The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004 Page: 150
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150 Southwestern Historical Quarterly July
The author concludes that the anti-trust movement was worth the effort, but
barely so. Customers ultimately paid the huge fine that was levied, and Pierce
was unrepentant. Big oil was in the state to stay, and was important to the
economy. Texas developed some new anti-trust tools, and Texas oil markets
became more competitive, but some of the enhanced competition was occur-
ring anyway. At the national level, Standard was busted up by the U.S.
Supreme Court in 1911, but the large shareholders of Jersey Standard con-
trolled the elections and policies of the new, smaller companies. The author's
key conclusion, which is not new, is that the Texas anti-trust laws and their
enforcement limited Standard's ability to act openly and boldly, benefiting
Texas's own young giants, Gulf and the Texas Company in the pre-1930 oil
era. His conclusion, perhaps, would have been even more ambivalent had he
mentioned that in 1918 Jersey Standard boldly, but secretly, bought half of
Texas's other young giant, Humble (which quickly used the proceeds to
become Texas's dominant producer) and openly swallowed up the rest in
1926. Despite the inexcusable omission, the book is a worthy supplement to
the other leading work that covers the same ground, Bruce Bringhurst,
Antitrust and the Oil Monopoly (1979).
University of Texas at Arlzngton GEORGE N. GREEN
Vozce of the Marketplace: A Hzstory of the National Petroleum Council. By Joseph A.
Pratt, William H. Becker, William M. McClenahan Jr. (College Station:
Texas A&M University Press, 2002. Pp. xvii+292. Acknowledgments, intro-
duction, appendix, notes, index. ISBN 1-58544-185-6. $39.95, cloth.)
The National Petroleum Council (NPC), created at the end of World War II,
continues the cooperation between industry and the federal government that
proved necessary during the war. Initiated at the request of President Harry
Truman, the industry-supported NPC provides government officials with vital
industry information. Over its half-century existence, the NPC has served to
research and report on topics of import to the several Secretaries of the Interior
and of the Department of Energy. Rather than a lobbying arm of the industry,
the independent and privately-funded NPC, upon written request of the
Secretary of the Interior or, later the Secretary of the Department of Energy,
undertakes studies that result in reports covering a wide range of topics ranging
from the distribution of hydrocarbon products to national security. In an effort
to remain a "transparent" forum, the minutes and transcripts of all meetings
conducted by the NPC are open for public inspection and all resulting reports
to the government are published.
What at first blush appears by its title an "industry shill," Vozce of the Marketplace
proved otherwise. Written by a triumvirate of well qualified authors who bring
diverse perspectives to the task, and springing from primary sources, the book is
precisely the public educational tool the industry has so long needed. As
described in detail in Roger and Diana Olien's Oil and Ideology: The Cultural
Creation of the Amercan Petroleum Industry (University of North Carolina Press,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 107, July 2003 - April, 2004, periodical, 2004; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101224/m1/168/?rotate=90: accessed January 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.