ENERGY: Gas: Enough for Now

In each of the past five years, federal and industry officials have frightened the nation with dire predictions of severe winter shortages of natural gas, and each time the actual shortfall has turned out to be manageable. The 1975 forecasts, however, sounded alarmingly convincing. Last July, President Ford himself warned that plant shutdowns caused by gas shortages "will mean substantially less jobs" during the winter of 1975-76 and "could interfere with economic recovery," while a gas-company official spoke of "the industry's Pearl Harbor." From there the script got more familiar: as...

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