Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 29, 1975)
Energy crisis nota one-time phenomenon
It should be obvious by now, regardless of what
people may have thought during the Arab oil
boycott, that the so-called "energy crisis" is not a
temporary, isolated or one-time pheonomenon.
The very lifeblood of American industrial society
has always been a seemingly inexahustible supply of
low-cost energy. Now, despite repeated, long-term
warnings from conservationists, environmentalists and
others on the alarmist fringe, we find ourselves
"suddenly" in a period of shortage.
The problem of matching an ever-increasing rate of
energy consumption with rapidly decreasing reserves
is not one that is Likely to disappear soon, even
though energy supplies we more than adequate at the
Clearly we are not at the end of our energy
reserves, but are reaching the bottom of our richest
and most easily recovered sources. We have skimmed
the cream off and now seem ready to put less
accessible energy sources into production.
It should not be suprising, then, that surviving the
Nixon Administration is something at least as
infamous and fanciful: Project Independence.
On the surface, the prospect of becoming totally
self-sufficient in energy needs by 1980 seems to offer
welcome relief from the problem of unpredictable
foreign suppliers, but in actuality such an attempt
will not solve our energy problems and will make our
A recent report by the National Academy of
Engineering pointed out that the capital, material and
labor needed to make a legitimate attempt to reach
self-sufficiency would be enormous. The report
estimated that the capital needs alone for Project
Independence would exceed $600 billion.
Such a staggering outlay is clearly economically
impossible. Astronomical rates of inflation, the
strangulation of even basic social programs and the
extinction of the American consumer would be only
part of the legacy of Project Independence, however.
If America were ever to be truly energy
self-sufficient, previously untapped coal and oh
deposits would have to be made productive. Prior to
now such deposits have not been producing because
the economic and environmental costs involved in
their development were thought to be prohibitive. In
view of the sky-rocketing cost of imported oil,
however, the economic question becomes academic,
and as everyone knows, environmental concerns can
Thus Project Independence is serving as an
effective rationale for increased offshore drilling, strip
mining and oil shale development.
If Project Independence were to have any hope of
success the economic disaster described previously
would be coupled with environmental disaster.
s and reasons
Priceless natural beauty (as well as economically
important rangelands) in Wyoming, Montana,
Colorado and North Dakota would be totally
destroyed by the massive strip-mining of coal that
self-sufficiency would require. In addition, areas of
Colorado are already being strip-mined to develop oil
shale deposits. Increased offshore oil drilling will
mean the loss of more coastal wet-lands, more
oil-soaked seagulls and more dead fish.
I grow increasingly bitter as I listen to President
Ford continue to talk of a Project Independence
which was a fraud from the beginning.
Total independence, as I pointed out, is
economically unattainable given the present rates of
U.S. energy consumption. Further, it is doubtful
whether some of the much talked about domestic
energy sources will ever be significant contributors.
Making domestic reserves such as oil shale and some
coal desposits productive may consume almost as
much energy as they will provide. Continued
dependence on foreign oil, at least to some extent, is
unavoidable unless there are drastic reductions in the
levels of U.S. energy consumption.
Thus far, however, rather then making a strong
commitment to curtailing energy consumption, the
emphasis of Ford's energy policy has been on
Heat saving standards for buildings and higher fuel
prices to discourage consumption obviously are a
minor part of a program that otherwise includes:
opening more Alaskan oil reserves to drilling, gutting
the Clean Air Act, vetoing legislation to require
strip-miners to restore mined land, encouraging more
coal production, 150 new coal-fired power plants, 30
new refineries and 20 new synthetic fuel plants.
Project Independence and the Ford energy policy in
general is clearly slanted towards maximizing
production rather than minimizing consumption.
The dream of U.S. energy self-sufficiency will
remain only a dream as Jong as the White House (and
Congress) assumes that demand is the same thing as
need. There is a world of difference between
America's energy demands and what is actually
needed to maintain the country's activities.
Depending on the source one reads, it is estimated
that between 40 and 80 per cent of all energy
consumed in America's urban areas is wasted! Massive
electrical signs, over lighted buildings, lights left
burning unnecessarily, inefficient fuel use,
unnecessary driving, energy wasting urban sprawl all
contribute to the senseless waste.
Of course we do not make the connection between
driving six miles for a loaf of bread and birds
floundering in an oil slick. Nor do we comprehend
that leaving an unused light burning is an action that
when multiplied in millions of homes may translate
into strip-mined land. Yet we are all guilty of waste.
The Administration apparently doesn't make the
connection either, since it ignores strong proposals to
curtail energy waste, while offering a handkerchief to
energy companies who cry that they can't meet
energy demand. No doubt they're crying all the way
to the bank, too.
Coming on FEB Ist
THE BIGGEST CHOW HOUND IN TOWN
Why think about life insurance and estate
planning now while you're young?
Because the best way to avoid financial
crisis in your leisurely years is to
effectively manage your most productive
years. The older you get, the more it
costs to protect your family and business.
Your Fidelity Union Life estate planner
can show you how to prepare for a secure
Call the Fidelity Union Field Associate
in your area:
C G Severin & Associates
1125 R Street
Annual January Sale
Largest Selection of Costume Jewelry
new pieces arriving daily
all guys and girls jeans - 10 off
guys flannel shifts - J12.50 reg. now 8.95
bush denim jean jackets, long dresses, sweaters F
all on sale now. Also see our Osh Kosh bib
overalls and Kennington shirts
Gateway Shopping Mall 467-1281
:DISTIN6U1SHED TEACHING AWARDS?
' Nominations for Distinguished Teacher Awards are now being accepted by the
various colleges. Teachers receiving this award are given a medallion and a prize of
$1,000. Students are invited, indeed urged, to made such nominations.
Nominations should be in your Dean's officy by February 15, 1975. Simply follow
directions as outlined by your college below:
Submit nominations and supplementary material to the office of the Dean, College
of Agriculture, co T. EJlartung, 103 Ag Hall, Cast campus
ARCHITECTURE , 4 , . n
Submit nominations and supporting material to the Student Advisory Board, Bob
Beechman, Chairman, co Dean's office.
ARTS & SCIENCES , r c .
Secure standard nomination form from Deans office, 1223 Oldfather Hall, bend
material to Dr. Max D. Larsen, 1223 Oldfather Hall.
Contact Dean's office, 240 CBA. Detailed information will be posted in CBA
building and published in Update.
Submit nominations and supplementary material to the office of the Dean, Room
107, College of Dentistry, East Campus.
ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY
Make nominations through department student organizations.
Make nominations through Student Advisory Council or directly to Dean's office,
105 Home Economics Building, East Campus.
Nominations are made through an in-college process. Contact Dean's office, 208
Law, for further information.
Nominations through Student Advisory Board or directly to the Dean s office, 101
Wednesday, january 29, 1975
Powered by Open ONI