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Letter to Governors Urging Support for Energy Conservation Measures.

June 29, 1973

Dear Governor:

My April 18 message to the Congress, which was also transmitted to you, detailed actions that must be taken if the Nation is to have adequate and secure supplies of clean energy in the future.

It is particularly urgent that steps to encourage energy conservation begin at once. Today, therefore, I have announced a program to reduce the Nation's anticipated energy demand by 5 percent over the next twelve months. To provide leadership in achieving that goal, the Federal Government will reduce its anticipated energy demand by 7 percent during this same period.

The success of our national effort is primarily in the hands of the American people. Nearly three-quarters of the gasoline used in America is consumed by automobiles. Thus, significant gasoline savings will be realized if the American people will change their driving patterns. It is estimated that a car traveling at 50 miles per hour consumes 20 to 25 percent less fuel per mile than it would at 70 miles per hour. Consequently, I am asking Americans voluntarily to reduce the speed at which they drive this summer.

As part of this effort, I urge you to work with your legislature on reducing highway speed limits in your State, taking into account the objectives of mobility, safety and energy conservation. I would also urge you to consider the various actions being taken by the Federal Government to save on the energy it uses, and to adopt as many of these measures as are appropriate for your own State.

Americans have the chance to make a virtue of necessity this summer by taking the current energy pinch as an occasion to begin developing not just stopgap measures but a new and enduring energy conservation ethic for the future. You can play a major role in making this effort successful. I hope it will have your strong support.



Note: The text of identical letters addressed to the Governors of the States was released at San Clemente, Calif.

Richard Nixon, Letter to Governors Urging Support for Energy Conservation Measures. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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