50 Years Ago: Concern over rising gas prices

Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 6:49 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - 50 years ago, rising gas prices were cause for concern here in western Virginia, even if the price at the pump was just a fraction of what it is today.

During this week in 1972, the cost of regular gasoline was approaching 40 cents a gallon. And experts were predicting a shortage of gasoline and fuel oil during the fall.

James Heizer was Executive Secretary of the Virginia Gasoline Retailers Association.

“The cost of gasoline at the refinery gate has been edging upwards,” Heizer told reporter Ann Compton. “It’s the old law of supply and demand and as gasoline becomes short in supply, the wholesale prices, cost prices, go up.”

A year later, the first oil embargo sent gas prices even higher, topping 50 cents a gallon by 1974.