The Virtues of Doing Nothing

An energy program based on less direction from Washington

Richard Nixon called it Project Independence; Jimmy Carter labeled it the "moral equivalent of war." Last week Ronald Reagan offered his own version of a national energy policy. Unlike preceding plans, the new approach calls, predictably enough, for less Government involvement in solving American energy problems.

In contrast to the insistent salesmanship of Jimmy Carter, who unfurled his 1977 national energy plan during a televised network address from the Oval Office, the Reagan White House downplayed its own energy debut to the point of near invisibility. Energy Department staffers simply presented the skimpy, 35-page...

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