Civilian rationing in the US During the 1973 oil crisis, coupons for gasoline rationing were printed, but never used. Rationing is often instituted during wartime for civilians as well. For example, each person may be given "ration coupons" allowing him or her to purchase a certain amount of a product each month. Rationing often includes food and other necessities for which there is a shortage, including materials needed for the war effort such as rubber tires, leather shoes, clothing and gasoline. Towards the end of the First World War, panic buying in the United Kingdom prompted rationing of first sugar, then meat, for the rest of the war. During World War II rationing existed in many countries including the United Kingdom and the United States. A gasoline rationing system was put in place in the United States. Gasoline shortages were especially acute in the Eastern states, because in the early Forties, most petroleum was carried by tanker. This conveyance became dangerous with U-Boats operating off the US coast. Accordingly, until the Big Inch and Little Big Inch pipelines started pumping petroleum from East Texas to the northeast states, gas supplies in the East were tight. A national speed limit of 35 miles per hour was imposed to save fuel and tires. Depending on need, civilians were issued one of a number of different classifications of gas cards, entitling them to different quantities of gasoline each week. When purchasing gas, one had to present a gas card along with a ration book. Coupons were made valid for only a set period, to forestall hoarding. To get a classification and rationing stamps, one had to appear before a local board to certify a need for gas and ownership of no more than five tires. All tires in excess of five per driver were confiscated by the government, because of rubber shortages. An A card was the lowest priority of gas rationing and entitled the holder to 3 to 4 gallons of gas per week. B cards were issued to workers in the military industry, entitling their holder up to 8 gallons of gas per week. C cards were granted to persons deemed very essential to the war effort, such as doctors. T rations were made available for truckers. Lastly, X cards entitled the holder to unlimited supplies and were the highest priority in the system. Ministers of Religion, police, volunteer firemen, and civil defense workers fell within this category. A scandal erupted when 200 Congressmen received these cards.