We started importing middle east oil in the 50s with the baby boom generation. We had 9 presidents in a row (sans trump) on video state we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil which go all the way back to the 60s and it could go back to the 50s. Then finally we got screwed in the 70s then we got screwed again in 2005. Because we really don't have enough oil left to control the -price- like we could in the 50s. The price is actually what kills us economically and cost trillions to get out of the recession.
Lead, mercury, agent orange, smog, etc. fall under the EPA umbrella as well, and you are correct there are multiple goals of the EPA. But efficiency is one of them because the more efficient you are the less you pollute per unit of output. In other words, you can use either argument and they are both correct.
The EPA also targeted coal, especially efficiency because they projected back in the 50s we were going to run out and prices skyrocketed so we installed a ton of nuclear until 3 mile island. Then used the EPA to keep bumping up efficiency and reducing emissions.
I thought it was required for 911 services on all cell phones because people were calling and the 911 wasn't getting routed correctly to the correct 911. I tried to look it up, but google is failing me right now.
Yes, I agree we need to quit selling ourselves short. We got locked into the mentality of Corporate US was going to save us, but really it just cannibilized all the smaller competing businesses. Corporate America was interested in mass production and the void was filled by small shops in other parts of the world.