Three Nixon administration officials who formulated and executed the thirty-seventh President’s energy policy convened at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, Wednesday. The occasion was the 38th anniversary of America’s first energy crisis, when the 1973 OPEC Oil Embargo clashed with an ever increasing national demand for energy resources.
The high level officials included Ambassador Richard Fairbanks, who served as Domestic Council Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment; James J. Tozzi, former Chief of Environment at the Office of Management and Budget; and James R. Schlesinger, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Agency, Director of Central Intelligence, and Secretary of Defense to President Nixon, and the first-ever Secretary of Energy, serving under President Carter. Guy F. Cauruso, CSIS’s resident energy expert, moderated the program.

Their discussion focused on how the President had to immediately create a framework to help stabilize prices domestically, while simultaneously assuaging the oil producing countries to end their embargo and continue exporting to the United States.

Ultimately, Ambassador Fairbanks credited RN with always looking over the horizon and trying to be in front of the most critical issues of his time.

President Nixon established “research and development, conservation, [and] substantive programs in all of the areas people have talked about ever since,” Ambassador Fairbanks concluded the program saying.

“All of the institutions, all of the substantive areas were all begun to be addressed and put on the national agenda very early in the game by the first President even to see the issue.”


Click here to view the photo slideshow.

Click here to read a history of how President Nixon confronted America’s first energy crisis.

Click here to review the energy crisis timeline.

Photo (left to right): Guy F. Caruso, Richard M. Fairbanks, James J. Tozzi, and James R. Schlesinger