Proclamation 4909 -- National Energy Education Day, 1982
March 10, 1982 By the President of the United States
Over its two-hundred-year history, this nation grew and prospered through the abundant production and use of energy. The American people began by using wood for nearly all of their needs, started using coal in large quantities in the mid-1800's, and moved to large-scale oil and gas use in the early part of the twentieth century.
All of these energy sources will continue to have an important role. But new sources are coming along as well: atomic power, now used to generate more than 12 percent of our electricity; solar energy; synthetic fuels; biomass; and a host of other new technologies.
The significant innovations in energy that took place over the past two hundred years were the product of the vision and foresight of citizens working through our free market economy.
Today, with our own precious resources more limited, an important share of our energy supplies is threatened by political uncertainties in oil exporting regions. It is critical that our nation continue to take advantage of the ingenuity and talent of the American people to produce and consume energy efficiently.
Toward this end, my Administration has removed oil price controls and eliminated over 200 burdensome regulations associated with those controls. In so doing, we have provided new incentives for private industry to develop domestic energy resources and produce domestic energy supplies that were not feasible with fuel prices set at an artificially low level. Realistic pricing, of course, has also encouraged consumers to use energy more efficiently.
The decontrol of oil prices has been a success. Despite higher economic growth in 1981 than predicted:
Oil consumption has fallen by 1.1 million barrels per day.
Net oil imports have dropped below one-third of consumption for the first time since 1972.
Oil production began to increase for the first time in a decade.
Oil prices actually fell in real terms.
The challenge ahead is to create a healthy economy that enables citizens, businesses, and state and local governments to make rational energy production and consumption decisions which reflect the true value of this nation's resources.
Today, more than ever, it is important for all Americans to understand that the United States and its allies are participants in a world energy market. Our effectiveness in that market depends in large measure on our ability to unleash the industrial and economic strengths of this nation.
To focus our attention on energy education for the young -- in both public and private schools, and at all grade levels -- and in an effort to bring together teachers, school officials, and parent groups to help our children understand our domestic and international energy situation now and in the future, the 97th Congress has by Senate Joint Resolution 84 proclaimed March 19, 1982, as National Energy Education Day.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon all citizens and government officials to observe Friday, March 19, 1982, as National Energy Education Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I direct all agencies of the Federal government to cooperate with and participate in the celebration of National Energy Education Day.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 10th day of March, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:22 a.m., March 11, 1982]
Note: The text of the proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on March 11.