A history of false starts for US energy independence

Throughout America's history of seeking energy independence, there have been many false starts. Here is a list of the eight most public, and memorable false starts.

By , Guest blogger

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    Throughout the history of America's search for energy independance, there have been a number of false starts. In this 1973 photo, cars line up got gas on a Sunday, despite President Richard Nixon calling for gas stations to remain closed on Sundays.
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Billionaire financier and philanthropist Michael Milken recently held a global conference on “America’s Energy Future.” Today, The Money Game highlighted Milken’s opening presentation. It included eight broken campaign pledges to work toward energy independence since the 1960s.

From The Money Game:

* In 1974 with 36.1% of oil from foreign sources, President Richard Nixon said, “At the end of this decade, in the year 1980, the United States will not be dependent on any other country for the energy we need.”

* In 1975 with 36.1% of oil from foreign sources, President Gerald Ford said, “We must reduce oil imports by one million barrels per day by the end of this year and by two million barrels per day by the end of 1977.”

* In 1979 with 40.5% of oil from foreign sources, President Jimmy Carter said, “Beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 – never.”

* In 1981 with 43.6% of oil from foreign sources, President Ronald Reagan said, “While conservation is worthy in itself, the best answer is to try to make us independent of outside sources to the greatest extent possible for our energy.”

* In 1992 with 47.2% of oil from foreign sources, President George Bush said, “When our administration developed our national energy strategy, three principles guided our policy: reducing our dependence on foreign oil…”

* In 1995 with 49.8% of oil from foreign sources, President Bill Clinton said, “The nation’s growing reliance on imports of oil…threatens the nation’s security…[we] will continue efforts to…enhance domestic energy production.”

* In 2006 with 65.5% of oil from foreign sources, President George W. Bush said, “Breakthroughs…will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.”

* In 2009 with 66.2% of oil from foreign sources, President Barack Obama said, “It will be the policy of my administration to reverse our dependence on foreign oil while building a new energy economy that will create millions of jobs.”

Over the years, it sure adds up to a lot of lip service. You can visit The Money Game to read additional coverage and view the slides from the presentation.

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