1. Editorial Note

On February 20, 1969, President Richard M. Nixon sent a memorandum to Secretary of the Interior Walter Hickel that stated:

“A wide range of complex and highly important issues affecting the nation’s oil import policies must be dealt with in the near future. These issues, which have not been examined in depth for a decade, are of such moment to the United States and their impact on national policy is so far-reaching that they require extensive review in detail and in the aggregate.

“I am therefore reassuming full responsibility for oil import policies—a responsibility delegated to the Department of the Interior some five years ago—so that there may be full opportunity for the several affected agencies efficiently to coordinate and assert their views.

“This undertaking will include a full review of the nation’s oil import policies by the Executive Offices of the President.” (Public Papers: Nixon, 1969, page 122)