Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Was Jimmy Carter an energy prophet?

As I listen to President Bush suggesting that Americans turn down their thermostat and use less gasoline I have to ask myself, Was Jimmy Carter a prophet??

Most people don't know it but Jimmy Carter wanted to set a goal of obtaining 20 percent of our energy from solar power by the year 2000.
clipped from www.ajc.com

Can we now acknowledge that Jimmy Carter was right all those years ago?

Americans, who hate to be told they must change, roundly condemned Carter's memorable "Crisis of Confidence" speech of July 15, 1979. In it, Carter outlined a program for achieving energy independence: "On the battlefield of energy we can win for our nation a new confidence, and we can seize control again of our common destiny."

He was right in seeking to raise the fleet auto mileage standard to 48 miles per gallon by 1995. (Even U.S. automakers admitted at the time that they could easily achieve 30 mpg by 1985.)

Carter was right in exhorting Americans to turn down their thermostats, even if he did look nerdy in a cardigan while urging us to do so.

In his July 1979 speech, he was right when he said, "I am tonight setting a clear goal for the energy policy of the United States. Beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 —- never." That worthy goal quickly went by the board.

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