To the Congress of the United States:
I am pleased to transmit to the Congress the second National Energy Plan as required by Section 801 of the Department of Energy Organization Act (Public Law 95-91 ).
The First National Energy Plan, which I sent to the Congress two years ago, was the first comprehensive effort to deal with the broad scope of the Nation's energy problems. The resulting National Energy Act, passed last autumn, acted on a number of my proposals, and will have an important and lasting role in preparing for the Nation's energy future.
But much remains to be done. And we must now deal jointly with a number of issues which have matured since April 1977.
As I said in my April 5th energy message, our Nation's energy problems are real. They are serious. And they are getting worse. Every American will have to help solve those problems. But it is up to us—the Congress and the Executive Branch—to provide the leadership.
We must now build on the foundation of the National Energy Act. In my April 5th energy address, I laid out a program for action in five areas.
First, in accordance with the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, I have announced a program to phase out controls on domestic crude oil prices by September 30, 1981. Oil should be priced at its true replacement value if we are to stop subsidizing imports, increase U.S. oil production, reduce demand, and encourage the development and use of new energy sources.
Second, the increased revenues from decontrol must not unduly or unjustly enrich oil producers at the expense of consumers. For this reason, I have proposed a tax on the windfall profits due to decontrol. Proceeds from the tax would be used to establish an Energy Security Trust Fund, which would be available, in part, to assist those low-income Americans who can least afford higher energy prices.
Third, we must provide additional emphasis on conservation and on the development of new domestic energy sources and technologies. The Energy Security Trust Fund will also provide funds for energy saving mass transit and for tax incentives and accelerated research and demonstration of new energy technologies.
Fourth, we must find ways to expeditiously develop and use our energy resources, while protecting and enhancing the quality of the environment. The length and complexity of many Federal, State, and local permitting procedures, however, has created needless complexity and increased time and cost, without improving the protection to the public or the environment. We must remove the needless red tape which is tying up many needed energy projects. I have signed an Executive Order to expedite Federal decision-making for certain energy projects, which are deemed to be in the National interest.
Fifth, we must provide international leadership to deal with the crisis before us today. The members of the International Energy Agency have joined in a common commitment to reduce energy consumption in response to current shortages. The United States has provided leadership in gaining this commitment. I will assure the United States does its part to meet that commitment.
The energy program I announced on April 5th puts the country in a strong position to achieve these goals. The Plan I am forwarding today shows how these programs relate to our overall energy problem, and to the other policies and programs which we must carry forward.
This National Energy Plan explicitly recognizes the uncertainties—geologic, technological, economic, political, and environmental—which confront us. It presents a strategy for dealing forthrightly with the uncertainties, with the threats and promises of our energy future.
The analysis in the Plan shows the need to move aggressively to meet the grave energy challenges to our Nation's vitality. My April 5th proposals confront those challenges squarely. Together with the National Energy Plan, we are providing a firm foundation for dealing with these challenges today and for decades to come.
The White House,
May 7, 1979.