The people of the United States are starting to feel the effects of using more fuel than their country can produce.
The people of the United States are starting to feel the effects of using more fuel than their country can produce. Several schools in Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska have been forced to reorganise their classes because there is no fuel to heat their buildings. Some have had to close altogether.
Throughout the nation, offices, factories and institutions are going without heating because of the lack of heating fuel.
In Illinois there's a danger of grain rotting because grain elevators have no fuel to keep harvested crops dry. In New York, a shortage of jet fuel has upset airline schedules.
Recently the Government took a major step to ease the crisis by allowing a vast increase in the amount of foreign oil that could be used in the United States. Economists in Washington say that there's a strong possibility that Congress will soon announce higher oil and petrol prices.
Critics of the petroleum industry say the crisis has partly been manufactured by oilmen. They say refineries are producing more gasoline than fuel-oil because gasoline is more profitable.
The industry denies these accusations and claims that more refineries are needed. But oilmen are facing tough legal battles with environmentalists.
The oil industry has warned that environmentalists are in for difficult times - already there are plans for new offshore drilling off the Atlantic Coast. They say that conservationists who are fighting plans for coastal refineries will have to compromise.
At present, economists predict that Americans will have to pay more for fuel... in both price and environmental costs.
SYNOPSIS: Snowfalls in the United States have forced the closure of many schools because of a shortage of heating fuel.
In Illinois, grain is in danger of rotting because there is no fuel for the elevator heaters to keep it dry.
In New York, a shortage of jet fuel has upset many of the country's airline schedules. Several flights have had to be cancelled while airlines attempt to ration fuel supplies.
The fuel shortage has not been felt in the homes of Americans yet. But at their offices, factories, schools and institutions, they are now facing the cold facts that the United States is no longer producing enough heating oil to keep them warm.
In the past, fortunes were made in the oil fields of the southern United States. But today oil drilling has become a highly-expensive business. Oilmen say they are not making enough money to make exploration worthwhile.
Recently the Government took a major step to ease the crisis by allowing a vast increase in the amount of foreign oil that could be used in the United States. But economists in the United States. But economists in Washington have warned Americans that there's a strong possibility that Congress will decide on higher oil and petrol prices.
Several United States petroleum companies are now drawing up plans for oil exploration off the Atlantic Coast. However, environmentalists are fighting the companies who want to set up on-shore refineries to serve the sea rigs. Critics of the industry say the present crisis has partly been manufactured by oilmen producing more gasoline than fuel oil, because gasoline is more profitable.