The Alaska Pipeline

When Atlantic Richfield prospectors struck oil at Prudhoe Bay early in 1968, they stumbled upon the largest oil field ever discovered in North America. Getting that oil out of Alaska would take nine years, employ some 78,000 people, cost more than $8 billion, and require threading 800 miles of steel pipe through America’s most pristine wilderness.

American Experience presents The Alaska Pipeline, a one-hour documentary from producer Mark Davis. “The Trans-Alaska Pipeline changed just about everything and everyone it touched,” says Davis, “from the people who opposed it to the people who supported it, the people who built it, and the state of Alaska.”

Oil companies with holdings at Prudhoe Bay formed a company called Alyeska to build and operate the pipeline. But before the first mile of pipe could be laid, the project ran into unexpected opposition. Native Alaskans had been waiting more than a century for Congress to settle ancestral land claims. Since the proposed pipeline would run directly through land they considered theirs, they believed that the government should settle their claims before construction began. Another formidable challenge came from environmentalists, who feared that the colossal project would wreak havoc on America’s last untouched wilderness. In April 1970, Native Alaskans and environmentalists both sued in federal court to block government approval of the pipeline.

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  1. Can I simply say what a aid to seek out someone who truly is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet. You positively know how to bring an issue to gentle and make it important. Extra individuals must read this and understand this aspect of the story. I cant believe youre not more standard since you undoubtedly have the gift.


  3. I worked on the Trans Al;aska Pipeline Project and was surprised that this documentary had been removed. A lot of money and work went into protecting the wildlife and their environment. Over 55% was built above ground and in very many cases, well above ground, to allow migration of caribou and larger animals to pass under it. Many new engineering procedures were introduced in order to deal with many new situations that designers and engineers did not anticipate until faced with them. They should be proud of their work and that a documentary was made about it , not pull it off.

  4. When somebody likes this – why not? Thanks anyway.

  5. what? User removes video??? but DH cannot cleanup the home page so I am lead to think the vid exists…urgh.