By Cheryl Payer

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Profligacy in the use of energy, is however, by no means restricted to the western world. Similar profligacy has diffused into the countries of the Third World, where there are many cases of developments which are wasteful of energy in general and projects which are wasteful of oil in particular; as, for example, in the construction of urban motorways instead of rapid transit systems and in the development of systems of centralised thermal electricity production which are 70 per cent inefficient.

In Japan and the USA copper production has been on occasions constrained by lack of outlets for the acid. Irrespective of this the SO 2 problem has had a curious impact on the location of smelters. In the past because the volume of inbound concentrate was approximately three times that of the outbound copper, smelters tended to be built close to the mines. With the added outbound freight of the acid there is a much greater cost incentive to locate close to the industrial markets of both copper and acid.

For the oil-consuming nations there would be the burden of higher import prices to be faced, but with the international companies in control they could be assured that the supply of oil was expanded more or less in line with the expectation of an average 7! per cent per annum rate of growth in demand and thus eliminate any serious problem of energy scarcity for the consuming world. Success for this attempt at a controlled production and marketing strategy depended, firstly, on the producing countries' willingness and ability to work together, a development which could be achieved through the increasing effectiveness of OPEC and, secondly, on the producing countries continuing to accept the idea that the major international oil companies had an essential role to play in the international oil industry, that is of decision-makers on the fundamentally important matters such as levels of production and the development of producing capacity in different countries, as well as in their more mundane role as the transporters, refiners and marketers of oil.

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