Jimmy Carter photo

National Energy Education Day Remarks on Signing Proclamation 4738.

March 20, 1980

THE PRESIDENT. This event today will have, I think, a far-reaching and beneficial effect on our Nation. And I'd like to read the proclamation before I sign it. It is entitled "National Energy Education Day: By the President of the United States, A Proclamation."

[At this point, the President read the proclamation and then resumed speaking as follows.]

I will now sign the proclamation and reserve the right to say just a few more words. [Laughter]

There are only two ways that we can reduce the imports of oil from foreign countries. One is to increase production of American energy of all kinds—and we have been blessed with tremendous reserves compared to other nations—and the other is to conserve the energy supplies that we have from all sources. We have made some progress. It has not yet been adequate, but it's been steady. We've more than reduced imports by a million barrels a day—and we expect to make even greater progress this year—since I've been in office, in 1977.

One of the major opportunities that has not yet been explored is to educate our young people—who can be just as effective, perhaps even more so, than many adults—in the facts about energy, what the opportunities are for conservation, and how they themselves can help. In homes, on the job, in transportation—there is a tremendous opportunity not only for young people to learn but also to educate their parents about the facts concerning how we can solve our energy problem through conservation.

A recent analysis has shown that there is an abysmal lack of information within the public school system among the students about basic facts concerning energy. And this designation of a national day for energy education is a very worthwhile commitment because of the facts that I've just described.

I particularly want to express my thanks to those who are assembled around me who have supported this initiative from its very beginnings, and also for the Members of Congress who have passed the resolution leading up to this Presidential proclamation.

I'm counting on all of you to do a good job. We will certainly help. Charlie Duncan, the Secretary of Energy, who is standing behind me, has a direct responsibility, working with me, to have an increasingly effective national education policy for our Nation on energy. And this program for energy education—particularly in our private and public schools at all grade levels—will be a great addition to the opportunity which our Nation must realize. Thank you, again, very much.

SECRETARY DUNCAN. The education of youth on energy issues is just of fundamental overriding importance. And we at the Department of Energy are trying to give some tangible expression to this need by working with some 9,000 teachers in our system, elementary school and high school. We are distributing more than 1 1/2 [million] 1 pieces of literature. And this is a major, high priority effort, because nothing is more important than to get energy issues well understood by young people. This is a very important initiative, Mr. President.

1 White House correction.

THE PRESIDENT. I want to thank all of you for helping to bring us to this point, and now we'll help you make it all a success. Thanks, again.

Note: The President spoke at 11:56 a.m. at the ceremony in the Cabinet Room at the White House.

Jimmy Carter, National Energy Education Day Remarks on Signing Proclamation 4738. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/250140

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