The Petroleum Administration for War Advertisement

Petroleum Administration for War Rationing Advertisement
The Petroleum Administration for War (PAW)
[courtesy of the National Archive]
The PAW was the Federal agency responsible for ensuring the supply of gasoline and other petroleum products during World War II. The PAW worked with representatives of petroleum-industry businesses to ensure that the military had an adequate supply of gasoline while necessary defense industries could still function and that there would be enough left over for civilians to receive the amount guaranteed them by rationing.  This advertisement was published in newspapers in order to encourage civilians to minimize their use of gasoline.  [More below]
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Do you think the rationale of telling the truth and ‘asking nicely’ would have worked this time?  Consider how ready most of the Nation seemed to be to ‘fight them over there’ after 9/11 and you might see how this would have been a reasonable request from the government…like Victory Gardening.  But if you’ll remember, we were told to act normally, ‘keep shopping’ or “they” win (*act normally = whatever particular color on the terror mood ring chart they happened to dictate.  “Hmm, I felt comfortable being orange-normal at the football stadium last week. But maybe we shouldn’t take the leap into red-kooky and fly to grandma’s this month.”). 
With Peak Oil past us and the end of oil being ever nearer – rationing gas and bringing back Victory Gardens would have seemed even more reasonable – and almost nostalgic to the point of admirable, engaging  whole  new generations of patriotism in action by doing their part.  I guess being that honest would have cost Bush and Co. (and friends) an awful lot of money on oil and agribiz stocks…not too mention all the immigrant slave labor. Well, I’m sure everyone will one day look back with pride when recalling  those precious patriotic moments worthy of Howard Zinn’s storytelling legacy. All the brave things that terrorists hated most, ‘super sizing’ in the SUV after trips to America’s biggest superstore, employer and Chinese importer, WalMart.

We sure fixed them…

Happy gardening!