Guadamour’s blog post
Originally posted Dec. 13, 2007
Revised: April 30, 2008
Looking Back 30 Years
Today the world faces global warming. The USA is fighting two undeclared wars based on the rights to have access to petroleum. Cars are bigger than they were thirty years ago, there are more of them and for the most part they don’t get any better mileage. The dollar and the economy are in the toilet and many experts think things are headed down the drain and into the sewer.
In 1975 the US faced its first oil crisis when OPEC doubled the price of oil. The price of gasoline in the USA went from around 35 cents a gallon to 75 cents a gallon or more, and many service stations were completely out of gas or limiting purchases so that they wouldn’t run out.
In 1975 the Vietnam (Undeclared) War was ending after the failed Truman Doctrine originally involved the USA in this conflict in the 40s.
In 1976 Jimmy Carter was elected President and took office in January of 1977.
The USA was still getting over the Nixon Watergate era, and many laws were passed restricting the power of the executive branch.
One of the first things Carter managed to get passed through congress was a bill creating the Department of Energy. Its stated goal was to make the USA energy independent of outside sources of petroleum and energy.
Towards that goal of energy independence, fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks were mandated for the first time irregardless of the extreme protest of Detroit automobile and truck producers.
Japanese auto manufacturers and other foreign producers had no trouble meeting these requirements, and used their success to secure a larger and larger share of the US auto and small truck market. That trend continues to this day.
Under the Department of Energy, tax credits were given to home owners for insulating their homes and installing solar and wind energy in their homes. Many of the solar hot water heaters installed at that time are still in operation.
The Department of Energy funded research into alternative energy.
The current news about the huge potential for generating bio-diesel from algae was discovered at that time, and is just now being developed.
Many people can make the argument that Carter was neither a good or efficient president. The Democrat, Tip O. Neil. makes a good argument for that in his autobiography, Man Of The House.
Carter didn’t win reelection and Ronald Reagan was elected President in 1980 after secret negotiations with theIranians who were holding American captives.
One of the first items of business the Reagan Administration completed when they assumed office in 1981 was to completely dismantle the Department of Energy. This included removing the solar system that had been installed in the White House.
The Department of Energy effectively ceased to exist. There were no longer tax credits for solar and weather proofing one’s home.
All funding of research into alternative energy sources was stopped.
Few mandates for increased gas mileage for vehicles have come down from the Federal government since that time.
When Ronald Reagan left office in 1989 the US debt was over four times larger than when he took office. The rate of the growth of the debt has become bigger under every Republican president since Reagan.
Today under very questionable and arguably unconstitutional Presidential “signings” the power of the executive branch is larger than it has ever been. This totally ignores the laws that were enacted after Nixon’sabuse of power. Nixon’s abuse of power seems trite in relationship to what is happening today.
Sort of makes one wonder what state the world would be in today if Jimmy Carter had been elected to a second term, especially considering the fact that he was able to broker the only lasting peace pacts in the Middle East.
If Carter had been re-elected there is a good possibility that the world would not be facing a possible World War III with the US planned invasion into Iran. Iran is not occupying other countries as are the US and Israel, nor has it invaded anyone. The same cannot be said for the US & Israel.