Miles Per Gallon

Long ago & far away, in the land and time of my youth, there was plenty of gasoline (petroleum) and the cost was low (around 29¢ per gallon). Few people concerned themselves about availability or cost; we kids could scrape up enough for a half-dollar’s worth, plenty to last a week or so.

The cost of living was also very low, but so were wages. That was the trend until the supposed “fuel shortage” of ’72-’73. There was a contrived shortage of fuel, and people were forced to wait in line IF you could find a gas station with gas. And, oh yes, the price of fuel quickly doubled. However, because of the shortage and the rationing (limit of 10 gallons per car), people were glad just to find some fuel.


What we saw was doubling and tripling of prices for food, furniture and just about everything one needs in the course of life! All that was blamed on the increased cost of fuel to get those products to market. That trend has not stopped for the past 40 years!

[I said “contrived” and “supposed” because of certain activity that was noted, by me and others. First, when attending a UT football game that fall I noticed that, across the Tennessee River from the stadium were four 1-million gallon gasoline storage tanks. On each there was a padlock. On the side of each was a scale, a gauge, that showed the level. All four were totally full. Yet, we were told that there was NO fuel available in East Tennessee. Without divulging the name of the oil company, the name began with an “E” and ended with an “O”.]

 Some friends who worked third-shift had noticed that certain oil company trucks were seen after midnight storing gasoline in underground tanks at deserted gas stations that had ceased operation many years previous!


Getting back to the title of “MPG”, I was in Atlanta in January of 1962 attending a seminar. One evening, on NBC News, the President of General Motors was addressing a news conference in Detroit. When asked about why the auto industry was “dragging its feet” in fuel economy technology (the average Chevy got around 16 miles per  gallon) he admitted that GM had a full-size Cadillac driving around Detroit streets getting consistently over 60 miles per gallon.

The NEXT evening, he read a prepared statement that retracted his previous announcement! He gave no reason for the withdrawal of the news about the “economy Caddy”, but it made one wonder since the “top gun” at GM should know everything regarding what his company is doing.

We speculated that the “oil conglomerate” got to him.  Makes one consider, even today, a question as to what they are doing to our economy.



Your assignment for tomorrow: Google to find out how many Congresspersons (Senate & House) are affiliated in some manner with the petroleum industry and give us a Reply.  Inquiring minds want to know!


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