Many people in New Jersey and New York are waiting in very long lines to get gas because of Hurricane Sandy. Well, in 1973, people couldn't get gas anywhere in the country.
There was a conflict between the Israelis and Arab states and the United States was stuck in the middle.
Being formally allied with the Israelis, it put us in a tenuous situation with the Arab states to meet our high oil demand. Therefore, there was an oil shortage across the entire country!