In 1974, Richard Nixon was the first president to talk about making the United States energy-independent, promising to free the country of dependence on foreign sources by 1980. This was in reaction to the 1973 Arab oil embargo, when the price per barrel of oil went from $3 to $10.
Linked is a video in which John Stewart takes a satirical look at energy independence policy in the United States; he confirms with video evidence that every president since Richard Nixon has made an on-air promise to reduce American oil dependency (even though Nixon — and all seven of his successors — have done precious little towards actually accomplishing that goal).
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