Energy Policy and Conservation Act
The Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 (EPCA; Pub.L. 94-163, 89 Stat. 871, enacted December 22, 1975) declared it to be U.S. policy to establish a reserve of up to 1 billion barrels of petroleum, setting the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) into motion, and extended the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973 (EPAA).
The need for a national oil storage reserve had been recognized for at least five decades. Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes advocated the stockpiling of emergency crude oil in 1944. President Harry S Truman's Minerals Policy Commission proposed a strategic oil supply in 1952. President Dwight Eisenhower suggested an oil reserve after the 1956 Suez Crisis. The Cabinet Task Force on Oil Import Control recommended a similar reserve in 1970.
But few events so dramatically underscored the need for a strategic oil reserve as the 1973-74 oil embargo. The cutoff of oil flowing into the United States from OPEC sent economic shockwaves throughout the nation. In the aftermath of the oil crises, the United States established the SPR.