Sept. 14: OPEC was founded on this date in 1960

In the midst of the OPEC oil embargo of 1973-74, you could still buy imported gas -- at twice the price per gallon of the rationed domestic gasoline. The pump price shown here would equal $5.77 per gallon today, and the shock of OPEC's brute force pushed the United States into its first research for alternate fuels, as well as the first fuel economy standards for its cars and trucks. Founded on this date in 1960 by five nations -- Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela -- the cartel's 12 member nations still hold nearly four-fifths of the world's oil reserves. It's been a couple of years since OPEC made worldwide headlines, and for now the cartel says its expecting its revenues to shrink in the face of lower demand for oil. We should be so lucky.

Photo: U.S. National Archives

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