By on October 21, 2013

Landscape

Forty years ago this month, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (consisting of OPEC’s Arab members plus Egypt, Syria and Tunisia) began an oil embargo that would last through March of 1974.

The cause of the embargo: Intervention. During the Yom Kippur War between Egypt and Syria versus Israel, other Arab nations had lent their support to their brothers in northern Africa (as well as the Soviet Union, who supplied weapons). In turn, the United States helped their ally (who had gone on full nuclear alert) by supplying arms and other goods through President Richard Nixon’s authorization of Operation Nickle Grass. This prompted OAPEC to respond by beginning an oil embargo whose effects still linger to this day.

In the United States — the main target of the embargo –this led to long lines at the pumps during the weekdays (after a suggestion by Nixon that gas station owners voluntarily not sell fuel on Saturday night and Sunday; 90 percent complied with the suggestion), odd-even fuel rationing, three-color flag systems denoting availability (or lack thereof) of any fuel, and the passing of the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act, better known as the act that would set the national speed limit at 55 mph for the next two decades.

Though the first oil crisis would end when OAPEC accepted the promise of a settlement negotiated between Syria and Israel through the United States, the effects of the five-month-long embargo would linger for the rest of the decade and beyond.

Prior to the embargo, the most popular cars sold were large and in charge with big V8s to pull them along the highway. After the shock, however, most motorists sought out smaller, more fuel efficient offerings from Europe and Japan. The shock also gave birth to compact trucks, such as the Chevrolet LUV and Toyota Hilux, and prompted the Big Three to offer their own import fighters prior to downsizing their entire lineup of cars by the end of the 1970s, and the switch to front-wheel drive that would come to dominate the 1980s.

The shock also affected motorsports, with the cancellation of both the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1974, and NASCAR reducing all race distances by 10 percent.

And of course, the 1973 oil crisis set off the movement to find as many energy sources as possible (and ways to conserve said energy) to reduce if not outright eliminate dependence on foreign oil, as any Albertan or North Dakotan could explain in detail today to anyone who will listen.

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149 Comments on “The 1973 Oil Crisis: 40 Years Later...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I used to do my homework while sitting in line for gas

  • avatar
    bachewy

    I was 7 when this happened so my few recollections of it were waiting in long lines and hearing my Dad complain about what was going on. He would also stop the gas pump at $1 increments to ensure the gas station didn’t ‘fix’ the pumps to charge more money.

    I didn’t realize the 55mph speed limit took effect because of the embargo. I do remember trips took an excruciating amount of time because of it.

    Worst – all those 85mph speedometers placed in cars so folks wouldn’t be tempted to break the law. I’m sure there’s an argument over how successful that was or not. I’m personally much happier that cars (and bikes) now come with speedometers showing what each vehicle is (supposedly) capable of instead.

    • 0 avatar
      LeeK

      The manufacturers unfortunately swung the pendulum too far into fantasy land, I’m afraid. My GTI has a 180 MPH speedometer, yet the car is electronically governed to 125. Even if you remove the governor with a tune hack, it can only get to about 140 before aerodynamic drag takes over. So what we get is a speedometer that only has a small section of it that is ever used, say from the seven o’clock to ten o’clock positions, all incredibly cramped together so you have to look hard to see whether you are going 45 MPH or 49 MPH.

      I wish there were some sanity in the delineations of modern speedometers.

      • 0 avatar
        Russycle

        +1

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Depends on your vehicle, I wish Ford would have saw fit to put a 200 mph speedo in the 07-09 GT500. The car is fitted with a 160 mph speedo and stock is governed to 155 mph, with the speed limiter removed the car will ( extremely long stretch) go 180 or so mph with no other modification.

        Maybe it was wisdom on Ford’s part? As burying the needle will create a sort of psychological speed limiter as there is no real point in keeping it floored until the car stops accelerating.

        However, the average speed function on the DIC might circumvent the speedo restriction when you reset it and the vehicle reads the current speed as the average speed??? Then there are the various GPS based navigation ( smart phone included) units that will read your speed as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Beerboy12

        As far as I know most speedometers show a theoretical top speed. Top gear gearing vs max revs. This does not take wind, road and drive train resistance into account. Also, there is some fantasy or creative “safety margines” involved ;-)

    • 0 avatar
      GS650G

      My old Suzuki bikes have 85 MPH speedometers. I think of it as a 3rd to 4th shift indicator when the needle bounces off the pin. Thankfully the tachometer goes to 9 grand so I can determine how expensive a ticket might be.
      My car has a 150 MPH speedometer and I’ve seen 140 on it so it’s about right.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      There is sanity in why speedometers have readouts far above what a vehicle will do. The logic is simply that as a car goes faster, the deviation of the speedometer gauge becomes greater. So, a speedometer that goes to 120mph will be more accurate at 65mph than, say, one that only goes to 85mph.

      One of the best examples of this is the 85mph speedometer that was used on early Fox Mustangs. While the speedometer only read to 85mph, the location of the 85mph scale was exactly where it would be if the speedometer read to 120mph. All Ford did was omit the numbers past 85mph. The needle’s arc would still continue past 85 as if the numbers were still there. So, it retained the accuracy of a 120mph speedometer, you just had to guess at your speed past 85.

      • 0 avatar
        Japanese Buick

        I remember renting a Town Car with a digital speedo. I wondered what it would do above 85 so I tried it on I-95 in the north woods of Maine. It simply stopped counting up and continued to read 85 while the speed increased.

        I grew up and learned to drive in the 55 era. Today it still feels like I’m getting away with something when I can set the cruise at 75 and not worry about getting pulled over. In my younger days that was “lose your license” speed, on the same roads.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    I was stationed in Europe when this embargo went down but we continued to drive to work because under the Status of Forces Agreement, US military were exempted and could buy gas freely using the Esso coupons.

    In the end, the embargo hurt the OPEC members more than it did the US since Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, and other non-OPEC nations sold crude to the US. Many of those trade-bonds still exist today because of OPEC!

    To me it was a real shame that America decided to cut back on its own oil production and instead choose to develop the oil fields of the Middle East. Entire regions in America were devastated when America’s economic policy favored oil importation over developing America’s own resources. In many places across America, crude still bubbles up out of the ground and there are no takers.

    As far as the political aspect of backing the Israelis: That was cast in stone in 1947 with the emergence of the Jewish State after the end of WWII. Israel is in effect America’s 51st State and has been since 1947.

    America is rich in natural resources with oil being just one of them. We won’t run out of oil for at least the next 200 years yet, if ever. Oil will always be available, albeit at a price. And oil products remain a bargain at any price.

    America should develop alternative methods of energy like wind, solar, geothermal, wave, switchgrass-ethanol, nuclear, etc, but none will be as economical as good old oil.

    Oil built America. Without oil we would not be the premier economic, industrial and military power in the world.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      “We won’t run out of oil for at least the next 200 years yet, if ever.”

      What makes you think that?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        steve, search “crude oil reserves” and read up. If you can tap into the money/investment/speculation sites, even better.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Running out of oil is an unpleasant thought. Therefore, it can’t happen.

        See how easy that was?

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          Funny how you avoid trading facts on this one, PCH. Now we know you are on the losing side of this one.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            US proven reserves as of 2011 (latest data from the EIA): 29 billion barrels

            Annual US consumption as of 2011: 6.87 billion (and that figure includes biofuel)

            Divide 29 by 6.87. Not a very big number, now is it?

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Lol, “proven reserves” is a financial and legal term. IOW, it has nothing to do with reality.

            I respect your knowledge of finance, but I know many people who know oil. None of them believe we have reached anywhere near peak oil.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Your good friends to the North have at least another 180 billion proven barrels left as well.

            If you count all the world’s oil reserves including those held by less than completely amiable countries, it’s not hard to see that at current consumption rates, the world could have 100-200 years worth of pertroleum left.

            The uncertainty is in whether they will share it and at what price.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Proven reserves” is an oil industry term. It’s not particularly amusing.

            Proven reserves don’t account for all oil, but they do account for the oil that has been quantified. I wouldn’t recommend that you depend on making long-term predictions about oil that hasn’t been quantified — counting unhatched chickens isn’t usually a wise idea.

            “Your good friends to the North have at least another 180 billion proven barrels left as well.”

            While that’s a comforting thought, Canada is an independent country and we can’t bank on always having unfettered access to its resources.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            ” I wouldn’t recommend that you depend on making long-term predictions about oil that hasn’t been quantified — counting unhatched chickens isn’t usually a wise idea.”

            I agree. There are many uncertainties. But there have been many predictions in the past about running out of oil being just around the corner going back a century.

            Extraction and exploration technology marches on and we keep finding and pulling up more. We aren’t anywhere near done yet.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I disagree, PCH is the voice of reason on this topic. Read Twilight in the Desert by Simmons and learn about how the Saudis kept changing their “proven reserves” and you’ll realize just how much of a variable it really it. The West also assumed they would have exclusive access to Iranian and Venezuelan oil resources as well, look how it eventually turned out.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            If you mean by “Oil Industry Term” a term that they all know and use, yes. That’s because oil is a regulated business that people enter to make money, and so they all have become financially literate. It’s big business.

            However, it has zero meaning outside of the financial aspects of the business. Guys who find and produce oil never needed the term until the accountants and finance guys demanded a way to measure value. It measures value of holdings with very little correlation to real amounts of oil on the planet. Geologists will tell you with good certainty that there is lots of oil off the left and right coasts, but they are not proven reserves because they lack the proof. End the nonsensical bans on drilling and they will get “proven” almost overnight.

            I don’t know how else to explain it to you. Call an oil company IR department, or google it.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            According to the Society of Petroleum Engineers:

            “Proved reserves are those quantities of petroleum which, by analysis of geological and engineering data, can be estimated with reasonable certainty to be commercially recoverable, from a given date forward, from known reservoirs and under current economic conditions, operating methods, and government
            regulations.”

            That doesn’t sound particularly meaningless.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            We are discussing years supply of oil. Credit score is also a meaningful term to some poor souls. Using proven reserves as a measure of the worlds supply of oil is like using credit scores to determine the world supply of gold.

            Since you are trying to change the argument to a meta argument, I think I have proven my point.

            I will be bet any amount of money that we won’t run out of oil in 10 years. I can get backed by any number of rich oil men who will take the bet. You get all the financiers to back you, and we can meet in Vegas to place the wager.

            I believe the number of financiers willing to bet millions on your financial term being meaningful to a real world application are fairly few.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            …..under current economic conditions, operating methods…..

            This piece is key. 10 years after the Middle East brought American “dominance” to its knees, nobody knew we would have such advances to extract more and more oil/gas out of the ground. Today, things like horizontal drilling and fracking are releasing a lot of energy reserves that were previously too expensive or impossible to tap. However, some of these methods like fracking come with a potential high long term price. So does the continual release of carbon into the air. Not particularly of concern to some of those here on this thread perhaps, but the evidence continues to mount. Nonetheless, this is what we have for now. We can either use this opportunity to operate efficiently while we develop other energy sources, of which nuclear has to become a big part, or we can waste it and find ourselves going full circle and being in much the same place we were in 1973. The choice is America’s to make. I am not particularly optimistic if history means anything.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Since you are trying to change the argument to a meta argument…”

            I was merely correcting your misrepresentation of the source of the definition of “proved reserves.”

            “We are discussing years supply of oil.”

            I specifically pointed out that not all oil was included in proven reserves. However, US proved reserves are low, and we don’t really benefit from having revisionists blow off this fact as if it makes no difference. You’re seeing just what you want to see, instead of the total picture.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            You didn’t prove anything about the term. It’s purpose is still financial and has nothing to do wit the actual amount of oil on the planet or in the country – Nothing, Nada, Zilch.

            You can’t change your initial argument. We are not running out of oil. I would venture we have 100 times the proven reserves or more.

            Your statement is a bet on scarcity. Proven reserves tells you nothing about how much oil there is. Given my age, I don’t want bet past 20 years. That is TRIPLE proven reserves by your statement. Bet or no bet?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            So the Society of Petroleum Engineers are a bunch of accountants, because you say so?

            Gee, I learn something new everyday.

            “I would venture we have 100 times the proven reserves or more.”

            Not even close.

            http://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/worldshalegas/pdf/overview.pdf

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Finding a definition for a term on someone’s website doesn’t make them the source of the term.

            Once again, a BS meta argument dodge.

            When will you realize that arguing about some side issue doesn’t get you anywhere with me anymore.

            We aren’t running out. You made a snide remark that we were. WRONG!

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            But the figure Obama uses — proved oil reserves — vastly undercounts how much oil the U.S. actually contains. In fact, far from being oil-poor, the country is awash in vast quantities — enough to meet all the country’s oil needs for hundreds of years.

            The U.S. has 22.3 billion barrels of proved reserves, a little less than 2% of the entire world’s proved reserves, according to the Energy Information Administration. But as the EIA explains, proved reserves “are a small subset of recoverable resources,” because they only count oil that companies are currently drilling for in existing fields.

            When you look at the whole picture, it turns out that there are vast supplies of oil in the U.S., according to various government reports. Among them:

            At least 86 billion barrels of oil in the Outer Continental Shelf yet to be discovered, according to the government’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

            About 24 billion barrels in shale deposits in the lower 48 states, according to EIA.

            Up to 2 billion barrels of oil in shale deposits in Alaska’s North Slope, says the U.S. Geological Survey.

            Up to 12 billion barrels in ANWR, according to the USGS.

            As much as 19 billion barrels in the Utah tar sands, according to the Bureau of Land Management.

            Then, there’s the massive Green River Formation in Wyoming, which according to the USGS contains a stunning 1.4 trillion barrels of oil shale — a type of oil released from sedimentary rock after it’s heated.

            A separate Rand Corp. study found that about 800 billion barrels of oil shale in Wyoming and neighboring states is “technically recoverable,” which means it could be extracted using existing technology. That’s more than triple the known reserves in Saudi Arabia.

            All told, the U.S. has access to 400 billion barrels of crude that could be recovered using existing drilling technologies, according to a 2006 Energy Department report.

            When you include oil shale, the U.S. has 1.4 trillion barrels of technically recoverable oil, according to the Institute for Energy Research, enough to meet all U.S. oil needs for about the next 200 years, without any imports.

            And even this number could be low, since such estimates tend to go up over time.

            Back in 1995, for example, the USGS figured there were 151 million barrels of oil in North Dakota’s Bakken formation. In 2008, it upped that estimate to 3 billion barrels to 4.3 billion barrels — a 25-fold increase. Now, some oil analysts say there could be as much as 20 billion barrels there.

            And USGS in 2002 quadrupled its oil estimate in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve.

            To be sure, energy companies couldn’t profitably recover all this oil — even at today’s prices — and what they could wouldn’t make it to market for years. But from the industry’s perspective, the real problem with domestic oil is that the government has roped off most of these supplies.

            The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, for example, put a huge swatch of land off-limits to drilling. And in 1982, Congress blocked access to most of the oil in the Outer Continental Shelf. Much of the oil on federal lands is also off-limits.

            Obama and others say the industry’s claim about lack of access isn’t true, since they aren’t even using many of the offshore leases they already have. The industry counters that this is misleading, since a company needs the lease before it can determine if any oil exists there — a potentially time-consuming process.

            In any case, any attempt to get at these vast new oil supplies is sure to face fierce opposition from environmental groups worried about oil production’s direct impact on the environment, as well as global warming worries.

            But given today’s prices, most of the public is willing to expand drilling offshore, in ANWR, and in shale oil reserves, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll.

            “This is not a geological problem — it’s a political problem,” said Dan Kish, senior vice president for policy at the Institute for Energy Research. “We’ve embargoed our own supplies.”

            Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/031412-604303-oil-abundant-in-the-united-states.htm#ixzz2iQ634m2C
            Follow us: @IBDinvestors on Twitter | InvestorsBusinessDaily on Facebook

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          We can’t run out of oil for the same reason we can’t run out of trees. We can grow and synthesize the lipids in oil at our convenience.

          Doesn’t mean it’s cost effective to synthesize or grow petroleum, but we will never run out. We didn’t run out of wood when wood was overtaken by coal. We didn’t run out of coal when coal was overtaken by oil. We won’t run out of oil when we decide to stop using it. Like coal, I doubt oil will be cost ineffective when we decide to stop using it. We will simply want something else or we will want to consume a fraction of what we consume today.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Doesn’t mean it’s cost effective to synthesize or grow petroleum”

            If oil becomes too costly to consume, then we will have, for all intents and purposes, run out of oil.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            It means we’ve found a substitute

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “It means we’ve found a substitute”

            If we’ve found a substitute for oil, then oil prices should plummet since there won’t be as much demand for it.

            If oil prices were to skyrocket, then that would almost certainly be attributable to the lack of a substitute. And as of today, we have no viable substitutes for oil.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            “If we’ve found a substitute for oil, then oil prices should plummet since there won’t be as much demand for it.

            If oil prices were to skyrocket, then that would almost certainly be attributable to the lack of a substitute. And as of today, we have no viable substitutes for oil.”

            Define “viable”.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @LeMansteve

        The funny thing about oil is that the more it costs, the more there is of it. At $15/bbl, the only oil that is worth getting is the stuff that pretty much just runs right out of the ground. At $100/bbl, suddenly we have an oil boom in the Dakotas and Canada, and even old “dry” fields in Texas and California are pumping again, because you can afford the technology to get oil out of them. At $300/bbl maybe we can afford to mine Jupiter with robot probes…

        And of course, as the price rises, the incentive to reduce usage becomes worthwhile. I have said this here before, but when I first bought my house, heating oil was only $.70/gal. There was NO incentive to spend $15K on a new furnace and new windows, because the payback time was basically the rest of my life. At $4/gal, it was well worth it to upgrade, and I went from using 1200 gallons a year to less than 400 gallons, and the work paid for itself in 4.5 years. And of course alternatives like wind, solar, and nuclear become more viable. Economics 101.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          The more it costs…. The cost of rice and rent is also going up.

          It has to be profitable for any venture to go out there and make the effort worthwhile. In some places the stuff still bubbles up out of the ground.

          I was a teen during the time when gas cost 25-cents a gallon. Yet I buy much more of it today than I ever did mindlessly cruising down the boulevards of Southern California Beach cities and towns in search of some strange.

          Price is relative. You either have the money, or you don’t. If you have the money, you buy the gas and drive.

          If you don’t have the money you hoof it or find other ways to get around.

          Like many Americans, I’ll buy the gas until my money runs out. Who gets hurt along the way are the coffee shops and fast-food places I visit on a daily basis.

          My sushi-man told me that when gas was priced high his business fell off 80%. And the German lady who runs a koffee-klatch told me her business dropped 80% when gas was high.

          My grand daughters both work part-time at McDonalds and when gas was high they said a lot fewer people came to buy after school.

          So high gas prices? Who does it hurt? The small business owners. That’s who.

          People are not going to buy any less gas or diesel just because it costs more. Our lifestyle is built on fossils.

          Can’t live without it.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            This^

            High gas prices hurt businesses more then anything else, I’m going to buy my gas, price be damned, but the trip to the Mexican restaurant, is less then necessary.

            If you completely remove yourself from all media sources and talk to people who actually work in the fields, oil replenishes itself much faster then many like to think.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Unleaded gasoline was 90 cents to roughly $1 a gallon in the 1988 to 1991 period, and then hit a low of about 95 cents a gallon again AS recently as 1999.

            I remember both these time frames well, for whatever reasons (I remember 1999 well, as I was used to filling up my 1992 Mustang GT – MANUAL TRANSMISSION FTW – quite often).

            This was in S.E. Michigan.

            The days of affordable gasoline OR ANY other commodity or byproduct thereof were soon to be over as WALL STREET could manipulate pricing by artificially distorting suppy of once The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (aka “Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999″) was passed.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “The days of affordable gasoline OR ANY other commodity or byproduct thereof were soon to be over as WALL STREET could manipulate pricing by artificially distorting suppy of once The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (aka “Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999″) was passed.”

            Can you explain what you mean by this?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “… oil replenishes itself much faster then many like to think.”

            Yes, abiotic oil, I don’t think we’re suppose to know about that

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            danio,

            My grammar wasn’t the best (I hate typing on small touch-screen) but I was giving my opinion that the legislation that I referenced, that became law in 1999, essentially opened the door and gave free reign to banks and financial institutions to collude and engage in other very non free market activities to profit from manipulating the prices of hundreds of commodities through the futures’ markets & by utilizing other ploys (e.g. Goldman Sachs, Barclays & JP Morgan hoarding 90% of aluminum ingots and constricting supply via their warehouse operations, thus driving the price up).

            Before the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was passed, prices of commodities were much more stable & far less expensive z9adjusted for inflation).

            Here’s a really good article in the general problem:

            http://prospect.org/article/commodities-market-big-bank-love-story

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      +1. Preach HDC.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        LOL! Don’t get me started, dude!

        I’ve got too much time on my hands this whole week since two houses we sold closed this morning…….

        But seriously, I’m a firm believer in oil. I’m a gasoline addict and I will pay whatever it costs to buy gasoline. Gasoline is a bargain at any price. It beats walking.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Agreed, and we are lucky to have a massive amount of hydrocarbons available right here in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Personally, I say suck the Middle East dry, then let the ungrateful wankers blow away in the dust.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yet the alarmist-greenweenies will fight tooth and nail to keep America from developing its own resources to the fullest. Economic suicide.

            Being half-German, I have German cousins living in Germany and they tell me that solar has fallen out of favor for many of them.

            Turns out solar wasn’t such a good deal after all. And the sun doesn’t always shine. Makes you wonder, in the land of perpetual cloudiness, what were they thinking!?

            What is really gaining favor there is small, portable, gasoline-fired Honda AC generators like the EU-2000 or EU-3000.

            One of my cousins brought back with him four of them after he last visited us, and many German military Officers stationed in this area are also scooping them up to take back home with them after they complete their training here. They run on gasoline. WTF, right?

            So why Honda? They’re switchable 110/220 60Hz AND they are safe for computerized electronics by using inverters to produce pure sine. Go figure!

            Yamaha makes them as well but they’re not nearly as quiet as the Honda.

            Gasoline wins out again over the much vaunted solar….

            Anyone want to venture out in a PEV towing a Honda EU-6500iSA generator on a trailer behind it? It’s coming!

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Naah, the best long-term approach is to use other people’s (finite) resources when they are cheap, and use your own when they become scarce and costly. The really long-term is to build a grid of orbital solar collectors and start mining Jupiter for hydrogen (hopefully without any pesky Newtypes getting in the mix).

          • 0 avatar
            Felis Concolor

            One for Bumpy:
            Somewhere on an Australian beach is heard the cry: “wot’s that blocking out the sun?”

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            We’ll know solar is a good idea only after the plants making the panels use only solar to do it.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Those plants will also be in orbit. No sense in building them at the bottom of a gravity well with a ton of atmospheric scattering.

            Felis: http://segaretro.org/images/7/7c/GundamSideStory_title.png

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            …..Yamaha makes them as well but they’re not nearly as quiet as the Honda.

            Gasoline wins out again over the much vaunted solar……

            During Hurricane Sandy, my gensets cost me $6 an hour to operate. A mix of propane and gasoline, depending on which machine I ran. And that’s with clean output machines, not a ratty Generhack. I don’t know what solar costs, but in the long run, as petroleum becomes more costly, I would think solar electrical generation will grow and liquid fuel will be used more for transportation

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            golden2husky, even at $6/hr, at least you had power. Many others did not. Having power is priceless!

            My 15KW Generac is now doing duty powering an irrigation well at my wife’s nephew’s farm in Idaho. It was just too damn LOUD for me to use near our residence.

            My current standby’s are a Honda EU-6500iSA for electronics and a Briggs&Stratton 8500 for everything else.

            I had to retire my Ingersoll-Rand and Kubota due to the engines being completely worn out and beyond being economically feasible to repair. I sold the alternators to a shop in Las Cruces.

            BTW, do you know where I can get parts for a WACKER G70 58KW Diesel?

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            http://www.dowdconstructionsupply.com/WackerMobileGenerators.html

            That’s a machine. BTW, if you really need to run your genset frequently, and noise is an issue, a 1800 RPM machine is the best choice. For 3600 RPM machines, Cummmins/Onan would be the generator equivalent of your Highlander. Really. They are that good.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            golden2husky, hey thanks! I’ll check them out.

            I’d like to rebuild that Wacker myself because even though it runs now, it smokes badly. I don’t want to put $12K in an overhaul job at a shop. It isn’t worth that much to me.

            Probably rings, but I also want to polish the cylinder walls (hone) before reassembly and wash out all the oil passages with gasoline and blow dry the works with compressed air.

            This thing has a lot of hours on it so it probably has a lot of crud in it. It belonged to a local Welder who bought it used, and recently retired. It was towed behind his weldingrig truck. He did fences and gates for farmers/ranchers in the fields.

            Once I take the heads off I’ll probably find that it needs valves as well.

            I’ve got $2500 in it, minus the trailer which the seller wanted to keep for himself. That limits my mobility in case I need to do a MIG/TIG job myself somewhere and need a big generator.

            My other two generators have wheels and I have ramps to get them on my flatbed trailer but the Wacker doesn’t have wheels. If I have to move it I have to use 3″ steel pipe, a jack and a winch, and a lot of help to steady it all.

            I run my two other emergency AC generators every Sunday from 11:59am to 6:01pm. Our power company has been pretty good at load-balancing here as of late.

            The Honda is by far the least noisy at, I would guess, 60-70db. It varies engine speed according to load, ’cause it is an Inverter.

            The things we do for the comfort of modern living! Where would we be without electricity?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      My father did a tour in Vietnam, and in 1991 like many ‘Nam vets he was salivating at the prospect of the Gulf War. You would have thought I was in a strategy meeting with Patton, he pointed down at the maps in US News and World Report and said things to the effect of “The Air Force will go in on night raids to destroy enemy command and communications, the Navy will lob cruise missiles and shells into Kuwait to target hardened positions, and Gen. Schwarzkopf will take his troops around this Iraqi link and advance into the country here”. Dammit if he wasn’t right, and this wasn’t a particularly intelligent man or one who had gone through OCS to understand military strategy. He said one other startling thing that day when I asked why was the US bought oil from Kuwait in the first place. I sh** you not he explained US national security strategy from the 70s was to cap known wells (he pointed to North Dakota as he said this) and “use up all of the Arab oil first”. This as an adult sounds so odd to me now, but if you look at what the petrodollar is today and where the world is with energy demand, he may have been right.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        28-Cars-Later, that actually was the philosophy at the time to spread the global wealth around to the oil-rich regions, suck them dry, and then our continent would be the only one with oil.

        Of course that is flawed by today’s standards. The bigger weapon would have been fresh water for those drought-stricken areas.

        But technology even helped out there with a new type of cellulose-based reverse osmosis membrane that was first used in kidney-dialysis, and then extrapolated to filter other liquids based on molecule-specific filtration.

        When you’re thirsty, you pay anything for a cool drink of water. So, desalination and NUCLEAR energy is a much more sought-after commodity in the Middle East today than oil is.

        BTW, my oldest two sons were Marine Corps Captains of Infantry during Gulf War 1 and both led their units to the outskirts of Kuwait City from Saudi Arabia.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Funny the six degrees of separation.

          I used to be a big nuclear proponent prior to Fukushima, now not so much.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I have no issues with nuclear power post Fukushima. Remember, the reactors survived BOTH the initial earthquake AND the tsunami just fine. What they did not survive was the bone-headed decision to put the backup power generation a few feet above sea level in a tsunami prone area. A couple of diesel generators and a few days diesel fuel up on the roof, and it would have been a non-issue. Or better planning to get aux power to the plant in a hurry. Or at least harden the aux power plant just as well as the reactors themselves. Or better yet, a modern reactor design that does not NEED aux power to cool itself.

            Living in Maine, I will get more radiation going into my basement than I ever will from nuclear plant accidents. Never mind that I spend more time in the air than a lot of flight crew do.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            It’s not the fall that kills you…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I agree the odds of what happened have got to be out there, but it happened nonetheless. In my view, if it happened once it will eventually happen again. If humanity can develop a workable contingency plan to clean up (or at least mitigate) a worst case scenario I might support it again. However from the information out there Fukushima, while stable, continues to poison the Pacific and is still the most serious radioactive disaster to befall man to the point technology to properly deal with it does not exist.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            28-Cars-Later, my oldest son’s current wife is a Japanese national whose parents lived near Fukushima and whose family was directly affected by the flood and the resultant nuclear catastrophe at TEPCO.

            Fortunately, Japan’s government stepped up to the plate early and prevented even more suffering for those already devastated by the losses.

            Six degrees of separation, indeed.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “…but if you look at what the petrodollar is today and where the world is with energy demand, he may have been right.”

        He was

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          HDC – “my oldest son’s current wife”. Ouch.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Dave M., yeah! Read on bud…

            He’s the father of my 21 yo grand daughter who lives with us and her older brother who just got out of the USMC and lives in CA (with his new wife).

            My oldest son and his wife divorced quite a few years ago because she could not move to Japan with him after he got out of the Corps at Futenma, since she’s taking care of her parents and living with them here, while also holding down a full-time job at the local Regional Medical Center 5 days a week as an RN.

            About eight years ago, before my son was married to the Japanese lady, he and his ex met at a school reunion here and they must have looked pretty good to each other, still.

            Hell, they grew up together, were an item for at least the last six years of schooling.

            The end result of this chance meeting at a reunion was a night of bliss at the Inn of the Mountain Gods for both of them, and we now have 7 yo twins.

            He married the Japanese lady in Japan in 2008 when he worked there and my wife and I attended the wedding.

            Lovely woman and smart as a Whip. Got her MBA in the US and is SVP at the same bank my son is also a VP at. They are currently assigned to the CA branch.

            But she’s not without baggage. She’s nine years older than he is and her parents lived at Fukushima and she lost relatives as a result of the catastrophe. IOW, he’s pumping a dry well.

            So, SHE will definitely be going back to live in Japan at the end of their tour in 2016. My son will not.

            He’s had his fill of the Far East and he wants to try International Banking from the US perspective in 2016 when his contract is up.

            He’s not hurting for money so he could quit working and take up Ranching, if he wanted to. Raise cattle, horses, whatever. He might just do that, he told me.

            There’s always a story behind seemingly innocuous situations, ain’t there?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      +1 HDC.

      When this event happened we were going to run out of oil by 1979. The alarmism gets old.

    • 0 avatar

      Israel was established in 1948 and while the U.S. voted for the partition plan at the UN in 1947 that paved the way for the state’s establishment, U.S. support for the Jewish state was in no way guaranteed. Then, and since, the diplomatic establishment in the U.S. State Department tilted towards the Arabs. Secy of State George Marshall and most of Pres. Harry Truman’s diplomatic and military advisers urged him to not recognize the new state. As a matter of fact, the USSR recognized Israel before the U.S. did, but Truman felt it was the right thing to do and went against the State Department’s wishes.

      Still, U.S. support for Israel was pretty much lukewarm until after the 1967 Six Day War. Until then, Israel had mostly used French and British weapons. Geopolitics was changing, though, with the Soviets investing heavily in the Arab world, arming Egypt and Syria. President Johnson and then Nixon saw Israel as a bulwark against Soviet expansion. No doubt the Pentagon saw an opportunity to test U.S. weapons systems against Soviet gear as well. So between 1967 and 1973, U.S. military and economic support for Israel increased.

      U.S. aid really went up after Nixon sent that billion dollars or so of planes and tanks to resupply Israel (which had been losing the war in the early days and needed tanks and planes – if you want to read about a badass, Google Zvika Greengold, a tank commander who fought a column of up to 200 Syrian tanks, sometimes with just a single tank). Cameron referred to reports subsequent to the war that Israel sent a message to Nixon by loading nuclear weapons on planes just as U.S. spy satellites were overflying. There were Russian ships with nuclear missiles on their way to Egypt, which also factored into Nixon’s decision. Resupplying Israel kept things in the conventional weapons sphere.

      With the weapons from the U.S. and a ballsy move by Ariel Sharon to counterattack across the Suez Canal and cut off the Egyptian 3rd Army, plus efforts from people like Greengold, the tide of battle turned. It was obvious that Israel was then winning because that’s when the world started calling for a cease fire. That’s usually how you know Israel is doing well in a military conflict.

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        The Yom Kippur war was, like every other major conflict between 1945 and 1991, a proxy fight between the USA and the USSR. Kissinger called for the second ceasefire not “because Israel was winning” but because he saw the opportunity to bribe Egypt out of the Soviet sphere of influence and into the American sphere of influence.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Kissinger was alot of things but a fool wasn’t one of them.

          • 0 avatar
            aristurtle

            The more I read into the history of the Cold War, the more respect I have for the man.

            edit: also, on the subject of Yom Kippur War badassery, look into the Ofira Air Battle. Egypt sent about 28 MiGs to attack an Israeli air base. Two IAF F-4 Phantoms (not two squadrons, two fighters) managed to take off before the main runway was destroyed. Combat losses: seven MiGs, zero Phantoms.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            *as Darth Vader* Most impressive.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            A friend talked to an Israeli pilot that lost two phantoms and got back in the cockpit after each one. He had several kills, but what he thought was most interesting was fighting with the ground troops for a few hours between parachuting and having a vehicle show up to get him, ask for him by name, and taking him back for another sortie. He never figured out how they found him in the middle of a battle.

            An incredible adventure of the type we are mostly all glad to never have.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Little quibble on the weapons. The Israelis had a LOT of US weapons during the Six Day War, they just apparently didn’t get them from us. The Magach was a modified Patton, the Isherman an up gunned Sherman, and they had our ww2 jeeps, half tracks, and post war mobile artillery.

        • 0 avatar

          They did have Phantoms, fitted for strafing runs, but I think most of their planes were French and they used British tanks. After the ’67 war, in 1969 France embargoed weapon shipments to Israel, resulting in the Israelis sneaking paid for naval vessels out of Cherbourg harbor.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            I have been reading about six days war recently. By the numbers, they were mostly supplied with US armored vehicles. They just didn’t buy them direct from the US due to Government decree (l’ll let the scholars make up stories and argue if it was anti semitism or not). The British tanks were Centurions and a modified centurion known as a Sho’t. They also had some French AMX tanks.

            The Centurions and Patton based tanks were the main line forces, but there were many more reservists. The reservist lost a lot of tanks fighting the Jordanians because they were outclassed by the Centurions and Pattons the Jordanians had. Mostly, they had updated Shermans of various sorts (I believe these were mostly from France). Some had nice guns mounted, but none had equivalent armor to the Pattons and Centurions. While the Egyptians faired miserably with updated T34’s, IS-3’s, and modern but inferior T55’s against a much smaller number of the top of the line Israeli tanks, the tables were turned against the Jordanians who also had better training from the British to supplement the Soviet doctrine used by Egypt and Jordan and Syria.

            The mobile arty was American made, the towed British 25 pounders.

            I believe the aircraft were mostly French until after the war. Then they got the Phantoms.

            I suppose you could call the Ishermans French arms rather than American, but I believe they were remanufactured US tanks rather than new models made under contract.

          • 0 avatar
            Joe McKinney

            The IAF used the French Mirage III fighter in the 1967 Six Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Venezuela was a founding member of OPEC

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Minor correction: Venezuela was a founding member of OPEC.

      I was working for Conoco in 1988 and remember guys at work talking about shutting down operations in Alaska because crude oil was selling for less money than than the cost of production in Alaska. Back then Saudi Arabia could periodically flood the market with cheap oil and scare off competition. They haven’t done that in more than a decade which suggests that they no longer have the excess production capacity to drive prices down. In a world of consistently high oil prices, companies are willing to invest in difficult, expensive oil production. Santa Barbara still has a little crude oil bubbling out of the ground, but it takes a lot more work to get oil production in most areas of the US now. We have more oil than ever, but its not cheap oil.

      Consistently high oil prices have also changed car demand. My next daily driver will have a 4 cylinder engine. It will travel twice as many miles on a gallon of gasoline as my first car built just before the 1973 Oil Crisis. The improved efficiency costs me something in complexity, but most of the improvement/complexity has occurred gradually over decades of car development so reliability has also improved.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Venzuela is one of the founding nations of OPEC and is still a member. During the embargo the state oil company, kind of, sort of, went along, but found other ways to supply the US, it’s biggest customer.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @ H.D.C….I’m confused. Are you the same HDC that has mentioned, on more than one occasion, that the USA would be a better place if we moved the manufacturing of almost everything to Mexico?

      Just saying!

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        mikey, yes, I am the same one! But let’s take it in context, please.

        I mentioned that the UAW ingrates were p!ssing and moaning about the right to work states and the undue pressure that was put on Toyota with all sort of bogus, trumped up crap, like “We’re not done with Toyota yet!”.

        Yes, I would like to see Toyota and all the other foreigners pack up their sh!t and go South. Mazda did! Good for them. Some Detroit carmakers also expanded South. Good for them too.

        That surely would satisfy the UAW and the US DOT, because then they would definitely be done with Toyota’s SUA debacle.

        I still feel the same way. If Americans aren’t happy with what the foreigners have brought in the way of jobs to America, pack up the plants and head South!

        I thought VW was ill-advised to open a plant in TN because they should have known that the UAW would be all over them like stink on sh!t. And they are. Cardcheck, anyone?

  • avatar
    jmo

    I wonder what the market clearing price for a gallon of gas would have been absent Nixon’s price controls?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Nixon’s wage and price controls were started in 1971. I know because my Navy promotion in 1971 was held up for six months. When the embargo occurred, the part of the controls on gasoline was used to set a maximum price, both in ’73 and ’79.

      Both times the oil companies MAY have reduced the availability of gasoline to create gas lines and the resulting pressure to remove the controls, if you believe conspiracy theories. Look up prices AFTER the controls were lifted, and you’ll know what the price would have been, about 50 cents in ’74 and a buck in 1980. That’s not the “market clearing” price, but that wasn’t possible with the, uh, market distortions going on.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Steam powered passenger vehicles are the true future, & will tap a truly green, renewable source of propulsion power.

    How the H2O will be fracked is the only variable left in the equation.

    • 0 avatar
      afflo

      External combustion power is green and renewable?

      I hope I just got trolled by a joke.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        How ’bout them Steam Locomotives that roamed America?

        When the diesel-electrics finally hit the rails in the 30’s, Americans were astonished to be able to ride the trains without being covered in soot.

        Ahhh, the sounds, the smell, the soot of steam-powered…..

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Well, if people are so dumb that they choose to boil water with coal (or via the use of any other fossil fuel), they get covered in the consequences of their “un-wisdom.”

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            My wife and I took one of those old-time Scenic Railroad tours and when we got off the open-air cars we were covered in soot.

            It was hilarious! When I took my sun glasses off it looked like I was made up in Blackface, with two bulging eyes protruding where my sun glasses had covered my eyes.

            Seriously! I’ve got pictures to prove it.

        • 0 avatar
          aristurtle

          The luxury passenger rail lines in the Age of Steam were soot-free; they used anthracite or coke for their burners. The freight lines had no incentive to do any such thing, of course.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            And after anthracite and coke got to be too costly to burn up in steam locomotives, some railroads switched to oil fuel.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    The timing of the oil embargo had a secondary devasting effect on the big three. Millions of baby boomers were entering the work force and buying their first new cars. They gravitated to the small, fuel efficient cars that the Europeans and Japanese car makers specialized in after having bad experiences with Vegas, Pintos and other domestic crap wagons. It was the begining of a long slow slide for the Detriot three.

    • 0 avatar
      afflo

      How true – Mom graduated high school in 1972. Her car at the time was a Maverick, a car that seeded a life-long hate for Ford in her. Just as the oil crisis hit, she bought a VW Beetle, and drove it until I was born in 1981. Dad convinced her to trade it for a Buick Station Wagon, and later a Jeep Cherokee (with the 2.8L GM six). In ’92 she bought an Accord, and said the difference between the Jeep and the Accord was like going from the Maverick to the VW all over again. She’s only driven Hondas since.

      Even the ghost of Billy Mays couldn’t sell her on another domestic.

      Dad was an LEO for 31 years – years of Luminas, Crown Vics, and Impalas made him all the more willing to join the cult of Honda. It’s good to see that the Detroit Three are starting to put an effort into their low-end cars that will liekly only see rental and fleet duties – where else will someone who is happy with their Honda or Toyota ever have a reason to drive one?

      (I’ve mostly owned Hondas and Toyotas – The difference between my 2010 Focus rental and my 2012 Focus rental was astounding!)

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Seconded. And it wasn’t just the mpgs, it was how tightly the car was designed and how competent it felt while driving. I worked at a florist afterschool; he had a new Corona wagon as the delivery vehicle….I was amazed at how much fun it was to drive (albeit slowly). Of coursethe Japanese cars did have somerust issues back then….

      Oct 1973…I distinctly remember the gas crisis, Yom Kippur war, and Saturday Night Massacre….

      strange times.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I was out of the air force just over two months, when cruising around one evening with a few of my buddies, the announcement came over the radio that President Nixon put all US forces on world-wide alert! I thought: “Here we go again”! The Yom Kippur war was on.

    I had deathly thoughts of being recalled to the USAF!

    Funny, after the initial oil shock in March 1973, with no suggestions from any media, I began to slow down in my driving, limiting my speed to 55 mph whenever possible!

    Before the 55 mph limit was invoked, I conducted my own test of following some suggestion of only buying 10 gallons of gas per week. By that time that fall, I had just bought a very nice 1972 Nova, 250 w/three-on-the-tree. 10 gallons wasn’t quite enough, even though college was only 3.5 miles from home, and work was in walking distance – I didn’t walk – I found the around town mileage wasn’t the best, and trying to keep that 10 gallon limit was difficult. I imagine a big V8 Chevy, Ford or Chrysler would only last a day or two!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I was in the AF at that time, stationed in Germany, and we did, indeed, go to readiness level 1 for our F4s WRSK, with conventional weaponry.

      The Army was preparing for Reforger so they had a head start on the game since everything was already parked and lined up.

      It affected my unit directly since we in Germany were instructed to prep hundreds of missiles (Sparrows and Sidewinders) and conventional bombs, palletize them without the fuzes and get them ready to be picked up by C-141 and C-130 for shipment to…… (yep, you guessed it).

      At that time the Israelis could not fight a sustained campaign for very long and resupply was existential for them.

      Amazing, that a conflict in the Middle East caused American Forces in Europe to go on 12-hour duty shifts. And so it was, this time, 40 years ago. A good thing it only lasted six days, eh?

      • 0 avatar
        bill mcgee

        Some people think that without U.S. support Israel would have gone under in the Yom Kippur war . You think that it would have given us some leverage but apparently not when you see how that prick Netanyahu times every official U.S. visit with a ” coincidental ” announcement of some approval of another new settlement in East Jerusalem .

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I share that belief that Israel would have gone under without US support, especially since the Arabs threatened the use of Chemical weapons — surely a sign that they were smarting from the toll extracted by the destruction that Israel had pre-emptively unleashed upon their forces.

          By the time the US sent replacement war gear, Israel had exhausted much of their War Readiness Supplies, in action.

          Things got pretty dicey in the Golan Heights Tank Battles. It could have gone down either way were it not for the Diplomats all scrambling for peace negotiations. Just in time, some would say.

          As far as having leverage with Israel? Many Israelis maintain residences in America, and many American Jews maintain residences in Israel, and actively serve in Israel’s armed forces.

          Many Israelis also serve in America’s armed forces. One of my supervisors while I was in Germany was TSgt Berg who was our munitions controller. When Yom Kippur started, TSgt Berg went on leave while we all went on alert.

          We never saw or heard from TSgt Berg again. Presumably he went home to Israel to manage/receive the munitions we had prepped as replacements. Ditto with some of the F4 mechanics on the flightline.

          Israel will always do what it wants to do because for them it is existential. This goes all the way back to WWII and the building of the State of Israel.

          Looking back over recent history we see examples of acts of disruption and pre-emption like the bombing of Syria and Iraq.

          Unless Iran changes its current nuclear song and dance stance, I have no doubt that Netanyahu will act. Not only does he have to live up to the sacrifice of his older brother Yonatan in the eyes of his people, but he also has to protect his nation’s honor.

          We, the US under Shub, did the same after 9/11. Netanyahu and his successors will not let a disaster like that happen to Israel, before they act.

          Since Obama has already proven his lack of leadership to the satisfaction of the rest of the world, Israel will no doubt seek assistance from England. And they will get it if they need it; covertly if not overtly.

          Community organizing may work in the slums of Chicago but it is a much harder sell on a global scale because other global leaders are a lot smarter than the current American administration, and are by-passing America completely, as if it is an inconsequential bystander.

          In essence we are, inconsequential bystanders, since we cannot even govern our own selves.

          • 0 avatar
            bill mcgee

            Couldn’t help but notice that earlier this week Netanyahu decided to time John Kerry’s arrival in Israel with an announcement of yet more Israeli settlements on the West Bank and East Jerusalem . I understand his need to pander to his right-wing constituents but this is getting tiring year after year . If this is our greatest ally who is our worst ? And when do we stop giving this jerk a blank check ?

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Arabs. Hopefully, never.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Thanx for the memories , my old $50 36HP VW Beetle got 32 MPG and sailed right on through those rough times .

    My American made 6 Cylinder pickup less so but at least I wasn’t screwed like my V-ATE powered American made Hot Rod buddies all were , they were FU-BAR for a while there .

    The photograph bought back many memories .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    Don’t forget, there were (Nixon implemented) price controls on gasoline at the time as well – and they directly contributed to the lines and shortages. If you as a station or reseller can’t buy gas at prices you can sell and at least make expenses as restricted to the price you could sell, you won’t buy it, and therefore it can’t be sold. The other option was prices spiking to painful levels (beyond what we’ve seen lately, relatively speaking) – but it would have been available.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The oil companies were price restricted too, and limited sales to company stations, so the market for gas to independent stations dried up. There used to be a gas station on nearly every busy corner, and if the ’73-74 gas lines didn’t kill off the independents, the ’79 gas lines did. Tens of thousands of gas jockey jobs for teens and dropouts disappeared in that decade.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Contemplating the oil crisis as this moment in history is somewhat amusing because the US is basically in OPEC these days. After the last oil crisis, the US private sector and public sector transitioned away from oil, particularly for industry, and we created the 1986 oil collapse. Some argue that the oil collapse of 1986 eventually led to the Gulf War because Saddam Hussein could no longer finance his government or pay his war debts. The price collapse didn’t help US producers, either, and domestic production continued its long slow decline.

    We had another oil crisis of sorts in 2008, when oil climbed to $140 per barrel. This time the US has a vested interest in maintaining high oil prices, and we actively negotiate with OPEC via Saudi Arabia. With US production hovering around 6.5M bbl/day we produce about $237B per year at retail benchmark prices. Without that free stimulus, and the jobs it creates, and the investment it attracts, the US would be in considerably worse condition than it is now.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I remember this crisis well – I was only 10 years old at the time. That fall, my dad had just ordered a 74 Maverick with the 302 V8, which arrived in March 74. He loved its power, and hated its 12 mpg fuel economy – he rued the timing of his purchase.

    We were subjected to the even-odd system, whereby you could only purchase gas on certain days depending on the last digit of your license plate (back before vanity plates existed). Some people would switch the plates on their cars so they could buy gas anytime.

    We had a friend who operated a gas station at that time, and I remember him taking special care of our family as though it was the zombie apocalypse. But still, we sat in long lines.

    As I recall, this was also the advent of locking gas caps and remote gas cap releases. I find it funny that gas theft has gone way down while the prices are in the $4 range – we’re in the new normal.

    This shock, along with a host of other things including union abuses, also led to the eventual decimation of the US steel industry in which my father worked. By 1982 he was jobless, but in an interesting irony, was given a old Datsun 810 beater to drive when he needed a car. It turned out to be the family pet – a reliable 3-legged dog of a car.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    And let us not forget the new industry of magic pills, potions, and devices that guarantee vastly improved mileage.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I was working in Houston at the time. Exxon Company USA’s headquarters is in the Exxon building in downtown Houston. There is an Exxon gas station on the ground level. Cars were lined up around the block waiting to fuel up.

    “Felix Hoenniker”‘s comment is spot-on about the effects on Detroit. Unfortunately, early efforts at emission controls resulted in engines that were actually less fuel-efficient (for their HP output), so, with the exception of the Detroit “economy cars” like the Pinto and the Vega, the rest of Detroit’s fleet was really thirsty. VW’s “Beetle” already was well-established as a reliable, un-thirsty commuter car; and Datsun (Nissan) had successfully introduced the 510 (which performed much better than the VW but was still not particularly thirst; and Toyota had introduced the Corona.

    It was my bad luck and/or stupidity to have just purchased a new Mazda RX-2, which, on a good day, would get 20 mpg at 60 mph. It was, however, pretty fast.

    There were a not insignificant number of bid Detroit iron cars that suffered car fires and other random acts of total destruction. For a lot of them, that was the only way they could be “monetized.” No one would buy them, that’s for sure.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Thanks Obama!

    Seriously though, if you haven’t already, I’d recommend anyone interested in the history of the oil industry – including this dark chapter – to read Daniel Yergin’s The Prize. It’s a long thick book that took me over four years to read…though admittedly I only ever read it while on planes.

    • 0 avatar
      Geekcarlover

      &%#&* phone won’t let me post a link, but the documentary made from it is available online. It clocks in at around 7 hours, so set aside a couple of nights. But it is very informative.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Don’t know why we directly subsidize road building with non-gas tax general revenues, then subsidize electric cars so they can make headway in the market against the subsidized petroleum cars, then add command-and-control CAFE standards on top of that to also help mitigate against the gasoline subsidy.

    For one thing, that creates a domestic auto industry that is chronically at odds with markets in the rest of the world. It bit us in the butt big time during the 1973 oil embargo.

    For about 40 cents per gallon we can make our roadways self-supporting (at their slowly and steadily deteriorating level) For an extra dime, we can work against the backlog and build in a mild but persistent incentive for conservation. All of this should be indexed to construction costs, of course.

    I’m opposed to increasing the tax burden on the demand side in this economic environment, so I would sterilize the tax increase, by using the saved general fund road expenditures to double the child tax credit to $1200 per child. (I don’t have minor children). It fits almost perfectly, and family men like Jack Baruth who “work hard and play by the rules” don’t get hurt.

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      I’ll go for that. The federal gas tax has been stuck where it is for, I believe, decades. The original idea was that highway construction would be fully paid for by the users, and not by general revenues. Seems like it ought to go back to being that way . . . and eliminate the various subsidies for hybrids, electric cars and ethanol along the way. I am torn as to whether to make it mileage-based or fuel consumption based, given the acknowledged social benefit of people using less fuel.

      The tax breaks for having dependent children are laughable, but I don’t think we can afford to make them meaningful in any way. The costs of raising children (I had 3, all adults now) are huge . . . and the economic costs to the current generation of adults of not having children to replace them as workers will also be huge, as anyone in Japan can tell you.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Most roads are paid for with gas taxes, but they don’t go up with inflation. Lee Iacocca pushed for a 50 cent increase to keep road building going, and just incidentally, sell more economical K-cars, when the price was about a dollar/gallon. It didn’t happen, and roads and bridges are far worse than they were in the early ’70s when I drove cross country several times. The only reason federal general revenue is being used is that the gas tax doesn’t bring in enough to maintain what we have now, much less rebuild the interstate system. Even concrete pavement must be replaced after 40-50 years, and the Interstate System began in the ’50s.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    WOW! Most car guys really don’t know much about the energy industry. My old friend Daniel Yergin does know a lot, and he has written prolifically over the years. Read his stuff. Pay absolutely no attention to the idiots who keep braying on and on about “Peak Oil”.

    A few basics:

    1. Fracking is really going to be a BIG deal. It has already broken the price of natural gas in North America. It will soon break the price of oil by around 30%, maybe even more.

    2. Pollution control will always be a big deal. CO2 emissions are a legitimate problem in the very long term, but CO2 emissions from light motor vehicles are no big deal just now. There is A LOT of lower hanging fruit.

    3. A lot of very fine automotive engineering aimed at developing hybrids and EV’s is probably going to end up being flushed down the tubes once oil prices go down. Too bad, but that is just the nature of the game. Human beings may be clever monkeys, but they cannot see the future.

    4. At least the automotive industry has developed a huge range of motor vehicles and power plants good for a wide variety of possibilities.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Many people have an ideology that is wedded to Peak Oil and impending environmental and hydrocarbon catastrophe. Reality does fit the belief system, so it is rejected or ignored.

  • avatar
    AJ

    I don’t recall ’74 much, but I do recall a few years later gas going up to 75 cents and dad grumbled while filling up his Suburban. Each summer he took a month off from work and we towed a travel trailer all over the west.

    Not long after he sold both and bought a Peugeot diesel for it’s 30 mpg. (Funny thing is, that Suburban and more miles and years on it then the Peugeot ever lasted.)

  • avatar
    Ishwa

    Any other alumni of The Oil Drum on here by chance?

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Don’t fall for the mileage-based proposals Bruce! That’s just Plutocrat/Libertarian scam to facilitate privatizing the roadways.

    The gas tax works just fine. It just needs to be raised more often than every 19 years. If you go to a mileage-based system, then you are just one step away from privatization. The politicians in some kind of budget crunch, contrived or otherwise, decide they need to monetize the revenue stream. The road upkeep and their associated revenue streams are sold to the politically connected Plutos along with poorly publicized non-compete covenants. The roadway passes to a private monopoly

  • avatar
    GS650G

    If we change the regime in DC we will see a huge expansion of domestic energy production and the economy will respond accordingly. Place a graph of energy costs alongside economic indicators and you’ll see how it works. Energy costs flow into everything and drain your wallet accordingly. Wealth redistribution can’t get around that.

    Raising the cost of energy gets you a little conservation but in the end it just drains capital away. The geniuses in DC actually thought solar and wind would be able to replace oil and gas on a large scale while being economically viable. Fat chance. One drop of magic petroleum contains more energy than any of those methods. All their wonder ideas ended up costing more money than they were worth. There was, after all, a reason investors shied away until the government put up OPM. At least some of Barry’s friends made a few million.

    I think the future of cars is natural gas and hydrogen. The infrastructure exists for natural gas today, you could fill the car in your garage and even run it on propane if need be. Hydrogen has storage and operational issues but it’s very abundant and could be extracted with nuclear powered electricity. Gas based transportation is more efficient and has short refueling times. Energy levels are higher than ethanol without the expensive distillation process. Hydrogen will be tough to commercialize but we have an unlimited amount to draw from.

    Eventually the House Of Saud is going to run dry, several oil fields were ruined with sea water to get production up. After they run out of oil they have nothing but sand. We still have purple mountain majesty, amber waves of grain and fruited plain. We also have oil on the Kalifornia coast, the continental shelf, and we are finding new sources all the time. My grandchildren will be filling cars with gasoline long after I’m gone, maybe even riding my antique (by then) motorcycles.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      The principle of energy density explains why wind and solar will never replace oil, gas, nuclear or whatever comes after. Most people have never even considered this. They just let government waste their money, time and again.

    • 0 avatar
      jimbob457

      @65whatever

      My aren’t you the smart fellow. Ever consider the possibility that you just another dumbass? Try to know at least a little about your subject before you start spouting off.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Jimbob,
        This isn’t the Washington Post site. Try to rememember where you are. We have heated disagreements here, but we do actually like to at least pretend to keep it rational and civil.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I agree its best to remain civil and remember its just a message-board. I’ve had many a disagreement and changed my position or thinking after some debate, continuing to exchange ideas and gain new knowledge is one of the chief benefits of a message-board.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        His comments about the seawater in the Saudi oil fields are 100% correct. The natural flow of at least some of the fields was damaged by the US partially owned/controlled Arabian American Oil Co. (the later nationalized Saudi Aramco) in 1970-73 in a effort to pump as much oil as possible prior to a contract expiring. This was documented in Twilight in the Desert by Simmons in 2004. The Saudis began using seawater to create enough pressure to keep the fields flowing sometime between 1973 and 1982 when the Saudis stopped releasing official data (I can’t recall exactly when as its been three years since I read Simmons’ book).

        In terms of his other thoughts, I see nothing outlandish and I personally tend to agree. If you disagree, at the very least please state why with your insult.

        • 0 avatar
          jimbob457

          Sadly, Matthew Simmons has passed. My condolences to friends and family. Oddly, imho, his well-researched masterwork offers in itself very strong evidence that the concept of ‘Peak Oil’ is ridiculous.

          The last public estimate of reserves in the Ghawar reservoir dates from 1984. It was, if memory serves, 84 billion barrels of recoverable oil with about one-third recovery of the original oil in place.

          What my mentors taught me decades ago was that in mining there is a steady interplay between technological advance (maybe averaging 2% per year) and resource base depletion. Simmons reviewed the engineering literature after 1984 and documented the discoveries (eg. super-permeability) that represented the ongoing march of technology. Evidently, the estimates of original oil in place for Ghawar have increased a little (this is natural as more information becomes available), but the big change from 1984 it that the recovery percentage is now well over 50%. This has roughly offset the 4mmbbl/d production from the field over the intervening years. The Saudis have the best working on the problem. They really do have it well in hand.

          My larger point is that the hold of the dreaded doomsday scenario on the human mind is so insidious that even a highly intelligent man like the late Matthew Simmons who did all the research can be so totally wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I’d call the doomsday scenario the crash of the US Greenback. Oil may run out, but the day OPEC nations switch to Euros for oil and dump the Dollar, we’re doomed. So we don’t drill.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ah, excellent post. I’m in a brain-draining meeting right now so at the moment I can’t give this the thought it deserves hopefully later today.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @jimbob457

            I’ve always found the oil industry very interesting (drilling/recovery, pipelines and the like). As I stated earlier I did read the book but haven’t touched it in three years so details are a bit fuzzy. I do recall him talking about how he claimed the Saudis purposefully “rested” the fields in the 80s due to the earlier pressure damage. I also recall how the Saudis enjoyed being an OPEC heavyweight and having the geopolitical ability to change the oil price just by using/threatening to use a little of their excess capacity like an on/off switch, also how Simmons believed eventually the excess capacity above 10 mbpd would dissipate and the fields would eventually go into an obvious decline (hence the current use of seawater already used to maintain pressure).

            Thank you for sharing those additional tidbits about the 2% and advances in technology, I suppose its very possible the Saudis have been able to stave off the predicted decline at least to this point. The sign I’ll be looking for is whether or not the Saudis attempt to “turn on the taps” for political reasons again as they have done in the past, and if they do, looking for independent analysis of how much is actually being pumped. If Simmons was correct they do not or eventually will not have this ability simply because their excess capacity will have evaporated due to the standard recovery of the oil fields slowing below 10mbpd, any “opening of the taps” would then be a bluff waiting to be called.

            I personally don’t know much about the subject to judge whether or not Simmons was correct. I would hope he’s wrong about the Saudis but even if oil never runs dry for hundreds of years losing cheap accessible oil would be akin to an atomic blast through the fabric of our societies. Perhaps not a Doomsday as man would no doubt survive, but the world as we knew it I suspect would radically change.

            @DenverMike

            The ECB is in worse shape than the Fed and despite all of our issues for the next decade or so the US could still be used as an engine for growth. I highly doubt OPEC would use Euros exclusively over FRNs, if you want to fear any fiat paper currency fear the Renminbi. More than likely though in the short term oil will continue to be transacted in gold as is already being done behind the scenes.

            http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/16/us-iran-turkey-sanctions-idUSBRE91F01F20130216

      • 0 avatar
        GS650G

        Here is a lovely little article that illustrates one of my points
        http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303376904579135842033421008.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

        Mix tax dollars with green energy and you get billionaires.

        jimbob457, I’ve considered the possibility that all I’ve seen and what has happened is not really true but the facts are hard to ignore. If you have any constructive counter arguments to present we’d like to see them.
        Otherwise, spout off somewhere else.

  • avatar
    55_wrench

    I started driving in 1972, just in time to run smack into the oil “shortage”. Growing up in the SF Bay Area, we were subject to the gas lines, rationing etc.

    In the summer of ’73, my boss wanted me to take his brand-new Dodge Power Wagon down to a machine tool show in Anaheim, loaded with punch tooling, presheared material blanks and programs, to test a new turret press he wanted to buy.

    The new Dodge had a smog-control-strangled 318 that drank gas in copious quantities, and gave back almost no power in return. It was with some trepidation I set out on 101 to meet him there the next day.

    Gas ran low right about midnight in San Luis Obispo, so I pulled off the freeway expecting long lines, rationing, maybe no gas at all. It didn’t happen.

    There were no limits, gas was cheaper than it was in San Jose, and I was back on the road in no time.

    Once I got into the LA basin, the lines and rationing started again.

    I’ve never had anyone explain to me how that was possible, and it always seemed to be strange it happened in heavily populated areas where they literally had us over a barrel.

    Later that year, I drove to Texas, and my relatives thought I was crazy that we were paying nearly a buck a gallon, when they still had their 38-cent regular and no lines.

    The process repeated itself in 1978 in California but I was ready for it that time. We had a 20-gallon limit, so I put the gas tank from my Suzuki GT750 and a 5-gallon can in the trunk of my ’65 Monza, topped off the ‘Vair, the tank of the Zoo, and put the rest of the 20 in the 5-gallon can.

    I commuted to work on a moped, and was able to joyride in my car and GT750 with the gas I had left over at the end of the week.

    Funny thing about that “shortage”, we had lines again in San Jose, and LA, but when we went on a bike trip over the Sierras, there was all the gas we wanted in Lee Vining, Nevada on the east side of the Sierras. No lines, no limits.

    Go Figure.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Go figure? The gas was rationed based on last year’s usage. So urban areas in the sunbelt like Phoenix or to a lesser extent LA, were just clobbered.

    I can’t explain your description of Texas except to suggest that the prevalence of many small towns outside large metro areas may have mitigated the situation.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    I was living in Houston during the late seventies , working for an oil company and there was a lot of anger because we were so close to many refineries but due to the stupid rationing based on prior years consumption . Our population was booming as unemployed people from the snow belt were moving in , so we had long gas lines . Many times had to wait an hour for gas . Sometimes at work I had some manager send me off to fill up his car because he didn’t want to waste the time in a line . I owned a second car that had a nice sized gas tank I siphoned gas out of as needed, and luckily one car had odd and the other even numbered plates . I often would ride my bicycle to work back then also . As in the earlier gas crisis , friends and relatives living in smaller towns had plenty of gas . Poor old inept, unlucky Jimmy Carter was widely blamed for all of this , fairly or not though the sky-high interest rates and inflation rates couldn’t have helped .

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    Reg; Abiotic Oil/ A hypothetical isn’t oil… or is it?

    ‘The abiogenic origin of petroleum has also recently been reviewed in detail by Glasby, who raises a number of objections, including that there is no direct evidence to date of abiogenic petroleum (liquid crude oil and long-chain hydrocarbon compounds).[1] Geologists now consider the abiogenic formation of petroleum scientifically unsupported, and they agree that petroleum is formed from organic material.[1] However, the abiogenic theory cannot be dismissed yet because the mainstream theory still has to be established conclusively.[3]‘_wiki

    • 0 avatar
      jimbob457

      Abiotic oil? Based on Soviet science. Sounds like just another way to go broke. Explain to me how all those hydrogen and carbon atoms done got themselves so tangled up.

      • 0 avatar
        3Deuce27

        @_jimbob…

        This is a ‘Devil’s Advocate’ response to ‘Hummer’s’ and ‘Lietome’s’ comments

        “… oil replenishes itself much faster then many like to think.”

        “Yes, abiotic oil, I don’t think we’re suppose to know about that.”

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        You rightfully dismiss Peak Oil, an accepted belief of scientists worldwide, yet you offhandedly dismiss the possibility of Abiotic oil even though there is something going on in the Gulf of Mexico that’s causing wells to replenish themselves. It may be nothing but, what if it’s not?

        • 0 avatar
          3Deuce27

          “You rightfully dismiss Peak Oil”

          Is that comment directed to me ‘Lie2me’? If so, I never stated either of those ‘dismissals’.

          Peak Oil, is dated and controversial term. I do think we are on the downhill slope of easily extracted oil production.

          As far as ‘Ambiotic Oil’, there is nothing, yet, to support its existence. And, I hope it doesn’t exist. We need to be done with this oil/coal period of environmental destruction and pollution from burning carbon based fuels.

          Going to be a cold night, now where is that bundle of Cedar kindling?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Bill, I was living in Houston as well during the 1979 Iranian Crisis and Oil Shortage. I worked for a contract drilling company near the Galleria area. The company would pay people to wait in line to fill up the company cars. I started riding my bike as well during 1979 and the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo. I was a Junior at Baylor in the Fall of 1973 and had my parents 64 Impala wagon which I kept with a full tank at all times in case I wanted to go home for the weekend.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Of course, we ignore the increasing environmental destruction and the potential for contaminating a essential resource (groundwater) in the quest to keep the present-day fossil-fuel “regime” in place.
    Our descendants will rightfully curse our short-sightedness and greed.
    The energy companies are still pulling all of the strings, and we’re puppets in the game.
    But we think that we’re “smart”.
    A pity.

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    This article reminded me of a letter published in Playboy in the 1980s that went something like this: When there is an Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, there is bound to be an Organization of Fuel Using Countries. And every time OPEC raises its prices, it will be to the anguished cries of…

  • avatar
    love2drive

    The original article for this was from businessinsider.com, even the picture used. The source should have been cited and not presented as original work.

    • 0 avatar
      HiFlite999

      I found that article of 10/3/13 and fail to find any similarity in the text to the TTAC version. However, the picture contained in Business Insider was credited to the US National Archives, whereas the TTAC pic was not credited at all.

  • avatar
    Joss

    In 73 a US mall and UK resort both sported oil-derived, novelty plastic glass. The latter combusted in August causing worldwide changes to fire regulations. 73 also saw the resignation of a vice-president with a neck crimp who had campaigned hard against nattering nabobs with a promise not to resign if indicted.

    The 73 embargo didn’t really bring America to its knees. The all time low was the 53 hostages in eyeran.
    Thanks eyeKE for putting the Shah in there. The pram ate oil.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    73’… What a time. People most Americans had never heard of a long ways away, were upsetting our life style.

    Washington state had the ‘Odd-Even’ fueling regime for personal cars, but, business rigs had no restrictions. I had three new Ford one ton flatbeds, so I had another 30 gal saddle tank put on each truck. I never lacked for fuel to run my personal vehicles, though hi-octane fuels were hard to come by.

    But, 73’/74’/75′ are fondly remembered years for me, though, they were quite interesting.

    Entering 73′, I had a booming construction business coupled with a stimulating architectural practice. By the Spring of 74′, with a recession slowing work and the practice, I decided to take a break and use some of my accumulated funds to pursue a fantasy and finally travel to all the cities in the world I had wanted to visit and stay as long as I wanted and then move on to next one on the list.

    I built a big loft in my shop for additional storage, and put everything in the shop and headed out.

    A great time was had for several years, and few cars and bikes were acquired and shipped home and added to my collection, all of which I still have, the most notable being a 1951 Jaguar MK-5 Drop Head coupe and a 1947 Ariel ‘Red Hunter’ 500cc single, unique in that it still had the dual pipes of its predecessors, and the new for 47′ telescoping front forks. A one year only combo.

  • avatar

    Since 1973, the population of the world has doubled. Global oil consumption has almost tripled. OPEC has added members. Yet, OPEC produces about the same number of barrels of oil today is they did 40 years ago.

    Wonder why that would be? Even today, the U.S. is producing more oil than at any time in recent history. Why has the price of oil not come down? Surely domestic producers aren’t charging their fellow citizens based on the global price of oil? Wouldn’t that be unpatriotic? Certainly domestic oil company shareholders wouldn’t object if their company softened the fuel price burden on their fellow citizens, right?

    I thought “Drill Baby Drill” was supposed to help oil and fuel prices. Certainly, the Keystone Pipeline will lower prices, right? Isn’t that what the API and the Canadian company that wants to build the pipeline through the center of our country want us to believe. We’ve been drilling like crazy. We’ve been producing like crazy. Where is the price relief we were promised?

    We are currently exporting a LOT of refined fuels. How can that be? I thought added supply is supposed to bring prices down. We have so much we are exporting the stuff while prices at the pump remain high? Has someone lied to us?

    • 0 avatar
      jimbob457

      I am not lying to you. Increased oil supplies (mostly because of hydraulic fracturing, as it turns out) and reduced oil demand are in the process of breaking oil prices as we speak. The exact timing of the major price break is, as always in these situations, hard to foresee – the ultimate price levels, not so much. The absolute peak was about $110 (USD per 42 US gallon barrel). Tomorrow’s trough should be $50 to $70 based largely on the economics of ‘fracking’, plus a few demand-side substitution possibilities. Current spot price of WTI: $95 and heading south.

      Let’s face it: salesmen, politicians and lobbyists sometimes exaggerate just a tad for effect.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    One thing I remember about the 1973 ” oil crisis ” was the Nixon administration decree adopting daylight savings time for the whole year . Many people up north were upset with the idea of schoolkids waiting for the bus in the dark . Not as big of a concern down south but I was in college in 1973 and recall taking a class that began at IIRC 7:00 in the morning and it would remain dark for the whole class .And my mother encouraged me to travel to the Grand Canyon , Utah , etc. during Spring and Fall break – there was really a widespread fear that in the future gas would be either very expensive or unobtainable and travelling by car to faraway destinations would be impossible .


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