IMPACT: The Fuel Crisis Begins to Hurt

The energy pinch so far has been an abstract thing for most Americans, more future threat than present trouble. Last week, for a growing number, the crisis brought real pain. Shortage-caused layoffs spread into the auto, electronics, rubber and aluminum industries. Traveling was rapidly becoming a nightmare because of gasless Sundays, airline flight cancellations and, most spectacularly, a series of highway blockades in the East, Midwest and South staged by owner-drivers of heavy trailer trucks.

The truckers, squeezed between rising diesel-fuel costs and lower speed limits that cut the number of miles they can cover in a day, are...

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