Former Delaware governor and presidential candidate in 1988 Pete DuPont traces the various ways that America has ensured its dependency on oil since the Carter Administration. It's not a pretty picture:
In 1980 President Carter imposed a "windfall profits" tax on oil companies, which raised $40 billion rather than the $227 billion promised. Rather than easing energy shortages, the tax reduced domestic oil production by between 3% and 6% and gave imported oil from foreign countries a competitive advantage that increased imports of foreign oil by about 10%.
In 1990 the first President Bush issued a presidential directive forbidding access to about 85% of Outer Continental Shelf oil and natural gas reserves. In 1998 President Clinton extended the moratorium through 2012.
In 1995 Mr. Clinton vetoed a budget bill that would have allowed oil exploration and drilling in part of the Alaska Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. Prudhoe Bay fields, just to the west of ANWR, have delivered 15 billion barrels of oil through the Alaska pipeline to the U.S. market without damage to Alaskan land, caribou or other wildlife. ANWR contains 10 billion barrels of oil, so Mr. Clinton's veto today is costing America about a million barrels of oil each day. Yet Congress has repeatedly defeated efforts to open ANWR to exploration.
As the Heritage Foundation points out, the U.S. "is the only nation in the world that has placed a significant amount of its potential domestic energy supplies off-limits."
And no new oil refinery has been constructed in the US since 1976.