Eight broken promises

Michael Milken’s opening presentation at a conference on “America’s Energy Future” included a damning series of slides quoting eight broken promises from American presidents regarding foreign oil dependence. The Christian Science Monitor collected the quotes into one column to make the hypocrisy (or utter ineffectiveness) even more obvious:

* 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.”

Go here for the other five. It’s a must read. And for the record, “drill, baby, drill” is not a viable solution to this problem. Yesterday’s satellite photo of the Gulf of Mexico oil slick is all the answer anyone needs to that tired meme.

About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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13 Responses to Eight broken promises

  1. This photo just brings it home. Has New Orleans and the Gulf Coast not suffered enough?? I’ve been curious, dependence on oil aside, how BP let the leak happen. I would have thought they had people all over safety, containment. The fact this happened at all is just negligence. Yesterday they announced they were “dispersing chemical agents” way below surface in some rushed attempt to break up the oil before it hit the surface, calling the chemicals “safe.’
    I wonder if the water life feel safe in a chemical bath?

    Fletcher? Is this as big as or way worse than the Valdez mess? You’re usually more educated on all this stuff.

  2. oregon expat says:

    Right now? Not as big. If it’s not controlled soon? Worse. If it can’t be controlled by anything other than a relief well, and if that relief well takes the full three months to drill that BP says it will? Much, much, much worse. The worst oil spill in US history by a long shot, and possibly the worst man-made disaster in US history.

    Industry sources say the spill, bad as it is, may be constrained by the kinks in the pipe that formed when it and the oil rig crashed to the ocean floor — just the way kinks in your garden hose will limit the water flow. But that pipe already has multiple leaks, and what’s gushing out of them is a mixture of oil, gas and sediment. The sediment acts as a corrosive agent on the pipe. Meaning, the leaks may be sanded open, growing ever larger as time passes.

    I’m afraid there is no good news at all. Even the timing is the worst it could have been — it’s the height of breeding season for seabirds.

    • They said THREE MONTHS? That is ridiculous. Didn’t they have a plan for this kind of worst-case scenario, or did they just build and declare it good?
      This is terrible.

  3. Outstanding find; I’ve been looking for data like these. Thanks so much for posting it.

  4. Kugai says:

    Maybe now they – meaning the U.S. Oil Companies and those who have been assuming The Ostrich Position – will finally get it their thick heads that looking for alternative that don’t just include the ‘Drill baby drill” mentality ain’t gonna cut it anymore.

    Maybe, but I won’t hold my breath. These guys are even more blinkered than the big three car companies in the states – and look what happened to them!

  5. Gloriadelia says:

    It all seems really fishy to me. (no pun intended). Has anyone mentioned the possibility of sabotage?

  6. Kugai says:

    Here we go 🙄

    Gloria, accidents happen! Especially with a company like BP America, who really do the MINIMUM required when it comes to safety – that is the minimum they can get away with without getting their hand caught in the cookie jar.

    Truth is, an accident like this has probably been on he cards for years under the stupid ‘Drill baby Drill” mentality that has existed in the U.S. Oil Co’s up until now.

    Whether they learn from it is another thing, your dealing with a monolithic Oilco with a “Damn the torpedoes” mentality, so very doubtful until the bastards in charge are thrown in a small room with a fellow named Bubba.

    • Gloriadelia says:

      “You’re dealing with a monolitic Oil co with a ‘Damn the torpedoes’ mentality…”

      Saw one of the survivors on TV saying, “We had all these promises from BP. This system was in place, that system was in place. All lies. We didn’t even hear an alarm.” He had tears in his eyes. It was very sad.

      It did sound. I hope what you said about BP isn’t true, but if it is, I hope they have to pay for it, even if it means sharing a cell with “Bubba”.

      p.s. Gloris is my name. It wasn’t a typo. 🙂

  7. Mike says:

    I know that this is going to be a shock in the unicorn world but accidents do happen. This is no reason to stop exploring for oil domestically, as this is the one of the few ways we can become independent of oversea sources. Drilling in Alaska or off shore can help. This is a mobile nation that runs on oil not wind or solar or fairy dust. BP didn’t want that oil platform to explode, to kill their employees and spill oil all over the Gulf. There are times when systems fail and their back-ups fail. The perfect storm that became this accident. BP working with the Coast Guard will get this leak stopped and clean up the mess. I’m not ready to stop all drilling because of one accident.

    P.S. Mr.Sulu raise the shields to maximum power. Incoming unicorns and fairy dust.

    • You may not be at all wrong, but you’re brave. I get yelled at at supermarkets for getting plastic bags. The fact that I use them for garbage from my 18th floor apartment instead of huge bags, more plastic, never clues in.
      YOu may want to hit a red alert there, Mike.

  8. Kugai says:

    No, I don’t live in Unicorn Land Mike, I’m well aware of our need for oil – Hell, I drive myself!

    But the Oil Companies have, for close to two decades, known that a change in attitudes has been needed. Many have stepped up to the plate, albeit reluctantly in many cases, but there are many who haven’t. who still drag their heels and stick their fingers in their ears and go “LALALALALALALALALALALALA” loudly hoping the problems will go away.

    Well, they won’t. The sad fact is, we’ve become TOO dependent on on oil, and unless we seek other means of powering our mobile world, we’re gonna be in for a rude shock in a decade or so. Drilling in places like Alaska etc may SEEM a good idea, but really, isn’t that just delaying the inevitable?

    Alternatives have to be seriously looked at Mike, we can’t just drag our feet on this.

  9. Mike says:


    Twice you had said that oil company have done minimum when it comes to safety. How do you know this? As far as drilling in Alaska goes there is decades worth of oil in the ground. We are too dependent on foreign oil. We can relieve that dependence by drilling in place like Alaska or off shore. You talk about alternatives but give no specifics. If there is an alternative to keeping this nation mobile then I too would be for it.

  10. Kugai says:

    That’s entirely my point Mike, IF The Oilcos and their political lackeys (and PLEASE don’t tell me your naive enough to believe there aren’t politicos in their pockets) were REALLY interested in finding alternatives to just drilling for more Oil they would have found at least one or two by now and be marketing them like there was no tomorrow?

    And come on Mike, you know the old addage – ‘Safety Costs Money’ – Can you really not see them doing the MINIMUM required by regulators if they can get away with it?

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