During the latter part of 1973 and the early part of 1974 the United States experienced wide publicity given to a concept called the "energy crisis." The energy crisis caused and will continue to cause serious concern in agriculture, particularly with respect to petroleum and natural gas. Agricultural production is a sequence of interdependent energy-using activities, commencing with fertilizer manufacturing and continuing through delivery of food and fiber to consumers from processing plants. The interruption of energy flow during any time or segment of this agricultural system will restrain efficient production. Thus, the availability of petroleum and gas can affect agriculture, and in turn, have considerable impact on the consumer cost of food and fiber products. This article analyzes the present agricultural uses of petroleum and natural gas, particularly by farmers, and the unique position of agricultural production. Second, the regulatory framework of petroleum and gas allocations and the contractual considerations of energy shortages are reviewed in the agricultural context. Finally, future expectations and policy considerations of agriculture and energy are discussed.
Doug C. Nelson,
Agriculture and Energy: A Legal Perspective,
54 Neb. L. Rev. 325
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol54/iss2/6