1980 David Koch: “Free Up the Energy System”

This document contains the prepared remarks for a speech given by David Koch on May 31, 1980, in Portland, Oregon, while he was campaigning for Vice President of the United States on the Libertarian Party ticket. The speech focuses almost entirely on limiting the government’s role in the energy industry. It also criticizes the inability of “establishment politicians to carry out their promises of deregulation.”

This document was also highlighted in an article in the New York Times written by Nicholas Confessore: “Quixotic ’80 Campaign Gave Birth to Kochs’ Powerful Network” (2014).

Select excerpts from Koch’s prepared remarks include:

  1. “If Ed Clark is elected president he will let the free market work… He will eliminate all subsidies to energy producers. Oil companies and other energy firms should have to make it on their own without shifting their risks to the taxpayers.”
  2. “Specifically, a Clark administration will abolish the Department of Energy, whose only functions are to interfere with energy production and distribution and hand out subsides. We will repeal all price and import controls, allowing supply and demand to set energy prices.”
  3. “We will repeal the entitlements program and the misnamed ‘windfall profits’ tax, both of which discourage domestic production.”
  4. “Is there a place for solar, wind, an other alternative energy sources in America’s future? Only a free market can tell us… If these forms of energy are economically viable, they will be developed in a free market.”  
  5. “Let’s get the politicians’ hands off our energy supply.”