The roots of energy independence lie in the energy crises of the 1970s. US oil production peaked in 1970, and we became increasingly dependent on oil imported from the Middle East. In response to US support for Israel, OPEC cut production and doubled prices in 1973 and again in 1979. The economy stagnated for most of the decade, and Americans recoiled at the thought of the economy and foreign policy being held hostage by Arab sheiks. Independence from these threats then became a key national objective. An effort was made to increase domestic exploration, develop alternative fuels, and conserve energy. Automobile gas mileage standards were increased, natural gas displaced oil in industry and home heating, and the generation of electricity from oil was phased out. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was put in place as a buffer against supply disruptions, and the Carter Doctrine in the wake of the Iranian […]