The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, under the direction of the General Editor of the Foreign Relations series, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg first promulgated official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, established a new statutory charter for the preparation of the series which was signed by President George H.W. Bush on October 28, 1991. Section 198 of P.L. 102–138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351, et seq.). The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. The statute also confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded. The editor is convinced that this volume meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald R. Ford. However, because of the thematic approach taken to document the energy crisis, [Page IV] this volume covers U.S. policy across administrations from August 1974 through the end of the Carter administration in January 1981. Volume XXXVI, Energy Crisis, 1969–1974, documents energy issues from early concerns within the Nixon administration about high oil imports through the crisis of the 1973 Arab oil embargo and the February 1974 Washington Energy Conference.

Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations 1969–1976, Volume XXXVII

This is one of a growing number of Foreign Relations volumes that document global issues instead of a bilateral relationship, reflecting the changing nature of U.S. foreign policy in response to an increasingly interrelated world. The documentation in this volume focuses primarily on the Ford and Carter administrations’ strategies to mitigate the damage to the U.S. and global economy of rising oil prices imposed by the OPEC cartel and reduced availability occasioned by the Iranian Revolution in 1979. U.S. policy was primarily multilateral, and U.S. diplomats were active participants in the development of the International Energy Agency’s program of energy cooperation. The Economic Summits of the period brought together the heads of state of the richest industrialized countries in Rambouillet, London, Bonn, and Tokyo to devise a common strategy to deal with the impact of high oil prices on the global economy.

The volume also documents both administrations’ bilateral efforts to reach agreements with Mexico, the Soviet Union, and Iran to supply oil and natural gas to the United States. Both administrations also undertook broad-based domestic initiatives to increase energy conservation and reduce oil imports.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Memoranda of conversation and reporting telegrams are placed according to the time and date of the meeting, rather than the date a document was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the chief technical editor. The documents are reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents. A heading has been supplied by the editor for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the original text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the documents are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is [Page V] set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the original text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume. In telegrams, the telegram number (including special designators such as Secto) is printed at the start of the text of the telegram.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount and, where possible, the nature of the material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of text that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed with headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in their chronological place. All brackets that appear in the original text are so identified in footnotes. All ellipses are in the original documents.

The first footnote to each document indicates the source of the document, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. This note also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates whether the President or his major policy advisers read the document.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts has been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

The numbers in the index refer to document numbers rather than to page numbers.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under the Foreign Relations statute, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. The Advisory Committee does not necessarily review the contents of individual volumes in the series, but it makes recommendations on issues that come to its attention and reviews volumes, as it deems necessary to fulfill its advisory and statutory obligations.

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Declassification Review

The Office of Information Programs and Services, Bureau of Administration, conducted the declassification review for the Department of State of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 13526 on Classified National Security Information, and applicable laws.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security as embodied in law and regulation. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments. The declassification review of this volume, which began in February 2009 and was completed in March 2011, resulted in the decision to withhold 6 documents in full and to excise 11 documents.

The Office of the Historian is confident, on the basis of the research conducted in preparing this volume and as a result of the declassification review process described above, that the record presented in this volume provides an accurate and comprehensive account of U.S. policy toward the global energy crisis from August 1974 to the end of the Carter administration in January 1981


The editor wishes to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library at Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta, Georgia. John Earl Haynes and Ernest Emrich expedited access to the Henry A. Kissinger Papers and the James Schlesinger Papers housed at the Library of Congress and carried out extensive copying on the editor’s behalf. The editor was able to use the Henry A. Kissinger Papers with the kind permission of Henry Kissinger. The editor wishes to thank the History Staff of the CIA for invaluable assistance in arranging full access to the files of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Steven G. Galpern collected the documentation, made the selections, and annotated the documents for this volume under the direction of Edward C. Keefer, General Editor of the Foreign Relations series. Chris Tudda coordinated the declassification review under the direction of Susan C. Weetman, Chief of the Declassification and Publishing Division. Rita Baker and Renée Goings performed the copy and technical editing. Do Mi Stauber prepared the index.

Dr. Stephen Randolph
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs

October 2012