Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was in Springfield, Ill., Wednesday where she sought to use the symbolism of a historic landmark to draw parallels to a present-day America that is in need of repairing deepening racial and cultural divides.

The Old State Capitol — where Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous "A house divided" speech in 1858 warning against the ills of slavery and where Barack Obama launched his presidential bid in 2007 — served as the backdrop for Clinton as she spoke of how "America's long struggle with race is far from finished."

Episode 711: Hooked on Heroin

1 hour ago

When we meet the heroin dealer called Bone, he has just shot up. He has a lot to say anyway. He tells us about his career--it pretty much tracks the evolution of drug use in America these past ten years or so. He tells us about his rough past. And he tells us about how he died a week ago. He overdosed on his own supply and his friend took his body to the emergency room, then left.

New British Prime Minister Theresa May announced six members of her Cabinet Wednesday.

Amid a sweeping crackdown on dissent in Egypt, security forces have forcibly disappeared hundreds of people since the beginning of 2015, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

It's an "unprecedented spike," the group says, with an average of three or four people disappeared every day.

The Republican Party, as it prepares for its convention next week has checked off item No. 1 on its housekeeping list — drafting a party platform. The document reflects the conservative views of its authors, many of whom are party activists. So don't look for any concessions to changing views among the broader public on key social issues.

Many public figures who took to Twitter and Facebook following the murder of five police officers in Dallas have faced public blowback and, in some cases, found their employers less than forgiving about inflammatory and sometimes hateful online comments.

As Venezuela unravels — with shortages of food and medicine, as well as runaway inflation — President Nicolas Maduro is increasingly unpopular. But he's still holding onto power.

"The truth in Venezuela is there is real hunger. We are hungry," says a man who has invited me into his house in the northwestern city of Maracaibo, but doesn't want his name used for fear of reprisals by the government.

The wiry man paces angrily as he speaks. It wasn't always this way, he says, showing how loose his pants are now.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Arizona Hispanics Poised To Swing State Blue

5 hours ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages

'It Takes A Crisis': How '73 Embargo Fueled Change In U.S.

Oct 19, 2013
Originally published on October 25, 2013 7:26 pm

Americans started thinking differently about U.S. dependence on imported oil 40 years ago this Sunday. Decades later, the U.S. is in the midst of a homegrown energy boom.

The oil embargo began in 1973. The United States had long taken cheap and plentiful oil for granted when Saudi Arabia shocked the country by suddenly cutting off all direct oil shipments in retaliation for U.S. support of Israel. Other Arab countries followed suit.

Prices soared. Gasoline lines stretched for blocks. Richard Nixon became the first of many U.S. presidents to call for energy independence.

"Whenever the American people are faced with a clear goal, and they are challenged to meet it, we can do extraordinary things," he said.

One outgrowth of that '73 embargo was a new, bipartisan group in Washington dedicated to energy efficiency. The Alliance to Save Energy still exists, and its president, Kateri Callahan, says there has been a lot of progress.

"Since the 1970s, our economy has doubled its energy productivity. We're producing twice as much for each unit of energy that we use," she says.

But the commitment to efficiency has been uneven, rising and falling with the price of gasoline. When gas prices tumbled in the 1990s, Americans traded in their fuel-efficient cars for SUVs. Callahan says the U.S. still lags other developed countries in its energy-efficiency gains.

"We had a flurry of activity. And then, because of cheap oil and easy and abundant resources, we were lulled into complacency. So it takes a crisis to mobilize the United States, unfortunately," she says.

After dipping during the recent recession, crude oil prices are now back around $100 a barrel, and Americans are rediscovering the benefits of fuel efficiency. Two years ago, automakers agreed to develop cars that will go twice as far on a gallon of gas by 2025.

In the meantime, America has witnessed a revolution on the supply side, thanks to advances in drilling techniques such as "fracking," which allow producers to reach previously untapped shale deposits. Rayola Dougher, a senior economic adviser for the American Petroleum Institute, says that domestic oil production has come roaring back since bottoming out five years ago.

"It's been a real stunning reversal of fortune in terms of the amount of oil and natural gas we're able to bring to the market," she says. "Last year, we brought on a million new barrels a day, which is the biggest increase we've ever done in the history of the United States."

This year, the U.S. is expected to surpass Russia as the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas. Economic historian Daniel Yergin, who writes about energy in his books The Prize and The Quest, says the boom in homegrown oil and gas is supporting more than 2 million jobs, while saving money for consumers on their electric bills.

"What's happened with oil and gas has been the most positive thing to happen in our economy since the downturn began in 2008," he says.

President Obama took note of the turnaround during a White House news conference on Tuesday.

"This year, for the first time in a very long time, we're producing more oil than we're importing. So we've got a lot of good things going for us," he said.

U.S. reliance on imported oil has dropped from 60 percent eight years ago to less than 40 percent today. Historian Yergin was thinking about that change as he watched the messy debt ceiling drama unfold in Washington this week.

"It turns out you can get natural gas out of shale, but the rock out of which we shape our national politics seems even harder and more difficult to deal with," he says.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

It was 40 years ago this weekend that Saudi Arabia shocked the United States by suddenly cutting off all direct oil shipments in retaliation for U.S. support of Israel. Other Arab countries followed. That 1973 oil embargo forced Americans to start thinking differently about our dependence on imported oil. Four decades later, the U.S. is in the midst of an energy boom here at home, as NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: The 1973 oil embargo was a rude shock for a country that had long taken cheap and plentiful oil for granted. Prices soared, gasoline lines stretched for blocks, and Richard Nixon became the first of many U.S. presidents to call for energy independence.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: Whenever the American people are faced with a clear goal, and they're challenged to meet it, we can do extraordinary things.

HORSLEY: One outgrowth of that '73 embargo was a new bipartisan group in Washington dedicated to energy efficiency. The Alliance to Save Energy is still around four decades later. President Kateri Callahan says there has been a lot of progress.

KATERI CALLAHAN: Since the 1970s, our economy has doubled its energy productivity. We're producing twice as much for each unit of energy that we use.

HORSLEY: But the commitment to efficiency has been uneven, rising and falling with the price of gasoline. When gas prices tumbled in the 1990s, Americans traded in their fuel-efficient cars for SUVs. Callahan says the U.S. still lags other developed countries in its energy efficiency gains.

CALLAHAN: We have a flurry of activity and then because of cheap oil and easy and abundant resources, we were lulled into complacency. So it takes a crisis to mobilize the United States unfortunately.

HORSLEY: After dipping during the recent recession, crude oil prices are now back around $100 a barrel and Americans are rediscovering the benefits of fuel efficiency. Two years ago, automakers agreed to develop cars that will go twice as far on a gallon of gas by 2025. In the meantime, America has witnessed a revolution on the supply side, thanks to advances in drilling techniques such as fracking, that allow producers to reach previously untapped shale deposits.

Rayola Dougher of the American Petroleum Institute says since bottoming out five years ago, domestic oil production has come roaring back.

RAYOLA DOUGHER: It's been a stunning reversal of fortune in terms of the amount of oil and natural gas we're able to bring to the market. Last year we brought on a million new barrels a day which is the biggest increase we've ever done in the history of the United States.

HORSLEY: This year the U.S. is expected to surpass Russia as the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas. Economic historian Daniel Yergin, who writes about energy in his books, "The Prize," and "The Quest," says the boom in homegrown oil and gas is supporting more than 2 million jobs, while saving money for consumers on their electric bills.

DANIEL YERGIN: What's happened with oil and gas has been the most positive thing to happen in our economy since the downturn began in 2008.

HORSLEY: President Obama took note of the turnaround during a White House news conference last week.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This year, for the first time in a very long time, we're producing more oil than we're importing, so we've got a lot of good things going for us.

HORSLEY: U.S. reliance on imported oil has dropped from 60 percent eight years ago to less than 40 percent today. Historian Yergin was thinking about that change as he watched the messy debt ceiling drama unfold in Washington this week.

YERGIN: Turns out you can get natural gas out of shale but the rock out of which we shape our national politics seems even harder and more difficult to deal with.

HORSLEY: Forty years ago it took a group of hostile foreign oil producers to bring the U.S. economy to its knees. Today, our biggest economic shocks are likely to come from our own leaders. Scott Horsley, NPR News, Washington.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: And you're listening to NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.