IP: bravo for Jimmy! (fwd)

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From: Eugene Leitl (Eugene.Leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de)
Date: Fri May 18 2001 - 09:18:50 PDT

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 12:14:14 -0400
From: David Farber <dave@farber.net>
Reply-To: farber@cis.upenn.edu
To: ip-sub-1@majordomo.pobox.com
Subject: IP: bravo for Jimmy!

[ I have included this on the grounds that Carter has been as non political
as any past President I know. When he talks it is worth listening to for me

>Date: Thu, 17 May 2001 15:13:45 -0400 (EDT)
>From: Lenny Foner <foner@media.mit.edu>
>To: farber@cis.upenn.edu
>Carter contradicts W on the front page of today's Post! [Well, kinda;
>the link to the article at least appears there...]
>Misinformation and Scare Tactics
>By Jimmy Carter
>Thursday, May 17, 2001; Page A23
>It has been more than 20 years since our country developed a comprehensive
>energy policy. It is important for President Bush and Congress to take
>another look at this important issue, but not based on misleading
>statements made lately by high administration officials. These comments
>have distorted history and future needs.
>I was governor of Georgia during the administration of Richard Nixon, when
>a combination of oil shortages and an OPEC boycott produced a real energy
>crisis in the United States. Five years later, the Iran-Iraq war shut off
>4 million barrels of the world's daily oil supplies almost overnight, and
>the price of energy more than doubled in just 12 months. This caused a
>wave of inflation in all industrialized countries and created energy
>shortages. As before, there were long lines of vehicles at service
>stations, with drivers eager to pay even astronomical prices for available
>No energy crisis exists now that equates in any way with those we faced in
>1973 and 1979. World supplies are adequate and reasonably stable, price
>fluctuations are cyclical, reserves are plentiful, and automobiles aren't
>waiting in line at service stations. Exaggerated claims seem designed to
>promote some long-frustrated ambitions of the oil industry at the expense
>of environmental quality.
>Also contrary to recent statements by top officials, a bipartisan Congress
>worked closely with me for four years to create a well-balanced approach
>to the problem. No influential person ever spoke "exclusively of
>conservation," and my administration never believed that "we could simply
>conserve or ration our way out of" any energy crisis. On the contrary, we
>emphasized both energy conservation and the increased production of oil,
>gas, coal and solar energy. Permanent laws were laboriously hammered out
>that brought an unprecedented commitment to efficient use of energy
>supplies. We mandated improved home insulation, energy savings in the
>design of industrial equipment and home appliances and a step-by-step
>increase in gas mileage of all automobiles manufactured in our country.
>When I was inaugurated, American vehicles were averaging only 12 miles per
>gallon. Today, new cars reach more than twice this gas mileage, which
>would be much higher except for the failure to maintain the efficiency
>standards, beginning in the Reagan years. (Gas mileage has actually gone
>down during the past five years.)
>Official statistics published by the departments of energy and labor
>reveal the facts: Since I signed the final energy bills in 1980, America's
>gross national product has increased by 90 percent, while total energy
>consumption went up only 26 percent. Our emphasis on coal and other
>sources of energy and improved efficiency has limited petroleum
>consumption to an increase of only 12 percent. During this time,
>non-energy prices have risen 2 1/2 times as much as energy prices, and
>gasoline prices have actually declined by 41 percent, in real terms and
>even including the temporary surge in the past two years.
>Although these energy conservation decisions have been criticized as "a
>sign of [my] personal virtue," it is clear that the benefits have resulted
>from a commitment to improved technology, with extremely beneficial
>results for American consumers, business and commerce. Top executives in
>the oil industry should acknowledge their tremendous freedom to explore,
>extract and market oil and gas products that resulted from the decisions
>made by Congress during my term in Washington.
>In fact, our most difficult legislative battle was over the deregulation
>of oil and gas prices, designed so that competitive prices would both
>discourage the waste of energy and promote exploration for new sources of
>petroleum products. At the end of 1980, every available drilling rig in
>the United States was being utilized at full capacity, and dependence on
>foreign imports was falling rapidly.
>Despite these facts, some officials are using misinformation and scare
>tactics to justify such environmental atrocities as drilling in the Arctic
>National Wildlife Refuge. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation
>Act, which I signed in December 1980, approved 100 percent of the offshore
>areas and 95 percent of the potentially productive oil and mineral areas
>for exploration or for drilling. We excluded the wildlife refuge,
>confirming a decision first made by President Dwight Eisenhower, when
>Alaska became a state in 1959, to set aside this area as a precious
>natural heritage.
>Those who advocate drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to meet
>current needs are careful to conceal the facts that almost none of the
>electricity in energy-troubled California is generated from oil.
>It is important for private citizens and organizations to know the facts
>and to join in the coming debates -- so we can continue the policies of
>the late 1970s: a careful balance between production and conservation.
>Former president Carter is chairman of the Carter Center in Atlanta.

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