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A Historical Look at Gas Prices

10:06 PM, Feb 29, 2012   |    comments
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In the 1970s, the Nixon and Ford administrations imposed price controls on gasoline. They were reacting to rising gas prices caused by OPEC's cuts in production.

But what followed was long lines at gas stations and an artificial shortage of gasoline.

Experts say the most likely outcome of price controls is gas rationing, like what we saw almost 40 years ago.

People panicked to make sure they didn't wind up without gasoline and gas stations only stayed open a few hours a day to empty their tanks.

Since they couldn't raise prices, they would close shop after selling out.

And those who didn't want to wait in long lines bought gas on the black market at steep prices.

But as gasoline prices continue to climb and consumers feel a more intense pain at the pump, there could be pressure on the government to intervene once again.

Just today Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she is skeptical "about the reasons for the increase in gas prices." She says it deserves "careful attention" from Congress. Good luck with that.


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