Last 8 Presidents Have Promised Independence from Foreign Oil

Promises, promises.

Prepare to become thoroughly despondent about the United States’ energy future. Opening the global conference on “America’s Energy Future,” financier Michael Milken outlines in a capsule summary statements and policy positions from the last eight U.S. presidents on our country’s reliance on foreign oil.

The trend in the following bullet points is all too clear. Even as our leaders talk a good game, the U.S. continues to grow ever more reliant on oil from foreign sources, going from 36% imported oil in 1974 when Richard Nixon promised energy independence by 1980 to 66% reliance by the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency in 2009.

Neatly summarized by BoingBoing, check out these presidential statements matched to the percentage of foreign oil we import after the jump.

  • 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.”

Mike Milken’s Excellent Presentation on Our Pathetic History of Foreign Oil Dependence (Business Insider via BoingBoing)

By Stephen Markley | May 13, 2010 | Comments (20)
Tags: In The News



But it is really BS. When Nixon said that, we had 200 million people. Now it is 300 million. Before, not everyone had a car and now students drive to school.
And airlines. Did we have 5000 planes in the air at any given moment in 1974?

And manufacturing of goods, of course. Before life was simple and now we all must have all the things...

We build houses, which need a lot of energy to cool and to heat. If our houses had good thick walls and double windows, we would use 1/2 the energy.

Nixon really wanted to say, "we will dig enough of our own oil. So that foreign oil will be used only as substitute"


Expand the drilling efforts off the coast of Florida. We need more drilling in the U.S.


Who needs to drill when it is all floating at the surface? Yes, we need a lot more of that.


We must, MUST eliminate lobbyists in Washington. All of them. Special interest groups are ruining this country, plain and simple.

Instead of corporations hiring huge teams of lobbyists to push thru their special interests, let them write individual letters to their congressional representatives like the rest of us have to do.

1 person, 1 letter, 1 vote--that's what we have to go back to instead of only the large corporations getting their way.


the whole country is with you, waving their weapons in the air!!


I mean, Rich....


Wait I thought the President was going to do away with lobbyists? Oh that's right it was just another campaign lie. Obama loves big oil and they love him. It's no accident that he was the biggest recipient of BP donations.



Roughly 300 million Americans agree with you, but unfortunately 5 don't. John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Anthony Kennedy.


The article does not say anything about 300 million people disagreeing with Supreme Court decision. Unless of course that's just a liberal lie you are perpetrating.
You also clearly don't know the difference between lobbying for laws vs campaigns. All three executive branches of government are held by the Democrats and they ironically are the biggest recipients of lobbying dollars. Democrats and Lobbying go hand-in-hand.
You need to go back to school and get an education!


Tyrone you really are a political scientist aren't you? The three executive branches? Who knew there were so many!

And you don't know that a large majority of Americans disagreed with the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United?

ooooh Tyrone.... pwned. Don't tell others to get education - get one yourself.

Kyle Rainey

"And you don't know that a large majority of Americans disagreed with the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United?"

80% of those polled does not constitute a large majority especially when the other poster claimed 300 million. you = Schmuck


Tyrone and Kyle-

Ugh. Really?

Read. Stop. Think. THEN post. (Thinking is what people have to do when Fox News doesn't do it for them)

1) Sure, yeah, I was legitimately trying to claim that ~100% of Americans agree on anything. [sarcasm] The point here wasn't to claim a statistic, but a trend. That's obvious to absolutely every single person in the entire world except the two of you. (get it yet?)

2) The point of the article was a reference for those who didn't know what I was referring to, which obviously includes you.

3) Lobbying and campaign finance are not the same thing, but both are avenues for corporate influence in politics and very legally similar. Clearly the 5 justices I listed don't feel that this influence is a bad idea, hence their decision. This court decision demonstrates how they'd likely rule on a law put before them that attempts to limit lobbyists in Washington. So again, since these 5 people disagree with Rich, the opinions of the rest of us don't matter. And if you think democrats control this "executive" branch of government, please, look up which party's presidents nominated these people.

Seriously, stop letting your imagination run wild with conspiracy theories spouted by the guy from The Morning Zoo. And calling people names doesn't help your argument, it makes you look like an angry idiot.


Wait, Tyrone, are you sayingf that people disagreeing with the court is a liberal lie, but that the court is controlled by the democrats? Those two don't make snese together. Do yoyu not realize that your world view doesn't make sense, or do you just not care?


I laugh watching the nervous Libs make excuses as even with their low intellect they can still hear the roar of the impending Tsunami. OORAH!


Hah! Low intellect - coming from someone who doesn't even know the basics of the government! OORAH indeed.


You own him correct?


I occasionally loan him out as he loves tossing salad.


Awww. Cute. So what's you're favorite then? OORAH!


Owned. LOL


Owned indeed. Stupid conservatives don't even get it. ROTFLMAO! OORAH!

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