Gerald R. Ford photo

Letter to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate Transmitting Proposed Energy Legislation.

January 30, 1975

IN MY State of the Union address earlier this month, I outlined the dimensions of our interrelated economic and energy problems and proposed comprehensive and far-reaching measures for their solution.

The measures I described included both Executive and Congressional actions. Because further delay is intolerable, I have already taken administrative action to deal with our energy problems, including issuance of a proclamation to impose increased fees on imported oil. The Secretary of the Treasury has already presented my detailed energy tax proposals to the House Ways and Means Committee.

I am enclosing a proposed omnibus energy bill--the Energy Independence Act of 1975--which, along with the tax proposals already presented, will provide the combined authorities that are necessary if we are to deal seriously and effectively with the Nation's pressing energy problems.

We have delayed too long in taking decisive actions to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources and to eliminate our vulnerability to energy disruptions such as we experienced last winter--or worse.

In the near term, enactment of the proposed legislation along with certain Administrative actions would reduce oil imports by one million barrels per day by the end of this year, and two million barrels per day by the end of 1977. Over the mid-term (1975-1985), enactment of the proposed legislation will insure that domestic supplies of energy are substantially increased, that the growth in energy demand is reduced substantially and that we develop effective protection from future energy embargoes or energy emergencies. In the long term, my proposals will allow our Nation to once again supply a significant share of the energy needs of the free world.

The legislative program I have proposed will:

(1) encourage early development of our oil, natural gas and coal resources;

(2) help speed the siting and construction of nuclear and other energy facilities;

(3) reduce energy consumption by mandating thermal standards for new homes and commercial buildings and assisting persons with low incomes in winterizing their homes;

(4) encourage investments in the development of new domestic energy resources;

(5) establish a strategic petroleum reserve to guard against future import disruptions; and

(6) authorize certain standby authorities to cope with potential embargoes or energy emergencies.

A more detailed summary of my legislative proposals is enclosed.

My tax proposals already presented by the Secretary of the Treasury would:

(1) place an excise tax of $2 per barrel on all domestic crude oil and an import fee of $2 on all imported crude oil and petroleum products to help reduce the demand for oil, promote domestic refining and encourage the development of new sources of energy;

(2) impose a tax on all domestic crude oil in order to capture windfall profits;

(3) place an excise tax on natural gas equivalent to the $2 tax on oil to reduce natural gas demand;

(4) provide additional tax credits for public utilities to provide equal tax treatment with other industries and promote the construction of needed electric generating facilities;

(5) provide tax credits for homeowners who install additional insulation to reduce energy consumption;

(6) return to the economy the revenue from energy conservation taxes to offset higher energy costs, particularly for low and middle income citizens, and to help restore jobs and production.

The 13 titles of this bill, coupled with appropriate tax measures, are essential to the eventual attainment of our common goal of energy independence. Prompt action on all these measures is essential.

I cannot stress too much the sense of urgency I feel about these proposals and the need for their swift consideration by the Congress as a basis for the earliest possible enactment into law. Without these measures, we face a future of shortages and dependency which the Nation cannot tolerate and the American people will not accept.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Carl Albert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Honorable Nelson A. Rockefeller, President of the Senate. The summary of the proposed legislation was included as part of the release.

Gerald R. Ford, Letter to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate Transmitting Proposed Energy Legislation. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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