NPR

Pipeline Panic Recalls Perils Of Gas Lines For Past Presidents

Motorists queue up outside a gas station in New York City in June 1979. The 1979 Iranian revolution led to a drop in worldwide oil production. Source: Brian Alpert

Federal safety officials found it necessary this past week to remind Americans not to put gasoline in plastic bags. Hey folks, that's dangerous. Remember?

What turned out to be a short-lived shortage of gasoline at thousands of local stations had swiftly panicked those consumers most dependent on the fuel. Many queued up, filled up and then messed up by hoarding additional gallons in unsafe containers. The shortage was concentrated in the Southeast, but millions more all over the country watched on TV.

We may shake our heads at tales of extreme behavior, but we all got a stark reminder of the role gasoline plays in our daily lives and our national economy. The faraway who attacked Colonial Pipeline showed they could pinch an dangerous, for the economy and for the country.

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