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Project Independence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Project Independence was an initiative announced by U.S. President Richard Nixon on November 7, 1973,[1] in reaction to the OAPEC oil embargo and the resulting 1973 oil crisis. Recalling the Manhattan Project, he stated that the goal of Project Independence was to achieve energy self-sufficiency for the United States by 1980,[2] through a national commitment to energy conservation and development of alternative sources of energy. [3] Nixon declared that American science, technology and industry could free America from its dependence on imported oil,[4] and establish its energy independence.

Some of the important initiatives to emerge from Project Independence included lowering highway speeds to 55 mph (89 km/h), converting oil power plants to coal, completion of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System and diverting federal funds from highway construction to mass transit.[3]

Despite these initiatives, Project Independence failed to prevent the increase in American oil consumption after the 1973–74 embargo; its dependence on foreign suppliers rose from 36% to almost 50% in 1979,[5] when questions of nuclear energy safety arose domestically, and the next energy crisis emerged overseas.


  1. ^ Nixon, Richard (1973-11-07). "Address to the Nation About Policies To Deal With the Energy Shortages". The American Presidency Project. Archived from the original on 2022-04-18. Retrieved 2022-09-04.
  2. ^ James Laxer (1975). Canada's energy crisis. Toronto: James Lorimer & Company. p. 41. ISBN 0-88862-087-X.
  3. ^ a b Charles E. Brown (2002). World energy resources. New York: Springer. p. 227. ISBN 3-540-42634-5.
  4. ^ U.S. Department of Energy. "Energy Timeline: from 1971 to 1980". Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  5. ^ John Adams, Transport planning, vision and practice, (1981), p.72