29. Memorandum From Alexander M. Haig of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

  • SUBJECT
    • Oil Report

Peter Flanigan stopped down to register his concern on the oil report. He states that while Laird has done a good job in fuzzing up the [Page 75]issue, Shillito indicated that he would support two statements in the report which are too definitive and which could be a source of the most serious difficulty. He asked that you call Laird and ask him to insure that Shillito accepts the $3.00 price with the caveat that this price is acceptable if U.S. reserves are not affected by this action (this conditional phrase will permit a more subjective control of the reduced price since, in effect, any lowered price will affect our reserve status).

There is another statement proposed for the report which has two alternate caveats—one which says that the U.S. will consider going below the $3.00 price restriction if the Northern slopes explorations pan out. The second caveat would say we would do so when they pan out. Flanigan prefers the if conditional since it also provides more flexibility. He has asked that you call Laird and ask him to tell Shillito to:

1.
Insist on the caveat on the $3.00 price which accepts this price “if reserves are not affected.”
2.
To press for the “if the northern slopes” clause.

Flanigan came by later and stated he also needs formal JCS statement on whether or not the JCS support the $3.00 price.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 367, Subject Files, Oil 1970. Top Secret; Sensitive. A handwritten notation by Kissinger at the top of the page reads: “I am staying out of this.”