Every president in the modern era has claimed that he would lead the nation to energy independence, but only ONE has achieved that goal: Donald J. Trump.
Since the energy crises of the 60s and 70s when Arab oil producers started ruling the world via their lock on energy production, American presidents have been caterwauling about making the U.S. an energy independent country.
Each and every one of them since Nixon have promised to put into place policies and regulations that would make the U.S. energy independent, but none of them were ever really serious about the effort.
Each of those presidents had one thing in common with their policy; they assumed that U.S. oil production could not solve our needs.
Indeed, you will recall that Barack Obama and his anti-energy party laughed at people who wanted to increase oil production. Obama said you “can’t drill your way” to energy independence.
But every other president failed, too. Nixon said we need to look for new source of energy. Carter did too, creating the useless Synthetic Fuel Corporation. Clinton pushed failed programs calling for renewable energy. And remember when G.W. Bush cried that the U.S. was “addicted to oil” and tried to reduce consumption by pushing disastrous fuel-efficiency standards?
Indeed, the only other president who came even close to Trump’s success was Ronald Reagan who decontrolled oil prices allowing oil imports to increase.
But then came Trump.
According to Business Insider:
Then President Donald Trump took office and announced a radical departure from 50 years of received energy “wisdom.” In a speech to the Energy Department months after taking office, he said that for decades leaders peddled the myth of energy scarcity. Most of it is self-imposed, he said. What the country needs, he said, isn’t “alternative” energy, or new austerity measures. It’s a government that “promotes energy development.” Trump listed actions he was taking to lift federal impediments to energy production.
Lo and behold, Trump was right.
Advanced drilling technologies have opened vast expanses of domestic oil and natural gas. And as domestic production skyrocketed, imports have been steadily dropping.
Trump did not create all this by himself, granted. The oil industry stepped up and took the ball that Trump allowed them to run with. But, unlike ever other president since Nixon, Trump did the right thing by staying out of the way and allowing the business sector to do what it does best.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.