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Goals of the National Energy Program

There were three goals of the NEP, as outlined by Marc Lalonde:
1. "It must establish the basis for Canadians to seize control of their own energy future through security of supply and ultimate independence from the world oil market.
2. It must offer Canadians, all Canadians, the real opportunity to participate in the energy industry in general and the petroleum industry in particular, and to share in the benefits of industry expansion.
3. It must establish a petroleum pricing and revenue-sharing regime that recognizes the requirements of fairness to all Canadians no matter where they live."
Real Reason Behind the NEP

"The major factor behind the NEP wasn’t Canadianization or getting more from the industry or even self-sufficiency. The determinant factor was the fiscal imbalance between the provinces and the federal government.... Our proposal was to increase Ottawa’s share appreciably, so that the share of the producing provinces would decline significantly and the industry’s share would decline somewhat."

-Rt. Honourable Marc Lalonde, Minister of Energy
What the NEP Was

The specific objectives of the above goals of energy security, "fairness" and increased "Canadianization" were outlined specifically in the following objectives:
1. Energy security was to be achieved through gaining elimination of oil imports by 1990
2. "Fairness" in pricing and revenue sharing was to be achieved by holding the consumer price of oil significantly below the world price and increasing the revenue share of the federal government to 25%.
3. "Canadianization" was to be met by reducing foreign ownership of the petroleum industry to 50% by 1990.
How the NEP Destroyed the Albertan Economy and Albertan Jobs

The entire NEP was based upon shoddy management of decision making under uncertainty. The NEP simply assumed that energy prices would continue to rise. By 1983, prices fell dramatically. Instead of finding themselves with a rich industry that they could tax at higher rates, they found a depressed industry that was even less attractive after the seemingly punitive NEP was taken into consideration.

In addition to hampering the energy industry, the "Canadianization" aspects of the NEP had measures that halted and sometimes reversed foreign ownership, and even by retroactively changing resource ownership conventions. This caused a flight of capital in the energy industry, but also in other sectors of the economy.

Thus Albertans were left with an industry that the government tried to redistribute revenues from, and in the process that industry became unattractive. And that industry, already lacking as an investment due to that hampered profitability, was hammered again by the draconian nature of the Canadian government trying to decrease foreign ownership. Not only was the depressed industry unprofitable, it became a much riskier investment, which scared away investment. Thus the energy industry got destroyed.
The NEP was a Political Program, Not an Economic One