Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D-Wash) predicted yesterday that Americans are in for a tough year ahead with higher oil prices, climbing inflation rates, wage and price controls and a return to long lines at gasoline stations.
Jackson, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, said on "Face the Nation" (Cbs, wdvm), that oil prices could be expected to climb to $30 a barrel in the next year, with the likelihood of even further increases.
In addition, he said inflation would be driven to a 15 percent annual increase next year by spiraling oil prices. He predicted that odd-even gas allocation will be reinstated for purchasers who, he said, again will face lines.
"I think very clearly that the need is here and now for mandatory pricewage, guidelines," said Jackson. He predicted that the Congress would enact the guidelines next year.
Jackson said the United States must develop a contingency plan to cope with the possibility of a cutoff of crude oil supplies from the Middle East, possibly a joint guarantee to protect oil sources by all western-oil consuming nations.
If no plan is developed, he said, the United States faces the possibility that it would have to send its own troops to the Middle East in the event of an oil shutdown. Jackson said he wanted to avoid that possibility.