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Call it President Richard Nixon’s revenge.

Amid election-year furor over high gasoline prices, something significant has happened to America’s energy outlook. We are steadily reducing our dependence on imported oil — a long-ago Nixon goal. In 1973, he proposed being free of imports by 1980. It didn’t happen, and although politicians of both parties frequently echoed Nixon’s popular call for “energy independence,” most experts considered it a joke.

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