Following is the text of President Carter's opening statement at his White House conference last night:
My fellow citizens and men and women of the press, 10 days ago I spoke to you about my deep concern for the future of our country about a crisis of the American spirit which I know to be just as real as the problems that face us on energy or inflation or any aother problems of a material nature.
But I aslo know that we can overcome these crisis by uniting in a common purpose as we have done so often in the past when our nation faces a serious challenge.
The opportunity which we now have is to seize control of our energy future -- to work together to overcome our dangerous overdependence on foreign oil. Millions Of Americans have responded positively to what I said because they know that I'm telling the truth.
We have lost confidence in our government and we have lost confidence many other institutions. All of our know that.But we also know that we can overcome the pessimism and with patriotism and hard work we can move forward together as Americans.
In these 10 days since I addressed the antion, I have moved swiftly -- I do not believe too swiftly -- to create a better administration team to work with me: a team that will be unified, a team that will be filled with confidence, a tema that will be in good fighting shape to face the problems together. And during this same period I have proposed to the Congress a bold program to harness American ingentuity and to harness American strength to lay a groundwork for American energy security.
This massive effort will cost a great deal of money funds that can only come from a windfall profits tax on the oil companies, a tax on profits which oil companies have not earned. The American people overwhelmingly support such a tax -- a message clearly demonstrated by the action already taken by the House of Representatives of our U.S Congress, which has passsed a bill which will finance the energy proposals that I have made and still leave plenty of new funds, additional funds, for the oil and new gas within our own country.
Now it is the turn of the United States Senate to act, and there will be a massive struggled to gut the windfall profits tax bill. If this happens then we cannot reach our energy goals. I want to serve notice tonight that I will do everything in my power as president to see that the windfall profits tax is passed because I consider it to be crucial to our nation's future.
I need your help. I need the help of the poeple of America. This is a democracy. Your voice can be heard. Your voice must be heard. Those of you who believed in the future of your country, those of you believe that our energy program must be passed, please speak to the Congress of the United States and especially to the United States Senate, which still has the responsibility to act.
Based on this windfall profits tax on the oil companies, we will have the resources to meet the energy chalenge which we must face together in the future and we will have taken a major step towards uniting our country in the effort to restore our spirit, the spirit of America and our confidence, our confidence as people in the future of our great country.
Thank you very much. . . .