Aside from using the price of gas, heating oil, and electricity as a measure, take a look at the statistics of how well served the folks are by the Department of Energy.
Under President Jimmy Carter, The ‘Department of Energy’ was instituted on August 4, 1977. Its purpose was to lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
Imports: In 1977, 8,565,000 barrels of oil (net) per day, or 37.3%. For 2009, 9,667,000 barrels per day, or 51%
Domestic production has declined. The U.S. produced 3 billion barrels of oil in 1977. By 2009, that was reduced to 1.95 billion, according to the EIA.
Oil consumption in the U.S. is up, not down. In 1977, the U.S.consumed 18.4 million barrels of oil per day. In 2009, we consumed 18.77 million barrels per day, making the U.S. the world’s largest petroleum consumer.
Gasoline usage has grown significantly. In 1977, the U.S. utilized 7.1 million barrels/day of gasoline. In 2009, Americans used 8,997,000 barrels/day, or 378 million gallons/day.
Gasoline prices have continued to rise. In 1979, the average price of gasoline in the U.S. was $0.58 per gallon, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Adjusted for inflation, that is the equivalent of $1.85 in 2010 dollars. In 2009, the average price of gasoline in the United States was $2.88 per gallon. During 2008, oil prices reached a record high of $145 a barrel, with gasoline prices of more than $4 per gallon throughout much of the nation.
A huge federal bureaucracy was created. The Department of Energy brought together under one Cabinet secretary more than 50 agencies that dealt with energy, including the Atomic Energy Commission. Upon its creation in 1977, according to official estimates, the new DOE employed a total of 20,000 people. Today, the Department of Energy has 16,000 permanent employees and 100,000 contract employees around the nation.
The agency’s budget, meanwhile, has ballooned from $8.4 billion in Fiscal Year 1980 to $26.5 billion in FY2010.
Good intentions do not necessarily translate to good results, especially where the federal government is concerned. Matter of fact, the Dept. of Energy and the Dept. of Education (both DOE’s) should be the first to go in cutting government waste.