On Oil Dependence or Independence

President Obama recently spoke about energy, and the Republicans predictably criticized the speech – some before the president even spoke. To both parties I say, “Blah, blah, blah, yada, yada, yada.”

Every US President since Richard Nixon has proclaimed the US need for independence from foreign oil. This grand idea is not a Democratic or a Republican issue. It is not a liberal or conservative issue. Plain and simple, it is a national issue.

Instead of tackling a national issue, our politicians continue to fiddle, focus on knee-jerk reactions to situations as last year’s gulf oil spill and the recent nuclear situation in Japan, while miserably failing to develop solution for real change. As the 2012 campaign moves forward, I’m sure all candidates are developing their intentional, deceitful line of crap.

America does not need feel-good policies or rhetorical babble – it needs action for energy independence – not continual energy dependence on foreign oil. Continual inaction means our elected leaders actually prefer energy dependence.

The video below is a portion of a speech given on April 18, 1977, and here is the entire transcript. So, how far have we come?

14 thoughts on “On Oil Dependence or Independence

  1. Part of the problem is the lack of continuity between administrations. Pro-oil groups will push more drilling. Renewable lobbies want solar, big nuclear companies want more reactors, and so forth. When a “green” president is elected, we get windmills – when an old-money president is elected, we get oil wells. We need one, single, overarching plan. We need a clear path. using our domestic fossil fuel sources initially, bridging the gap with limited nuclear, as technology and familiarity allows renewables of ALL kinds – solar, wind, wave energy, geo-thermal, you name it – to take over from the more polluting sources. We need a comprehensive plan, that includes efficiencies in transport, generation, conservation, and reduction in use, to move the country forward. A few dozen Priuses don’t mean squat – neither do some windmills or solar panels for show. We need ALL levels of government, as well as citizens, the military, and ALL facets of American life, to commit to a long-term plan. And we need clear, engaged leadership from Washington.
    Otherwise, we will lurch from president to president, from Congress to Congress, until some crisis nudges us into the proper future. Our prosperity and our security, as both a people and a nation, demand nothing less.


    • I agree. One problem is that many mostly on the Conservative side but also those on the left saying it will cost the poor or working class should not pay more now for a longer term permanent solution,
      I am afraid it is going to take a huge event to force us to make a change and if that happens it will cost us Trillions of dollars more.


    • John,
      Many good points. I especially appreciate how administration and representative changes really means a focus on different lobbies, therefore no long-term plan – nor a commitment! Thanks for the good thoughts.


  2. I’m not sure I know anyone who doesn’t think we need a comprehensive energy policy. ( perhaps I my social contacts are too limited?). So for me the question is, if most of us are agreed on the need for an energy policy, why don’t we have one? Well to start with it’s ( as John alluded to above) complex and there are competing interests. As a nation we don’t seem to have the ability to set personal interests aside and think of the common good.

    And why haven’t most of us been personally more responsible? Why did we spend years buying SUV’s? Why don’t people recycle? Why do businesses leave lights and computer monitors and printers on all night and all weekend? Etc, etc.
    Well, I suspect that it’s a combination of selfishness and laziness. We might actually have to change our habits, make do with less or pay a little more.

    Selfish, lazy citizens, politicians who are concerned with their re election rather than governance– a recipe for inaction.

    I seem to be quite the pessimist tonight. I was in college when Carter gave that speech. I suppose it’s the 34 years of not much progress that makes me so.


    • Nancy,
      Many good thoughts here … and yes, we citizens also share in the blame. Interestingly to me, each of the comments made share interesting points. Nonetheless, special interests get their take over the common good. Thanks for sharing.


  3. The title of your blog entry should have been: “On OIL Dependence or Independence.” When will the U.S. finally decide that it doesn’t matter if the source of our oil is foreign or domestic? What matters is how soon we can find other energy sources to replace oil. When the economies of China, India, and other developing countries REALLY get fired up (we ain’t seen nothin’ yet!) with the goal to provide their citizens the same standard of living Americans have long enjoyed, and the price of gas in the U.S. hits $5, $6, $7 a gallon (or more), the battle will be between those who want to drill for oil on every square inch of Yellowstone National Park, and those who favor a Manhattan Project style national energy policy which reduces the need for oil in everything we use in our daily lives.


    • Tim,
      Ah ha … I totally agree on your assessment on my title as it should “oil” should replace “energy.” Hmmm … time will tell if I change it. Thus your comment can serve as the official record of what I do/not do.

      Nonetheless, your points here good, so thanks for sharing!


    • Mike,
      First of all, welcome to A Frank Angle. Hope you return often.

      You bring up another interesting layer into the topic. As we know, some large oil companies are foreign owned as BP [British] and Shell [Dutch]. Thanks for your insight.


  4. Yet another excellent post, Frank! Unlike some of our lected leaders on both sides of the asile, at least you have the good sense to not politicize this issue–Cheers!


    • Al,
      Politicians choose to not git r done to do the right things because they are influenced by special interests … their own and their parties. Meanwhile, special interest known as country is a lower priority. Have a good week.


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