The Energy Decade
Steady Reliance on Petrolium Imports
Energy Independence. Ever since the Arab oil embargo of 1973–74, those two words have been the aim of American energy policy. In the 10 years that have followed, four presidents and six Congresses have taken varied — sometimes contradictory — approaches to freeing the United States from its dependence both on imported oil and on procurement of oil from unstable and occasionally unfriendly foreign countries. At the end of a decade, the question is: Are we any closer to energy independence today than when we started?
If one of the measures of independence is the ability to cut consumption, the United States has made significant gains. American energy consumption from all sources reached a peak in 1979 and has ...