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How did the 1970s gas shortages affect Americans at home?
After President Biden blocked Russian oil imports, we looked back at images of the 1970s gas lines as a reminder of how foreign crises affect Americans at home. In the 1970s, gas shortages during the OPEC crisis meant incredibly long wait times at the pump, staggered fill-up days based on license plates, and often no gas at all at some stations.
What caused the gas crisis of the 1970s?
Currently, the skyrocketing gas prices are partially due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, the 1970s gas crisis was fueled by a war between Israel and the Arab nations surrounding it. The oil shortage began in October 1973 when OPEC placed an embargo on oil exports to the U.S. as punishment for the U.S. support of Israel.
How much does a gasoline shortage cost?
Currently, the national average cost for gas sits at $3.78, with some states like California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada already over $4 per gallon. The price motorists are paying at the pump is creating an even bigger crisis than the 1970s gas shortage. The U.S. experienced one of the biggest gas shortages in history during the 1970s.
What happened during the 1973 gas shortage?
As you can imagine, public transportation was encouraged but was also limited due to the gas shortage. In June of 1973, the price of a gallon of gasoline was under 50 cents. By May of 1974, it had skyrocketed to over $4.00 per gallon. The shortage and price hike were reportedly due to two major oil refineries being closed.