I watched from the seawall in Galveston as the worlds super-tanker fleet rode at anchor en masse in the parking reserve area just off the Bolivar Straight, waiting while the gas lines of 1979 grew into a national panic. When the public finally associated blame for the (totally manufactured) "gas shortage" with the fact of a Democrat in the Whitehouse and an irreversible rise in pump prices, the ships lifted anchor and filled the refineries of Texas city, Houston and Bayport with crude oil. Like Magic, the gas lines disappeared everywhere except in the collective memory of Reagan voters.
I presume the same technique was applied in other US ports which had large refining components but have no personal experience as evidence like I do for the Galveston Bay area.
They can, will, and probably ARE doing the same song and dance today with imported goods' price rises. Rarely performing such highly publicized operations without multiple win-wins built into the scheme, this time around the PTB are force feeding the idea that our dependence on Chinese manufacturing is causing the US and thus the average citizen damage as some sort of plot by the Chinese government, unwittingly (or intentionally) aided by the "Democrat" executive. This time they even have the gall to float the idea that the Federal government needs to fund "necessary" port improvements to alleviate this manufactured problem.
The "Powers That Be" have occasional moments of actually participating in the maintenance of their supremacy and, like the seasons, they are predictable. At one time it was coupled with the odd term, "business cycle". They are now into their "grift the pandemic panic" phase which followed on the heels of the "we're all in this together, trusting each other" phase.