OIL PRICES: Penny-a-Gallon Pinch

Maybe it was the fleshpots and schlag parlors of lovely Vienna, amid which the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries assembled for its quarterly meeting last week. Whatever the reason, the gathering of the 13-nation cartel that controls about two-thirds of the non-Communist world's crude oil eventually dissolved into a Mad Hatter's tea party of illogic. The sharply rising oil prices imposed by O.P.E.C. in the course of the past year have been largely responsible for spiraling international inflation. Yet delegates of the oil-producing nations, with only Saudi Arabia dissenting, voted to impose additional tax and royalty charges of 330 per...

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