CONSERVATION: Pondering the Tasks Ahead

True or false: the energy crisis was a blessing in disguise. Most Americans would immediately say false. By tripling oil prices and cutting production for a while, the Arab nations created severe new international balance of payments problems, disrupted business, backed up long lines at gasoline pumps and caused countless other hardships. But at an energy conference held by Time Inc. in Williamsburg, Va., speakers from Government, industry and environmental groups also saw a brighter side to the five-month oil embargo. They believe that it awakened Americans to long-festering energy troubles...