Letter to the Editor: Happy 40th Birthday, 1973 Oil Crisis

Los Alamos

On Oct. 17, 1973, OPEC launched a full oil embargo against the U.S. For months we were faced with gasoline shortages and price spikes across the U.S.
55 mph limits were imposed, CAFE mileage standards were established, carpools were formed.

The USA became a net importer of oil and, shortly thereafter, became a debtor nation. The “Japanese invasion” blossomed with little Honda Civics. Locally, a small group of citizens started Los Alamos Bus to commute to the Lab. I joined four other high school teachers and administrators in a carpool. A number of dormant bicycles were dusted off and put to use.

Then, in the ’90s, gas eased and horsepower races returned. I wonder if, because of memories of 40 years ago, there are a disproportionate number of
over 55ers who buy Priuses and the like?