Surely, Americans are asking questions about the severe energy crisis facing our country. Most ask why something was not done about it sooner or, where was our foresight? Some ask, who is responsible for allowing this to happen?The entire problem could have been avoided if the advice of one, single, solitary individual had been heeded. That individual was a Nevada athlete and both an engineer and researcher for the State of Nevada. He was chosen by the residents of that state to be their United States Senator.
He spoke at length on only two subjects. One was sound money. The second was United States development of essential strategic minerals, metals and fuels. Speeches involving these subjects were made as often as he could attain the podium. Most of his colleagues in the Senate found his speeches so boring, they left the floor whenever he rose to speak.
It was Time Magazine that called him “The Worst Senator in the Senate”. He became Chairman of the Minerals, Materials and Fuels Subcommittee and, in 1954, over five decades ago, he produced an encyclopedic study entitled, “Accessibility of Strategic and Critical Materials to the United States in Time of War and for our Expanding Economy”.
That document is generally considered by professional scientists, engineers and geologists to be the greatest ever produced by the Senate. To this day, scholars in the Department of the Interior say it requires but statistical updating to be current.
Just about everything the Senator predicted has come true. He was progressive and a rock-rib conservative. Maybe, his philosophical conservatism was responsible for the hostile attitude towards him. He was under constant pressure and ridicule and, was continuously outvoted by his liberal colleagues. A left-leaning press bent over backwards to criticize him at every opportunity.
His nickname was “Molly”. His real name was George W. Malone. Had some of his most vociferous critics in the Senate heeded his advice and read and understood his report, we might not be crying now about an energy crisis, skyrocketing fuel and home heating costs or demanding sudden “self-sufficiency” in oil availability.
In June of 1954, in the Malone report, he declared, ” The Western Hemisphere can become completely self-sufficient in necessary materials and fuel during both peace and wartime”. He warned that, “To a very dangerous extent, the vital security of this nation is in serious jeopardy. We are dependent for many of our essential raw materials on sources in far off lands. Many of these critical materials, including oil, are under the control of possibly fickle allies or timid neutrals. Others are virtually under the guns of our potential enemies”.
And, in what is perhaps a more devastating conclusion, Malone indicated that none of this vulnerability need exist. He stated that long overdue corrective measures should be taken. This was 1954. Senator Malone recommended immediate United States Government appropriation of research and development funds and, encouragement for U.S. industry to erect a large-scale oil-shale facility to advance the production of petroleum fuel on a commercial basis. He indicated there were huge deposits in Alaska that could be pumped without disturbing the natural environment or wild life. He urged research and studies on low temperature carbonization of coal and, ways and means to revive the coal industry.
Sen. Malone urged large-scale production of uranium for development of nuclear power that could provide abundant electricity for industry and civilian use. He demanded
immediate improvement of our petroleum, gas and coal reserves to assure maximum availability of needed domestic fuels in peace and wartime for our economy and national security.