arabia offered to stem the tide by flooding the market with oil. He appealed to the U.S. to pressure the Shah to help break the prices created by the oil cartel. The Nixon administration, however, made no move to intervene. This failure guaranteed that the Shah, the Chase Manhattan Bank, and the oil companies would realize tremendous profits.

And now, once again after the oil companies have achieved what they wanted, we have learned that the nation’s reserve gasoline supply reached an all-time historic high in mid-March 1980. The American people again have been victimized by a profit-motivated strategy carefully orchestrated by a select few and by the failure of their own government to fight those manipulations.

The failure of the mass media to tell the American public the full story about the “big oil scandal” qualifies this story for nomination as one of the “best censored” stories of 1979.


Jack Anderson columns, June 19 and August 26, 1979; New York Times Magazine, Oct. 14, 1979, “The Case Against the Oil Companies,” by Robert Sherrill; The Nation, June 16, 1979, “Deep in the Heart of Texaco,” by Charles J. Levy, and June 30, 1979, “Where’s the Gas Gone?”; UPI, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, CA, Mar. 21,.1980, “U.S. Gas Reserves Hit All-Time High.”