The Story of the Alaska Pipeline

The United States built an 800 mile long pipeline to help deliver the oil from Alaska's Prudhoe Bay and North Slope to the Continental 48. Here is the story of how that came to be. Particularly interesting is the segment around the 2:30 mark discussing the attempt to use an icebreaking tanker for carrying oil through the icy Arctic waters. That plan did not work out: the tanker could not manage the ice. Today, with global climate change bringing warming to the Arctic it might soon be possible to navigate tankers through the newly ice free Arctic waters. Ironically, now that it may be possible, there is very little oil to deliver! The Alaskan oil fields are all in decline, having already produced the majority of their petroleum. That petroleum is now in part contributing to the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, helping to ensure even higher future temperatures.

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