University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

South Bend, [Beginning of November], 1973

On Both Sides of the Atlantic

It is a given today that an academic career can take place in Europe and in America - that is to say simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic, although the national legal systems are ill prepared to cope with this situation

South Bend, November 7, 1973

The Energy Crisis

The oil embargo, which the Arab members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) had imposed upon the United States, hightened the energy crisis in America. President Nixon declared a national energy emergency and announced measures to combat it. As an immediate measure he asked his fellow-citizens not to set the thermostat higher than 68° F over the winter and to observe a general speed limit of 55 mph on all roads and highways. Nixon called the oil embargo a challenge to the United States, which has to be responded to appropriately. The goal is to make the United States independent from foreign energy import by the end of the decade. For the realization of this goal, more nuclear power plants should be built and the exploration of the available natural gas resources advanced. The construction of the Alaska Pipeline is a project of national priority.


[President Nixon’s request to save energy was followed with surprising discipline. At Thanksgiving and Christmas 1973, the use of outdoor lights by businesses and private homes was limited. The 55 mph speed limit was maintained on American roads and highways for decades. Americans also began to adjust to smaller cars. The construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was completed in 1977. With a length of 800 miles, the Pipeline connected the oil fields in Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean with the ice free Harbor of Valdez in the Gulf of Alaska in the South. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline increased the crude oil supply for the country considerably. But by the end of the 1970s, there was by far no energy self-sufficiency. After the embargo had been lifted, the United States resumed the oil import from the Arab countries to its full extent.]

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