President Obama is talking big about reducing our consumption of foreign oil. We predict he’ll be just as successful as his predecessors …

Foreign Oil Imports

After the BP oil spill, The Daily Show did a roundup of past presidential calls for us to use less oil. As Jon Stewart concluded, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me eight times, am I a f*cking idiot?”

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Here’s a rundown:

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  • George W. Bush’s 2006 State of the Union address: “Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025. By applying the talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically improve our environment, move beyond a petroleum-based economy, and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past.”
  • Bill Clinton in a news conference on June 28, 2000: “But the main thing I would say to you is, we need a long-term energy strategy to maximize conservation and maximize the development of alternative sources of energy and also maximize domestic sources of energy.”
  • Then-Vice-President George H.W. Bush said in his speech at the 1988 Republican Convention that “there is no security for the United States in further dependence on foreign oil.” (When he was renominated four years later, he said that “I introduced a new domestic energy strategy which would cut our dependence on foreign oil by 7 million barrels a day.”)
  • Ronald Reagan told Congress in 1981 that part of his Program for Economic Recovery “will continue support of research leading to development of new technologies and more independence from foreign oil.”
  • Jimmy Carter’s “Crisis of Confidence” speech on July 15, 1979 warned that “intolerable dependence on foreign oil threatens our economic independence and the very security of our nation. … Beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 — never.”
  • A large amount of Gerald Ford’s first State of the Union address on January 15, 1975 detailed his “plan to make us invulnerable to cutoffs of foreign oil.”
  • And just one year before, Richard Nixon had pledged that “we will break the back of the energy crisis; we will lay the foundation for our future capacity to meet America’s energy needs from America’s own resources. … Let this be our national goal: At the end of this decade, in the year 1980, the United States will not be dependent on any other country for the energy we need …”