CANADA: Texas of the North

A tall, feathery column of black spray shot into the air and a throaty roar echoed over the grainfields outside Edmonton. Within minutes, a bumper-to-bumper line of cars was moving out of the city along the westbound Jasper highway, heading for the new Acheson oilfield, seven miles away. There a crowd gathered to relish a familiar but stirring sight. Alberta's newest oil well was blowing in wildly, gushing up 200 feet and spitting blobs of copper-black crude for half a mile around.

Rampaging wells and eager people are signs of the times in...

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