NSSDC's OMNI dataset, which now spans 1963-1999, contains a collection of hourly means of interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) and solar wind (SW) plasma parameters measured near the Earth's orbit, as well as some auxiliary data. We report a study of solar cycle effects in planetary geomagnetic activity in which 27-day averages of several OMNI parameters are compared with equivalent Kp and Dst averages. Some established trends in these parameters over solar cycles are confirmed; for example, it is concluded that changes in the magnitude (rather than in direction) constitute the primary solar cycle variation in the IMF. However, this study also reveals that long-term changes in planetary geomagnetic activity are driven more actively by solar wind-magnetosphere coupling of an electrodynamic nature rather than by plasma transport into the magnetosphere. This suggests that ambient (background) interplanetary “electric” environment (in which the Earth's magnetosphere is immersed over the solar cycles) may play a more significant role in causing changes in the frequency of geomagnetic storms and substorms than previously realized.