Canada's Barrel of Troubles

Inflation leaps, the dollar sags and U.S. oilmen scream

It was billed at the time as a bold stroke to free Canada's $40 billion oil and gas industry from foreign domination. In fact, seldom has a single governmental action more thoroughly disrupted a country's economy than has the National Energy Program put forth last October by the government of Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

Though the program's various tax and subsidy provisions were intended to encourage giant foreign multinationals like Shell, Exxon and Mobil to sell at least some of their Canadian operations to local companies, the effect has been to aggravate a...

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