In 1977 President Jimmy Carter instituted the Dept. of Energy with the urgent need to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. Since that time the DOE has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year. Carter began a televised speech by saying...
..."Tonight I want to have an unpleasant talk with you about a problem unprecedented in our history. With the exception of preventing war, this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes. The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but it will if we do not act quickly."
"Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power."
He didn't say "drill baby drill" he mentioned diversification and conservation...It appears the DOE has done a superb job.
Some of the specific points Carter laid out were..
"The sixth principle, and the cornerstone of our policy, is to reduce the demand through conservation. Our emphasis on conservation is a clear difference between this plan and others which merely encouraged crash production efforts. Conservation is the quickest, cheapest, most practical source of energy. Conservation is the only way we can buy a barrel of oil for a few dollars. It costs about $13 to waste it."
"The tenth principle is that we must start now to develop the new, unconventional sources of energy we will rely on in the next century."
It is clear that the intention of the DOE has been bastardized by special interest. Carter also mentions that those who drive gas guzzlers and inefficient vehicles should be penalized. Instead The government gives tax breaks to consumers for buying them and incentives for US car makers to keep producing inferior product. Now they beg for help(money), I want to send them a copy of the documentary "Who Killed the Electric car"
Carter went on to lay out some goals...wow, that would make me think they meant it! Here they are, judge for yourself how successfully we have been...
"These are the goals we set for 1985:
--Reduce the annual growth rate in our energy demand to less than two percent.
--Reduce gasoline consumption by ten percent below its current level.
--Cut in half the portion of United States oil which is imported, from a potential level of 16 million barrels to six million barrels a day.
--Establish a strategic petroleum reserve of one billion barrels, more than six months' supply.
--Increase our coal production by about two thirds to more than 1 billion tons a year.
--Insulate 90 percent of American homes and all new buildings.
--Use solar energy in more than two and one-half million houses.
Carter also talks about making us richer...er, uhm, a different kinda rich....
"Other generation of Americans have faced and mastered great challenges. I have faith that meeting this challenge will make our own lives even richer. If you will join me so that we can work together with patriotism and courage, we will again prove that our great nation can lead the world into an age of peace, independence and freedom."
In hind sight we have seen that growth is moth important and we ha vent embraced any kind of growth that doesn't involve consumption and rabid consumerism.
When I look at recent history and I reflect on what President elect Obama sermonizes...I don't have a lot of faith.
That is OK because ultimately the real solution will come from you and me....Not the government.
The entire text of President Carter's speech can be found here..