Gerald Ford on Energy & Oil
President of the U.S., 1974-1977; Republican Rep. (MI)
FORD: I vetoed the strip mining bill because it was the overwhelming consensus of knowledgeable people that that strip mining bill would have meant the loss of literally thousands of jobs, something around 140,000 jobs. Number two, that strip mining bill would have severely set back our need for more coal. The auto emissions--it was agreed by the head of the UAW, and by the heads of all of the automobile industry--we had labor and management together saying that those auto emission standards had to be modified.
CARTER: The strip mining law would have been good for the country. The claim that it would have put 140,000 miners out of work is hard to believe when at the time Mr. Ford vetoed it, the United Mine Workers was supporting the bill. And I don't think they would have supported the bill had they known that they would lose 140,000 jobs.
CARTER: We're gonna run out of oil. We now import about 44% of our oil. We need to shift from oil to coal. We need to concentrate our on coal burning and extraction, with safer mines, but also clean burning. We need to shift very strongly toward solar energy and have strict conservation measures. And then as a last resort only, use atomic power.
FORD: In 1975 I submitted to Congress the first comprehensive energy program recommended by any president. It called for an increase in the production of energy in the United States. If you're going to increase domestic oil and gas production--and we have to--you have to give those producers an opportunity to develop their land or their wells. I think you have to have greater oil and gas production, more coal production, more nuclear production, and in addition you have to have energy conservation.
In recent months, utilities have cancelled or postponed over 60% of planned nuclear expansion and 30% of planned additions to non-nuclear capacity. Financing problems for that industry are worsening. I am therefore recommending that the 1-year investment tax credit of 12% be extended an additional 2 years to specifically speed the construction of powerplants that do not use natural gas or oil. I am also submitting proposals for selective reform of State utility commission regulations.
To provide the critical stability for our domestic energy production in the face of world price uncertainty, I will request legislation to authorize and require tariffs, import quotas, or price floors to protect our energy prices at levels which will achieve energy independence.
I was well aware that this plan contained risks. The increased taxes on energy could boost inflation by hiking the cost of oil and could deflate the economy by leaving industry with less money to spend in other areas. But I would have to accept these risks.
[In the State of the Union speech], "America needs a new direction," I concluded, "a change of course which will put the unemployed back to work, increase real income and production, and achieve energy independence."
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George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)
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