Daniels’s time as Secretary of the Navy was activated by Progressivism and peak oil. To preserve the Naval Oil Reserve, Daniels ultimately resorted to seizing oil, always at a below-market price and sometimes without compensation at all. His campaign to save the Navy from both peak oil and the ostensible predations of “big oil” ended in fiasco—fuel-oil seizures led by armed Marines.
"Peak Oil, Progressivism, and Josephus Daniels, 1913–21,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 73
, Article 9.
Available at: https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol73/iss4/9