Business: Big Oil's Pinch at the Pump

Supplies short, prices up and companies have trouble getting the lead out

Bad winter weather usually brings bleak news about the nation's energy supplies, and now it is beginning to seem as if mild temperatures and sunny skies do the same. That, at least, is one way to look at the hooded pumps and OUT OF GAS signs sporadically popping up at service stations around the country.

For the first time since the autumn of 1973, gasoline is once again in short supply—not in the dead of winter, but a week before winter officially...

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