Posted tagged ‘high gas prices’

The Day The Gas Ran Out….

May 15, 2009

Former president Jimmy Carter sat before Congress recently complaining that things haven’t changed much since he was president with regard to dependence on oil.

And he warned the problems we faced back then when the gas ran out are bound to happen again.

The gas stopped flowing late in 1973, when the oil producing countries of the Middle East decided to teach the world a lesson..

On October 17, 1973 OPEC, the oil cartel voted to stop shipping petroleum to countries that were supporting Israel in a war with two of its Arab neighbors.

That conflict began when Egypt and Syria attacked Israel during the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kipper.

The effect of the embargo was swift and dramatic.

Gas prices jumped from about 25 cents a gallon to nearly a dollar—if you could get gas.

Service stations ran out of fuel.

People waited in lines for two or three hours to buy gas—which service station operators voluntarily rationed to stretch their supply as much as possible.

A nationwide speed limit of 55mph was imposed to save fuel—and the Department of Energy was formed to create a cohesive energy policy…

On March 17, 1974 OPEC voted to end the embargo—but the United States was wary–and was looking at conservation….

In 1977, in a speech that was rife with conservation symbolism, newly inaugurated President Jimmy Carter sat next to a lit fireplace, in a sweater—talking about creating a long range energy policy for our country.

But in 1979—the gas ran out AGAIN.

This time the precipitating cause was the Ayatollah Khomenini’s Iranian revolution that forced the dictatorial Shah of Iran from the country.

Once again— shortages created gas lines…

Service stations shut down several days a week—and gas was available either on odd or even days—depending on the whether the last number of your license plate was odd or even..

The situation got so bad—the government printed gas rationing coupons—but they were never issued…

People lowered heating thermostats to 65 degrees—and tried other ways to conserve petroleum…

Eventually the shortages abated..

Now, more than 30 years later, many of the initiatives proposed in the 70’s under Jimmy Carter have gone unheeded.

Had we worked toward energy independence THEN— we might not be in the situation we’re in now.

After a brief respite—gas prices are on the march upward again. And as they burn more and more of our disposable income, are we going to let another 30 years slide by before we do anything— or are we going to demand our leaders begin crash programs now to help mitigate our energy problems today?

The choice is yours.

Don’t let them fuel us again.

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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