Sixteen-year-olds getting their drivers licenses in
1989 have no conception of the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo that put U.S.
drivers into long gasoline lines.
They don't recall the Carter Administration urging home
thermostats to be set on 68 degrees and the subsequent hue and cry
to curb all energy consumption.
Energy experts of today are predicting another energy crisis,
which some say could happen as early as 1992, due to rising imports
and declining domestic drilling. On the other hand, though, the
U.S. Department of Energy and American Gas Association estimate
domestic reserves of oil and gas would carry the nation 30 to 50
years into the future.
"The United States must search for alternate fuel supplies and
waste less of what we already have," said James W. Bennett,
executive director of the Oklahoma Wildlife Federation, at an Energy
Department hearing in Tulsa Tuesday.
Conservation, however, was not a prevailing topic at the
hearing, which was the first of four regional hearings planned
through September. Energy department officials are striving to form
a draft national energy strategy by April 1, aimed primarily at
addressing the nation's energy security and environmental issues.
Tax incentives plans to boost domestic production and cut down on
imports were among the most prevalent suggestions made at the Tulsa
Some conservation measures mentioned, though, included:
- Raising fuel efficiency standards for automobiles to 45
miles per gallon and 35 miles per gallon for light trucks by the
- Requiring utilities to pursue least-cost planning when
acquiring additional electrical supply.
- Energy efficiency improvements in homes, offices and within
- Appliance efficiency regulations.
The vehicle mileage measure would save 2 million barrels of oil
per day by the year 2010, said Vicki McCullough, spokeswoman for
Native Americans for a Clean Environment. The organization is based
Oklahoma Wildlife Federation agrees with such measures and
passed a resolution in March calling for a national energy policy
based on increased efficiency, Bennett said. The organization has
45,000 members and supporters, he said.
"Not only did it refuse to take a leadership role in energy
policy, the Reagan Administration opposed efficiency standards for
furnaces, water heaters, refrigerators and other household
appliances; rolled back programs aimed at increased heating and
cooling efficiency of old and new buildings, and gutted the most
successful conservation and renewable energy programs in each of the
federal departments," Bennett said. …