Ralph Nader yesterday urged consumers to organize against the monopolistic attitude of major oil companies.
Nader told about 1300 people in a speech sponsored by the Ford Hall Forum at Northeastern University that consumers should form their own energy policy.
"The Republicans and Democrats have very little to offer. We must have a rise in consumer organizational power," he said.
He said citizens should form the American Energy Corporation to break up the oil companies' monopoly. "Congress is the best thing money can buy," he said. "The oil companies can blackmail the people in power, so we have to establish the consumers' sovereignty."
President Carter has agreed to lift price limits because the oil companies want the higher prices and profits, Nader said. "All oil in this country will be sold by American companies at OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) prices if the price restraints are lifted," he added.
Nader said the companies have ignored market prices since the time John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil monopoly at the turn of the century. Large companies expand further by buying out smaller companies, he added.
Nader shared the platform last night with Samuel Schwartz, senior vice-president of Continental Oil. Schwartz said, "Although cash earnings have tripled, so have the expenditures. All of this investment goes back into the field of energy."
He added that as long as energy sources such as coal, nuclear power and solar energy are more expensive both in monetary and ecological terms, the United States will import oil.