Experts look to 'Big Inch' as blueprint for oil and gas crisis f - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Experts look to 'Big Inch' as blueprint for oil and gas crisis fix

Prices at the pumps continue their roller coaster ride up and down, leaving some looking, many wondering what, if anything, can be done to bring prices down.

America faced a similar problem during World War II, and some are saying it could be a good lesson for today's problem.

The price of gas is an ongoing source of irritation for motorists. Why does it cost so much?

"There's plenty of oil and gas that's obtainable," says oilfield expert, Cliff Carpenter Jr., "We have to get the product out of the ground, and once again the people here they know how."

In World War II, massive amounts of crude oil were needed to fuel the war effort; the answer was the big inch pipeline.

"They were shipping refined crude and products and then we lost them to submarine attack," explained East Texas Oil Museum Director and historian, Joe White.

It took workers 13 months to build over 1,400 miles of pipeline that carried crude to refineries in New York and New Jersey. At its peak, the pipeline carried 300 million barrels a day from Longview.

The spot on Martin Luther King Boulevard where the big inch was begun in 1942 remains a testament to what we can do in time of necessity.

And it put people to work.

"A classmates father was one of the lead engineers on the big inch," Carpenter said, "We've got to get it done."

Not so different, some say, from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which oil experts say could help immensely.

In a time of need, Americans found a way. But, could we do it again?

Carpenter says, "We just have to have the national will to do it... We've just got to do it and we have the ability."

The "Big Inch" pipeline is still in operation.

It was converted to carry natural gas to the East Coast, as it still does today.

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