President Gerald R. Ford Addressed the Nation on May 27, 1975 from the Oval Office on the country’s energy problems. President Ford believed that America must avoid dependency on foreign sources of energy. He believed that by 1985, the U.S. would be importing over half of the oil needed for its economy, putting the U.S. at greater risk of an oil embargo, loss of American jobs and increase in exporting of U.S. dollars.
Four months earlier, President Ford presented to Congress a program “designed to conserve the energy we now had, while speeding up the development and production of new domestic energy”. President Ford understood that his plan would increase the cost of energy for Americans, but believed his course was the best way to keep U.S. dollars in the U.S. and keep American jobs in America.
In a battle with Democratic leaders of the House & Senate, President Ford stated that he would use his Presidential Authority to increase taxes on imported crude oil on the first day for three straight months starting in March. Instead of acting on the energy crisis, Congress attempted to suspend President Ford’s tax increase on imports so that they could have more time to review the problem and come up with a solution. Congress did not act on the energy problem throughout February, March, April or May. President Ford vetoed the bill and addressed the nation to inform Americans that action must be taken. He then imposed a greater tax on imported crude oil.
President Ford historic quote: ” I vetoed the anti-energy bill last week because I would not take a step back on energy, while Congress refuses to take one step forward on energy”.