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Attacks on the Petroleum Industry: A Rebuttal

William K. Tell, Jr., Proceedings of 20th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1974)

My presentation this afternoon is accurately described in our program as: Attacks on the Petroleum Industry: A Rebuttal. However, I think that these attacks have implications that go beyond the petroleum industry. They could eventually affect all of you here who are connected with the mineral industry, the mining industry, or any other industry operating in our free enterprise system.

The attacks on our energy companies are coming at a time when the companies should be encouraged to meet an ever-growing demand for energy and to move this nation toward a greater degree of self-sufficiency in energy. Instead, we are trying to do a vital job in an adversary atmosphere of innuendo, uncertainty, and threat. We should be devoting ourselves to finding and developing new sources of energy. Instead, we are forced to spend valuable time and money defending ourselves against a host of law suits and punitive proposals based on false and unsubstantiated premises.

All of you here, and the American people, should recognize the gravity of the attempt to make scapegoats out of our energy companies. You should realize how the energy shortages are being used as a vehicle for a frontal attack on the historic free enterprise philosophy of this nation. If no man is an island, neither is any single industry.

Today, serious efforts are being made to prepare American public o