Ronald Reagan on Energy & Oil

President of the U.S., 1981-1989; Republican Governor (CA)


1981: Eliminated price controls on oil & natural gas

Reagan's first executive order eliminated price controls on oil and natural gas. Production soared, and the price of oil declined by more than 50 percent. This was a remarkable contrast to President Carter's gasoline rationing, which limited us to buying gasoline every other day depending on the last number of our license plate. From scarcity of gasoline to abundance in six months--this was one of Reagan's first evident accomplishments.
Source: To Save America, by Newt Gingrich, p.159 , May 17, 2010

Nuts to ask Americans to wear sweaters & bike to work

Always, I look at my hero, Ronald Reagan. He was unbelievable, and one of a kind. Character. Principle. Walked the lonely road. Challenged Americans to make their own difference. Recall that when he first came into office he was succeeding a president wh told Americans to beat the gas crisis by riding their bicycles to work, to beat the oil shortage by wearing a sweater. Reagan took one look around and essentially said, "What are you guys, nuts?" Interest rates were out of control. Inflation was at its zenith. So what did he do? He sent Jeanne Kirkpatrick to the United Nations and delivered a powerful message that the rest of the world was not going to kick America around anymore. He cut marginal rates. And he took on the Soviet Union. He called them the "Evil Empire." His advisors said, "Mr. President, that's not good politics. That's not good diplomacy." And Reagan just chuckled and said it anyway.
Source: Stand For Something, by John Kasich, p. 32 , May 10, 2006

Decontrolled oil prices, but didnít fill oil reserves

Reagan removed controls on oil prices. The result was lower prices and a glut. Had Reagan taken advantage of this to fill the nationís strategic reserves with cheap oil or to reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil by imposing an oil import fee, or to encourage conservation through a tax, he would have left his successor less a prisoner of events in the Middle East. But Reagan abhorred taxes, and he did not accept the necessity of conservation. His trust was in the marketplace.
Source: The Role of a Lifetime, by Lou Cannon, p. 823 , Jul 2, 1991

Lower regulations on coal; explore for oil offshore in OCS

Q: US dependence on Arab oil as a percentage of total imports is today much higher than it was at the time of the 1973 Arab oil embargo.

CARTER: We will drill more oil and gas wells this year than any year in history. We'll export more coal this year than any year in history.

REAGAN: This Nation has been portrayed for too long a time to the people as being energy-poor when it is energy-rich. The coal that the President mentioned: Yes, we have it, and yet 1/8 of our total coal resources is not being utilized at all right now. The mines are closed down. Most of this is due to regulations which either interfere with the mining of it or prevent the burning of it. With our modern technology, yes, we can burn our coal within the limits of the Clean Air Act. The other thing is that we have only leased out and begun to explore 2% of our Outer Continental Shelf for oil, where it is believed by everyone familiar with that fuel and that source of energy that there are vast supplies yet to be found.

Source: The Reagan-Carter Presidential Debate , Oct 28, 1980

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Other past presidents on Energy & Oil: Ronald Reagan on other issues:
Former Presidents:
Barack Obama(D,2009-2017)
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton(D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan(R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter(D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford(R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon(R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson(D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower(R,1953-1961)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

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V.P.Dick Cheney
V.P.Al Gore
V.P.Dan Quayle
Sen.Bob Dole

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Page last updated: Feb 22, 2022