Project Independence was an initiative announced byU.S.President Richard Nixon on November 7, 1973, in reaction to the OPEC oil embargo and the resulting 1973 oil crisis. Recalling the Manhattan Project, the stated goal of Project Independence was to achieve energy self-sufficiency for the United States by 1980 through a national commitment to energy conservation and development of alternative sources of energy. Nixon declared that American science, technology and industry could free America from dependence on imported oil....From the announcement:
"Let us set our national goal ... that by the end of this decade we will have developed the potential to meet our own energy needs without depending on any foreign energy sources. Let us pledge that by 1980, under Project Independence, we shall be able to meet America's energy needs from America's own energy resources."From "The Tar Sands: Syncrude and the Politics of Oil":
- Richard M. Nixon, responding to Arab oil embargo, Nov. 7, 1973.
...One month following the outbreak of the Yom Kippur Middle East war of October 1973, with the United States deep in the grip of Watergate fever compounded by the anxiety over the Arab oil boycott, former U.S. President Richard M. Nixon appeared on American television to prescribe strong medicine, his antidote for the energy crisis.HT:Dave Cournoyer
Nixon named it "Project Independence." The challenge facing the
, he declared, was to regain the strength of self-sufficiency in energy. This was a key to Americans predominance among the nations. "Our ability to meet our own energy needs is directly linked to our continued ability to act decisively and independently at home and abroad in the service of peace, not only for America, bur for all nations in the world." Calling for "focused leadership" to achieve self-sufficiency by 1980, Nixon likened his challenge to earlier crash programs to develop the atomic bomb and to put a man on the moon. He went on to promise massive public funding for the exploration of American's remaining energy resources-Alaskan oil and gas, offshore oil reserves, nuclear energy and synthetic fuels from coal and oil shale.... United States
From President Nixon's State of the Union address, January 30, 1974:
...Just as 1970 was the year in which we began a full-scale effort to protect the environment, 1974 must be the year in which we organize a full-scale effort to provide for our energy needs, not only in this decade but through the 21st century.
As we move toward the celebration 2 years from now of the 200th anniversary of this Nation's independence, let us press vigorously on toward the goal I announced last November for Project Independence. Let this be our national goal: At the end of this decade, in the year 1980, the United States will not be dependent on any other country for the energy we need to provide our jobs, to heat our homes, and to keep our transportation moving.
To indicate the size of the Government commitment, to spur energy research and development, we plan to spend $10 billion in Federal funds over the next 5 years. That is an enormous amount. But during the same 5 years, private enterprise will be investing as much as $200 billion--and in 10 years, $500 billion--to develop the new resources, the new technology, the new capacity America will require for its energy needs in the 1980's. That is just a measure of the magnitude of the project we are undertaking.
But America performs best when called to its biggest tasks. It can truly be said that only in America could a task so tremendous be achieved so quickly, and achieved not by regimentation, but through the effort and ingenuity of a free people, working in a free system....
The AP has compiled a short list of Presidential pronouncements on energy.