A petrol rationing scheme is being developed in the United States by President Jimmy Carter's administration, officials said on Wednesday (20 April).
GV United States Congress members applauding and President Jimmy Carter preparing to speak
CUS & GVs Carter addressing Congress (7 shots)
GV Congress applauding
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 1: CARTER:"The heart of our energy policy is, the heart of our energy problem is, that we have too much demand for fuel. It keeps going up too quickly, but production goes down. And our primary means of solving this problem is to reduce waste and inefficiency. Oil and natural gas make up about 75 per cent of our reserves. Our demand for oil supplies have been dropping more than 6 per cent. Therefore our imports have risen sharply making us more and more vulnerable if supplies are interrupted. But oil in the 1980's, even foreign oil, will become increasingly scarce.
If it were possible for world demand to continue rising during the next few years at the rate of 5 per cent a year we could use up all the proven reserves in the entire world by the end of the next decade. Tonight I want to outline specific steps by which we can reach those. The proposals fall into these simple categories: first conservation; fourth, development; and of course, fairness or equality, which is a primary consideration in all our proposals. We prefer to reach those goals through voluntary cooperation, with a minimum of coercion. In many cases we propose financial incentives which will encourage people to save energy and will harness the power of our free economy to meet our needs. But I must say to you that voluntary compliance will not be enough.The problem is too large and the time is too short. In a few cases, penalties and restrictions to reduce waste are essential. Now, I want to discuss one of the most controversial and most misunderstood parts of the energy proposals, a standby tax on automobile gasoline. Gasoline consumption represents half of our total oil usage. We simply must save gasoline, and I believe that the American people can meet this challenge. It's a matter of patriotism and a matter of commitment. Between now and 1980, we expect gasoline consumption to rise slightly above the present level. For the following five years, when we have the more efficient cars on the road, we need to reduce consumption each year to reach our target for 1985."
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The two smallest U.S.-built cars at the moment are General Motors' 1600 CC Chevrolet Chevette and the 2300 CC Ford Pinto, which average about 30 miles per gallon. Petrol now costs about 72 to 78 cents an imperial gallon, or 15 to 17 cents a litre. Americans use 294 million U.S. gallons a day, an average of nearly one and a half gallons a head a day. A U.S. gallon is three-quarters of an imperial gallon.
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Background: A petrol rationing scheme is being developed in the United States by President Jimmy Carter's administration, officials said on Wednesday (20 April). The scheme would be for use if United States oil imports were cut off, of if the world's oil supply decreased faster than predicted. However, the plan was not mentioned by President Carter when he declared his "energy war" to Congress on Wednesday night. Mr Carter unveiled a stringent energy-saving programme which included stiff increases in petrol tax. He asked Congress for authority to raise the Tax on petrol from the present 4 cents a gallon by up to 50 cents from January 1979, unless consumption is controlled.
SYNOPSIS: The speech was made to a joint session of both houses.