European Energy Review (EER)

The Obama energy plan: a reality check

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Courtesy of Courtesy of European Energy Review (EER)

For the past 40 years, all American presidents except for Ronald Reagan have pursued energy independence through various schemes to improve energy efficiency and increase domestic oil production. In 1970, President Nixon inaugurated a plan to make virtually pollution free automobiles within five years and promised energy independence by 1980.

President Ford’s Project Independence Blueprint called for energy independence by 1985, with the possibility of the US becoming a net oil exporter in 1985 in the high oil price case. President Carter, calling the fight for energy independence the ‘moral equivalent of war’ set the goal in 1979 to cut oil imports by one half over a ten year period or by 4.4 million barrels per day (mbd). He initiated the CAFE (automobile fuel efficiency) standards and called for a program to reinvent the car. President Clinton announced a partnership for a
new generation of vehicles and President Bush funded research on hydrogen and plug-in vehicles. President Bush also called for a reduction of oil imports from the Middle East by 75 percent (about 2 mbd) by 2025. Each president hoped that he would be the one to end the national security threat of dependence on foreign oil and the inability of the nation to influence (let alone control) world oil prices.

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