The United States likely will not generate a large portion of its power from green energy any time soon, but the nation”s abundant natural gas reserves could provide a new path toward achieving energy security, former President Jimmy Carter said in a Sept. 18 interview on Platts Energy Week.

In the television interview from The Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta, Carter reflected on his energy legacy, which includes the creation of the Department of Energy in 1977, a strong push for energy conservation and renewable energy, as well as spiraling oil prices.

Although Carter once pledged the nation would generate 20 percent of its electricity from renewable power sources, such as solar and wind, he said at current rates “it”ll be a long time,” before the U.S. reaches that goal. He blamed subsequent presidents for failing to continue the policies he set in motion.

“All of the presidents since then, Democratic and Republican, have basically been overly complacent,” both about the nation”s energy security and reliance on fossil fuels, Carter told Platts.

But Carter said the recent discovery of massive natural gas reserves was a positive development, and one that would lessen the need for foreign energy imports.

“If you substitute for some of the dreams I had on solar energy the newly realized supply of natural gas then we can reach that goal in a different way,” Carter said.

In the long term, Carter said, the U.S. will inevitably move toward a cleaner energy future, with less dependence on foreign imports.

“If the Americans don”t get the message from ordinary intelligence and study and political leadership, they will have to get the message from crises that will arise in the future that threaten the well-being of our country,” Carter said.

To view the Platts Energy Week interview with Jimmy Carter, click here.