The major cause of the 1979 energy crisis was the Iranian Revolution which after the Shah of Iran left the country, and protests and oil production slowed, gave rise to a newly created Iranian government and foreign policy measures. This disrupted and later decreased oil production created a landscape of gas rationing and general panic over the lowered supply of petroleum products. Really for the first time, the U.S. began to realize that its dependency on foreign oil for its transportation and security needs was a potential security issue. Then President Jimmy Carter referred to the crisis in one of his most famous speeches as, "The moral equivalent of war." Eventually, Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations were able to increase their oil production to make up for the decrease in Iranian output, effectively ending the crisis.
In the U.S., Plans were made to begin to move away from foreign oil as a main provider of fuels, but the Reagan Administration effectively slowed the progress of this switch from foreign to domestic energy products and the 1979 Energy Crisis became a small speed bump in the history of U.S. And Foreign relations relative to energy. The crisis did however have a slightly larger and more lasting impact on the U.S. auto industry, which began producing some models that had gas mileage capabilities that were better than previously thought practical or possible. U.S. consumers, in the wake of the 1979 Energy Crisis, began to demand more and more of these vehicles, and the sub-compact automobile became a staple within the U.S. auto industry and the U.S. auto consumer's world.
Environmentally, the Energy Crisis caused many people both within and outside the U.S. To re-examine their own environmental footprint relative to their oil and gasoline consumption. This re-examination didn't last very long, as the U.S. soon forgot abut the crisis to a large extent, and many of the automobiles introduced in the wake of the oil shortage, ones with higher gas mileage and other technological innovations created to increase fuel economy, were not well received by the U.S. consumer base only a few years after the crisis ended. However, some technologies that became widely publicized during the crisis, like wind and solar power did catch on, at least in the back of the U.S. consumer's mind. The crisis was an excellent time to introduce the general public to these technologies, and much of the fervor and excitement that is now centered on them came from their initial introduction during and shortly after the 1979 energy crisis.
EBSCO. WeBelasco, Warren James. Americans on the Road, From Autocamp to Motel, 1910-1945. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1979. Print.b. 31 Mar. 2011. The article discusses the pros and cons of owning an electric vehicle. Although the automobiles that run on electric power do so without the production of emissions or requiring gasoline, the cars must be charged by plugging into a household outlet. The amount of time it takes to charge will vary on the automobile and the amount of money saved on gas might be marginal compared to the increase in the electric bill.
Whipple, Tom. "Peak Oil." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 64.5 (2008): 34-37. Academic
Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 28 Mar. 2011. Whipple discusses the oil and gasoline crisis in American and how that will affect the nation's continued efforts towards economic recovery. Continuing to pay exorbitant amounts of money to foreign powers in order to acquire oil is draining funds that could be used to support the economy and invest back into employment.