Tuesday, May 26, 2009

President Carter on Energy Security: 2009 Style

It's difficult for some to remember President Jimmy Carter as a hard-charging Chief Executive, but that's exactly what he was when it came to US Energy Security. So much so that he was lauded by Retired Air Force General Chuck Wald at CNA's "Powering America's Defense" report release presser last week. One week prior Carter testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on US energy policy and had some interesting things to say. In short, they added up to this: we've been here before, we made huge progress, and then we got complacent and let it slip away.

Here's how his testimony began:
Long before my inauguration, I was vividly aware of the interrelationship between energy and foreign policy. U.S. oil prices had quadrupled in 1973 while I was governor, with our citizens subjected to severe oil shortages and long gas lines brought about by a boycott of Arab OPEC countries. Even more embarrassing to a proud and sovereign nation was the secondary boycott that I inherited in 1977 against American corporations doing business with Israel. We overcame both challenges, but these were vivid demonstrations of the vulnerability that comes with excessive dependence on foreign oil.
I repeat for emphasis: "the vulnerability that comes with excessive dependence on foreign oil." Click here to see how it ended. Strong (and highly topical) stuff.

Photo: NewScientist

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