A new government report has found that the United States will import almost as much foreign oil 25 years from now as it does today. Pitiful policy initiatives simply haven’t done enough to fulfill the stated ambition of just about every administration since Richard Nixon’s — to liberate the homeland from a dangerous dependency on energy imports.

These estimates are based on current policies and there’s hope yet. George W. Bush might have talked about energy independence, but the former oilman’s heart wasn’t really in it. Stronger policies — stronger even than what President Barack Obama has so far proposed — will be needed to build a new energy future.

We’d better get on it. Gerald Ford’s deadline for energy independence passed 25 years ago. — PZS

Miller-McCune:

“Year after year, decade after decade, we’ve chosen delay over decisive action,” [Obama] said. “… Now America has arrived at a crossroads. Embedded in American soil and the wind and the sun, we have the resources to change. … It will be the policy of my administration to reverse our dependence on foreign oil. …”

Yet absent any tougher rules, Americans won’t be getting more than 40 miles per gallon, on average, by 2035, the forecast shows. There would be only a 5-miles-per-gallon improvement in efficiency between 2016 and 2035. European cars already average roughly 40 miles per gallon. China is aiming for at least 42 miles per gallon — by 2015.

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