ENERGY: Project Realism

Richard Nixon's Project Independence goal of making the U.S. self-sufficient in energy by 1980 has always seemed impossibly visionary. Still, planning for the project has gone ahead, only now in an atmosphere of far greater realism. Last week Federal Energy Administrator John Sawhill opened four days of Project Independence hearings in Manhattan by acknowledging candidly that the U.S. will always need to import some oil.

Businessmen and prominent public figures who spoke at the hearings were equally frank. One of the most optimistic predictions came from Thornton Bradshaw, president of Atlantic Richfield, who thought that the U.S. could reduce its...

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