This is a copy of the Book written by Lindsey Williams. as far as i can tell, it is completely unavailable, but i found this and thought i would share. also, this thread will be locked so it isnt cluttered with random posts. feel free to create a comment thread about this if you wish. It is a long read, so Good reading! if you want to leave a comment please follow this link. ENC opinion thread
The Great Oil Deception
There is no true energy crisis. There never has been an energy crisis . . . except as it has been produced by the Federal government for the purpose of controlling the American people. That's a rather dramatic statement. to make, isn't it? But you see, at one time I too thought there was an energy crisis. After all, that was what I had been told by the news media and by the Federal government. I thought we were running out of crude oil and natural gas. Then I heard, I saw, and I experienced what I am about to write. I soon came to realize that there is no energy crisis. There is no need for America to go cold or for gas to be rationed. We shall verify these statements as we provide the facts for you. You might be surprised to find that we will also show why the price of gas will remain high, and in fact will go higher than it is now.
You've read about the controversy. You've heard the statements, the claims, the counterclaims. You've read about the problems of environmental protection, such as the need to protect birds whose species are becoming extinct. What you haven't heard is that $2 million dollars was spent to go around the nest of one species. On your property, you'd have moved the nest—not so on the Alaska Pipeline. Not true? Questionable? We'll give you the facts.
You've read about the objections of the native Alaskans whose territory is being exploited by those giant corporations that can never be satisfied. You've heard about the excessive profits made by the oil companies. But you haven't heard about the incredible regulations that forced the costs of the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline up from a projected $2 billion dollars to beyond $12 billion dollars. We'll tell you more about that.
I became convinced of the fact that there is no energy crisis when Senator Hugh Chance visited me on the Pipeline. As well as being a former Senator of the State of Colorado, he is also an outstanding Christian gentleman. He came to the Pipeline at my invitation, to speak in the work camps for which I was responsible as Chaplain, on the northern sector of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline.
While I was there I arranged for him to have a tour of the Prudhoe Bay facility. Senator Chance was shown everything he wanted to see, and he was told everything he wanted to know. The Senator was given information by a number of highly-placed responsible executives with Atlantic Richfield, and these were cooperative with him at all times. He especially gained information from one particular official whom we shall call Mr. X, because of the obvious need to protect his anonymity.
After Senator Chance had talked at length with Mr. X, we came back to my dormitory room at Pump Station No. 1 and sat down. Senator Chance said to me, "Lindsey, I can hardly believe what I have seen and heard today."
I waited to see what it was that was so startling. Remember, as yet I had no inkling that there was, in fact, no true energy crisis.
Senator Chance was very serious. He was obviously disturbed. He looked up at me as he said, "Lindsey, I was in the Senate of the State of Colorado when the Federal briefers came to inform us as to why there is an energy crisis. Lindsey, what I have heard and seen today, compared with what I was told in the Senate of the State of Colorado, makes me realize that almost everything I was told by those Federal briefers was a downright lie!"
At that point Senator Chance asked if I could arrange for another interview with Mr. X on the following day. I did arrange for that interview, and the Senator and Mr. X sat in Mr. X's office. I was allowed to be present, as Senator Hugh Chance asked question after question after question.
Senator Chance's first question was, "Mr. X, how much crude oil is there under the North Slope of Alaska, in your estimation?"
Mr. X answered, "In my estimation, from the seismographic work and the drillings we have already done, I am convinced that there is as much oil under the North Slope of Alaska as there is in all of Saudi Arabia."
Senator Hugh Chance's next question was perhaps an obvious one. "Why isn't this oil being produced, if there is an oil crisis?" He went on to point out that private enterprise has always come to the rescue of the American people when there have been times of need.
Mr. X then made the startling observation that the Federal government and the State government of Alaska had allowed only one pool of oil on the North Slope of Alaska to be developed.
Senator Chance then asked, "Mr. X, do you think that there are numerous pools of oil under the North Slope of Alaska?"
Mr. X replied, "Senator Chance, the government has allowed us to develop only one 100-square-mile area of this vast North Slope. There are many, many 100-square-mile areas under the North Slope of Alaska which contain oil. There are many pools of oil under the North Slope of Alaska."
The Senator then asked, "Mr. X, what do you think the Federal government is out to do-what do you really think the government has as its ultimate goal in this business?"
Mr. X's answer was highly controversial in its implications. He stated, "I personally believe that the Federal government is out to declare American Telephone and Telegraph a monopoly. In so doing they will be able to divide the company and to break the back of the largest private enterprise on the face of the earth. Secondly, they want to nationalize the oil companies. I believe that these two objectives merge." As Mr. X continued to elaborate his point of view, it became clear that the objectives, as he saw them, were of dramatic import for the economic welfare of this country and indeed for the whole world.
Senator Chance asked one last question, "Mr. X, if what you say is true, then e by don't you as oil companies tell the American people the truth and warn them? "
"Senator Chance," Mr. X replied, "we don't dare tell the American people the truth because there are so many laws already passed and regulations on the books that if the government decided to impose them all on us and enforce them, they could put us into bankruptcy within six months."
In light of what Mr. X stated in that conversation with Senator Chance, it would seem that the stakes are even bigger than money. They would involve power and domination—initially under the guise of government ownership and control of not only the essential commodities and services, but then progressively beyond that. We would call it socialism. Others would give it different names. In the light of Mr. X's statements, that is the direction in which America is being led post-haste today. This book is an attempt to awaken the public to the facts before it is too late.
Mr. X is a man whose observations must be taken seriously. He was one of the numerous executives with Atlantic Richfield who was given the responsibility of developing the entire East side of the oil field at Prudhoe Bay. His credibility cannot be denied. Mr. X has developed numerous oil fields for Atlantic Richfield throughout the world and has built numerous refineries. He is an expert in this field.
So far we have given you just a few side observations. But there is more. Much more. We have a story that must be told. There are tremendously important matters involved—matters of principle and the concepts highly important to our whole way of life. They involve politics, economics, and our American way of life.
Last edited by Rob; 06-07-2008 at 11:44 AM.
Energy Non-Crisis Chapter 2.
In this book we will at first give only observations and not opinions. This will set the stage for others to arrive at informed conclusions. At the summation of the book, however, we will allow ourselves the luxury of expressing some opinions—where they are clearly justified by the observations we have made. My primary objective is to report observations, factual material that often could not otherwise be known. Some of it is startling and highly controversial, in that it relates to decisions of policy and high prices, and it is certainly highly relevant
to America's national interests—which, of course, makes it of dramatic importance to the rest of the world, as well.
Such statements might seem to be sweeping-some people will even regard them as outrageous. Nevertheless, they're made with the knowledge that they are accurate and vital, and with the conviction that they ought to be told. That being so, why should they not be taken seriously? Plenty of people have said there is no true energy crisis, but almost always they make those statements based on rumors and hearsay; seldom are they able to back up their statements with solid facts.
That is where this book is different. At the risk of being misunderstood, it is necessary to demonstrate that the observations that follow come from a reputable and unprejudiced witness. Credibility must necessarily be established.
Probably it should first be stated that I am an ordained Baptist Pastor and have been a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for over 20 years. In fact, that is an important reason why I received access to the information presented in this book—first, because I was a Chaplain to the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline; second, because that position gave me executive status, and with it access to a great deal of information that would not be available to the "man on the street." On the other hand, I have not revealed anything of a confidential nature. At no point have I been asked to withhold any of the information that is presented in this book. Officials have talked to me freely, have shown me technical data, and have explained the intricacies of their highly complex operations at every point that I showed interest. They have never embarrassed me because of my original lack of knowledge about their field, but have been courteous and have led me to an in-depth understanding of the workings of the total oil field. They carefully went through all sorts of detail when I was there with Senator Hugh Chance,
explaining from their own model of the field where the wells were, what their depth was, how much oil was available in the areas where they had drilled—and so much more. I saw their seismographic information, discussed with them their ideas as to how much oil was at one point and another, and asked all those questions which might be asked by any intelligent observer with an interest in this, the greatest project ever undertaken by private enterprise in the whole of the history of the world.
I learned that there were two ways to know how much oil was in a particular area—by seismographs and by actually drilling right into the oil field itself. I had free access to the jobs where the men were working, even on the rigs themselves, and I was able to watch them drilling. Later we shall see that this is highly relevant to some of the important conclusions that many will draw after reading this book.
I always had access to the technical data in the offices; it was made readily available to me. It was open and aboveboard; there was no question of confidentiality being breached, and indeed after my eyes had been opened to the fact of a non-energy crisis, the cooperation was even greater than it had been before. Many officials are likewise concerned at what the government was and is doing to oil companies and to the supply of oil to the people of America.
We headed our chapter with a reference to credibility. Another aspect that must be stated is that I did not have the proverbial ax to grind, either with the oil companies or with the government. The oil companies never asked me to be a Chaplain on the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline—indeed, the opposite is true. It took six months of pleading my case, of being shuttled from official to official, of being given a regular runaround, before I managed to obtain status as a Chaplain. Eventually, the personnel relations official with Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, Mr. R. H. King, gave me authorization to work directly under the auspices of Alyeska Pipeline Service Company as a Chaplain. The company that was formed by a consortium of nine major oil companies of America was called Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. The Pipeline officials allowed me on the Pipeline as Chaplain with considerable reluctance. I was the first Chaplain appointed, and I was the only Chaplain who stayed right through the entire project. The original thinking of the officials was that a Chaplain would be out of place with the type of personnel associated with the rough and tough oil industry. After being on the Pipeline for a period of time, they realized the value of having a Chaplain. Mr. R. H. King, himself, the Personnel Relations man from Alyeska who appointed me, acknowledged that I was saving the company thousands of dollars every week through my counseling and the general atmosphere I was creating in the camps.
At that point, because the company could not pay me, due to the original agreement at the time of my appointment, they decided to give me executive status. This meant that I had highly valued privileges, as well as access to data which was not classified confidential, but nevertheless was highly important in the national interest. In lieu of monetary payment, they decided to compensate me by giving me executive privileges.
In going to the Pipeline, I had no intentions of being (or becoming) involved in political issues. Indeed, my whole motivation was to help the men spiritually. I totally believe in my work as a Baptist Minister, and here was a tremendous challenge. I have always been ready to see a challenge and to fight for what I believe. When I found that the idea of a Chaplain to the Pipeline was almost anathema to the Pipeline officials, it. Made me, realize even more than ever before that this was a real mission field. I regarded those men on the Pipeline as sheep without a shepherd, and simply stated, my heart went out to them.
It was only after my eyes were opened at the time of the discussions with Senator Chance and Mr. X that I was led into a totally different understanding of a troublesome situation—which I realized must be faced and presented to the American people. Hence this book.
I submit that my credibility is established. I worked on the Pipeline for two and one-half years. I was not paid by either the oil company or any government agency for all of that time, and I believe that I am entitled to claim in sincerity that I had no bias and no particular pleading. I was simply put into an unusual position of seeing and hearing facts firsthand, bringing with it the responsibility to do my part in awakening the American people to the situation—as it really is.
Last edited by Rob; 06-07-2008 at 06:34 AM.
Energy Non-Crisis Chapter 3.
Shut Down That Pipeline
I have already said that the first time I realized there was no true energy crisis was when Senator Hugh Chance visited me in Alaska. However, like many other Americans, I had heard the rumors and hearsay many times before that. In fact, I first became aware of the supposed "energy crisis" in 1972 when I was riding on roundup in Wheatland, Wyoming, on a 32,000-acre ranch. That day as we rode in the high country looking for cattle, I noticed a big pump—it was, in fact, a large pipeline that was running across the Rockies. I was curious (that is my nature). I said to the man with me, "Sir, what is that big pipeline running across your property?"
I should explain that because I am a Baptist preacher, I am often called "Brother Lindsey." I suppose it's a courtesy title. My friend answered, "Well, Brother Lindsey, that's one of the major cross-country pipelines carrying crude oil from the West to the East."
"Ah," I answered, "That's rather interesting. I've heard there's a possibility of an energy crisis. I'm sure glad those pumps are running full speed ahead."
That was in 1972. You will remember that 1973 was the first time we were told there was really an energy crisis. The East Coast was used as a test for that energy crisis, and there were long lines of people waiting, burning fuel while they waited in line for gas they couldn't get.
In 1974, I was again in Wyoming and went to that same ranch. I remember that Fall as we rodeo roundup over the Rockies, I saw something that startled me. I had just come from the East Coast where I had numerous speaking engagements, and, with the rest of America, I had been told we needed to conserve energy—for if we didn't, we were going to run out of fuel. Crude oil was in low supply and natural gas would soon become a scarce commodity. Imagine my surprise that Fall, as we rode back over that same high country, to find that the big pump was closed down. The pipeline didn't seem to be running.
As we rode the high country on horseback, I asked the gentleman who managed the ranch, "Sir, why isn't that big pump running? You don't mean to tell me that they have closed down a major cross-country pipeline? Back on the East Coast I have seen people standing in line waiting on fuel. What's the story?
"Well," that old Westerner said, "Brother Lindsey, here a few months ago they came through and started to close down that pipeline, and you know, that thing went right across my property and I believe I had a right to know why they were closing it. After all, I received money from the oil that was flowing through that line across my property, and so I went up to the man and asked him why they were closing down the pipeline. I said to them, "Don't you know that on the East Coast where that oil is supposed to be going, they have an energy crisis? Don't you know that there are people waiting in line to get fuel and we've got an energy crisis? Man—why are you closing that line down?' "
I listened intently, for I was vaguely wondering if this pointed to some sort of manipulation for a purpose that was unknown to me. The old Westerner went on. "Well, they didn't want to tell me. Brother Lindsey, you know how we Westerners can get sometimes. Cowboys are known for being a little bit mean and ornery, and I decided to use some of that orneriness and persuade that man to tell me why he was closing that pipeline down. So I went up to the boss man and got a little bit rough with him. I told him I wanted to know why that pipeline was being closed down, because after all it was going across my property. I let him know that I was an honest American and that I had thought that back on the East Coast they were having an energy crisis, even though we had plenty of fuel out West. Well, the man finally recognized that I was getting a little bit indignant and he said, "well, mister, if you really want to know the truth, the truth is the Federal government has ordered us to close this pipeline down." The old Westerner went on and told how he stood up to the boss man, "Why man, I can hardly believe that. After all, we've got an energy crisis." The boss man answered him, "Sir, we're closing it down because we've been ordered to."
The old Westerner turned in his saddle and he said to me, "That rather startled me. Actually, I had heard there was an energy crisis. It really shook me up. I sure couldn't understand it at all." I confess that I too was shaken. The oil was no longer flowing, and there seemed to be no reason why it should not flow. We were being told that we must conserve energy. The point was being made very strongly even as we were allowed to wait in line for fuel.
It is relevant now to go back to the earlier conversations I had with Mr. X, who was responsible for developing the entire East side of the Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska. He was there right through the entire project, even though others came in from time to time. He was an honest man with a fine reputation, and what was most important to me was that he was a Christian gentleman. He did not only say he was a Christian, but he lived what he said, and he and I set up quite a friendship. Mr. X was very definite that the only reason there was an energy crisis is because one had been artificially produced.
When I arrived back in Alaska at Prudhoe Bay in 1974, I said, "Mr. X, let me relate to you what I saw in Wheatland, Wyoming, just a few weeks ago. There was a pipeline going from West to East across the Rockies, on the property of a friend of mine. I was riding the range with him in the Fall of 1972 on roundup and the pipeline was flowing full speed ahead, with all pumps going. The following year of 1973, in the Fall, there was supposed to be an energy crisis, and I found that the pipeline going across the Rockies, one of the main West-East pipelines had been closed down. In 1974, the pumps were not running, and at that time the man who managed that 32,000-acre ranch told me that the oil companies had told him that they had been ordered to close down that pipeline by the Federal government. Mr. X, if there is as much oil at Prudhoe Bay as in all Saudi Arabia, as you have stated, and if there really is an energy crisis, why was that cross-country pipeline through Wyoming closed down? You must know something about it."
Mr. X. said to me, "Chaplain, I will try to be honest with you today, and I hope it doesn't get any of us in trouble. We are both Christian men, and we can only tell the truth. We, as oil companies, were ordered by the Federal government in 1973 to close down certain cross country pipelines and to reduce the output of our refineries in certain strategic points of America for the purpose of creating an energy crisis. That really began the first of the control of the American people."
I was astonished at what I was being told. Mr. X showed me the wells and let me know details about the size of the oil pool and the amount of oil that was there. He made the statement that the Prudhoe Bay oil field is one of the richest oil fields on the face of the earth. He said that it could flow for over 20 years with natural artesian pressure, without even a pump being placed on it. He told me that this was one of the only fields in the world where this is true, and that oil would come out of the ground at 1,600 pounds pressure and at 135'-167 °F. He said quite clearly that this was one of the richest oil fields on the face of the earth. He also said that there was enough natural gas, as distinct from oil, to supply the entire United States of America for over 200 years, if that also could be produced.
As I have said, I was astonished. This was during the first year and a half of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline, and the oil companies were supposed to build a natural gas pipeline down the same corridor to supply natural gas to the lower 48 states. The natural gas was to have flowed from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, been liquefied in Valdez, and transported by tanker to California, Washington, and Oregon, and from there it was to have been distributed across the United States by pipeline.
This was the plan that had been promised the oil companies when they first began the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline, and now Mr. X was saying that there was plenty of natural gas here, as well—and as much oil as in all of Saudi Arabia! Yet the media and the Federal government were consistently and continually saying that there was an energy crisis.
I have already shown in Chapter 1 how my eyes were opened. My experience in Wyoming suddenly was seen as part of a widening scope of information. Those experiences in Wyoming—and now my involvement with Senator Chance and Mr. X-added tip to a clear picture of deception and scheming that were hard to understand.
Last edited by Rob; 06-07-2008 at 06:34 AM.
Energy Non-Crisis Chapter 4.
An Important Visit by Senator Hugh Chance
During the summer of 1975, Senator Hugh Chance visited with me seven days on the pipeline in Alaska. During the three days Senator Chance was at Prudhoe Bay, I arranged for him to be given a tour of the oil field and facilities. Because of his position in government, he was given an extensive tour. All questions that he asked were readily answered by the oil company executive conducting the tour. Senator Chance was taken everywhere he requested to go and was shown all data that he asked to see. The Prudhoe Bay oil field, from which crude oil is presently being produced was explained in detail, and the entire North Slope of Alaska was discussed.
On one of those days we went to one of the drill sites. Senator Chance asked for more and more technical data and by the time we returned that afternoon to our starting point, we were totally astonished at what we had seen and heard. Senator Chance had been taken to places that even I as a Chaplain had not previously been allowed to go. However, I stress that I did have executive privileges and could go to any point on the field I wanted to, as well as look at any documents I desired. As I have said, this had been conceded to Chaplains, after about nine months on the Pipeline we were then given executive privileges. We were allowed an executive dormitory and were allowed to see certain things that others could not. Nevertheless, that day I was shown things with the Senator and told things by Mr. X that I had not learned before.
We have already explained that Senator Chance made it clear that the things he had seen that day were in direct opposition to the facts that had been presented by the briefers who came from Washington, D.C. to inform State Senators as to the supposed facts of an energy crisis. I myself was very surprised when I heard the Senator expressing himself, and I said, "Surely a government official would not lie to us about the energy crisis." Senator Chance answered, "Chaplain Lindsey, we were told something about the Prudhoe Field, and we were told that there was an energy crisis. Today I have found out that there is no energy crisis." It was at that point that he asked me to arrange a further interview with Mr. X the next day, which I did.
When I contacted Mr. X and told him that the Senator would like to talk to him again that day, he said, "By all means. I'll have some time this afternoon, and I'll be glad to give you as much time as you need."
We walked into the office of Mr. X at Atlantic Richfield's facility that afternoon and Senator Chance began to ask questions. Mr. X was at first a little reluctant to answer the questions, and then the Senator said, "Sir, I want to ask you these questions as a gentleman to a gentleman. I would appreciate very much your direct answers. I promise you that the answers you give will be answers that I would like to use in trying to wake up the American people." Then Senator Chance went on asking questions. He asked, "Mr. X, what is it that the Federal government is out to do? Why is it that they are not allowing the oil companies to develop the entire North Slope of Alaska? Why is it that private enterprise cannot get this oil out? Mr. X, will you please tell me the whole story?"
What followed included some of the most astonishing answers I have ever heard in my life. This is not opinion, but is actually what I heard from a man who was one of the original developers of the Prudhoe Bay oil field. He said, "Senator Chance, there is no energy crisis! There is an artificially produced energy crisis, and it is for the purpose of controlling the American people. You see, if the government can control energy, they can control industry, they can control an individual, and they can control business. It is well known that everything relates back to crude oil."
The Senator then asked, "Would you please tell me what you yourself think is going to happen?"
Mr. X answered, "Yes, by Federal government imposing regulations, rules, and stipulations, they are going to force us as oil companies to cut back on production, and not to produce the field. Through that they will produce an energy crisis. Over a period of years the intention is that we will fall so far behind in production that we will not have the crude oil here in America, and will be totally dependent on foreign nations for our energy. When those foreign nations cut off our oil, we as Americans will be helpless. The intention is to create this crisis over a period of time."
Senator Chance asked, "Mr. X, if you developed the entire North Slope of Alaska as private enterprise what would happen?" Mr. X looked at the Senator and answered simply, "If we as oil companies were allowed to develop the entire North Slope oil field, that is the entire area north of the Brooks Range in Alaska, producing the oil that we already know is there, and if we were allowed to tap the numerous pools of oil that could be tapped (we are tapping only one right now), in five years the United States of America could be totally energy free, and totally independent from the rest of the world as far as energy is concerned. What is more, sir, if we were allowed to develop this entire field as private enterprise, within five years the United States of America could balance payments with every nation on the face of the earth, and again be the great nation which America really should be. We could do that if only private enterprise was allowed to operate freely, without government intervention."
I stress that I am not giving a personal opinion, but I am simply quoting what an expert in the field said.
The Senator was obviously very angry, and he looked back at Mr. X and said, "Sir, in light of all that you've told me, you've set me thinking today that after being a State Senator for four years, I would like to know something. Sir, will you please tell me what you think the American government is out to do?"
It was at that point that Mr. X revealed his, opinion that the government was out to declare American Telephone and Telegraph a monopoly, and secondly, to nationalize the oil companies.
Senator Chance almost gasped at that point and asked, "You mean to tell me that you're convinced that the Federal government is out to nationalize the oil companies?" Mr. X said that was so, in his opinion, and that the Federal government would continue to put such rules and stipulations on the oil companies until fuel prices would go sky high.
That conversation was in 1975. Already Mr. X was predicting over $1.00 a gallon at a time when the American people were reluctantly paying something like 50 cents a gallon. Mr. X told the Senator and me that the Federal government would force oil prices to over $1.00 a gallon, and in doing so would make the
oil companies look like villains, and the American people would request the Federal government to nationalize the oil companies.
Mr. X gave facts and statistics that day, and in the last six months of the construction of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline, it became clear that he certainly knew what he was talking about.
Senator Chance had another question. "Mr. X, if you're convinced that the Federal government is out to nationalize the oil companies, undoubtedly you have a target date?"
Mr. X said, "Yes, Senator, we do. As oil companies we have already calculated that with present government controls and regulations, we as oil companies can remain solvent until 1982." Those were Mr. X's exact words.
The Senator said, "Sir, I'm amazed at what I've heard, because it falls in line with what I've believed for years, in what the Federal government and its agencies are really attempting to do to the American people."
Senator Chance was obviously very upset, and as he discussed it all with me in the dormitory room later that day, he said that when he went to the lower 48 states he would attempt to have somebody publish the truth of this matter and use it in their election campaign. He wrote a personal letter to Ronald Reagan and received a personal reply—Senator Chance wanted Ronald Reagan to go to the North Slope of Alaska and see the truth as he had seen it, and make the energy crisis a major platform in his campaign. He believed that if he did so, he would be elected.
Ronald Reagan wrote back to Senator Chance and said, "Sir, I'd like to, but I don't have the time—my schedule will not permit." Senator Chance attempted to get others to know the truth about the Prudhoe Bay oil field and the fact that there was no true energy crisis, while something could still be done before the created crisis became even more severe. It was artificially produced, of course, but many of the American people were becoming convinced that there really was an oil crisis, while the oil companies themselves were constantly being hamstrung.
Senator Chance could not get anyone willing to stick their necks out far enough to tell the truth because this was becoming a major issue. The American people were being affected, gasoline tanks were empty, crude oil was in short supply, and even natural gas in certain of our East Coast cities was cut back that year to such a low level that homes were going cold. By creating an artificially induced energy crisis, the American people in large numbers became convinced that our energy really was short.
In our last chapter, we told about that pipeline in Wyoming. The oil was available, but the pipe was shut down. As we proceed, we shall see that huge quantities of oil were available in Alaska, and could readily be made available to the outside world, provided the pipeline itself was available. We shall see that intensive efforts were made to hinder that work to slow it down, to increase its costs, and all the time to hoodwink the American people.
What was behind it all? It is not enough simply to say that the current President is at fault. These regulations were proceeding before he was President, indeed, during the term of a President who represented another Party. This scandal I am exposing is something that leads to the bureaucratic controls behind—and yet beyond—government political leaders, as such. I shall have more to say about that as we proceed . . . and about important financial operations.
What was the involvement of the New York banker and of those Arab Sheiks who had to help bail out the oil companies when they faced bankruptcy? These are questions to which we must have answers. At the appropriate point we shall give you more of the facts, but first we turn aside to give you some information about the oil fields themselves and how they work, and then (in Chapter 7) give some typical examples of the wasteful expenditures forced on the oil companies.
These examples could be multiplied. We shall refer to the problems with the Unions, but those were relatively minor. The oil companies could have lived with those frustrations, but we shall still give an illustration of that problem area, so that the whole picture is brought into clearer focus. Then we shall go on to the far greater problems involving the ecology.
Energy Non-Crisis Chapter 5.
Amazing Facts About the Oil Fields
To get a clear understanding of what we shall present in later chapters, we need to have a clear picture of the oil fields themselves and of the working arrangements with the oil companies.
Alaska is a huge state. It is one fourth the size of the entire lower 48 states. We Alaskans refer to the lower 48 as the original 48 states, and we also refer to it as "The Outside." If you took a picture of the State of Alaska and superimposed it over a picture of the lower 48 states in proportionate size, the State of Maine in the northeast corner of the United States would be in the northeast corner of Alaska and the State of Texas—and everybody knows where Texas is (just ask a Texan!) would be on the southeastern coast of the State of Alaska. Alaska is the largest state in the United States, yet 60% of the population of Alaska is in the one city of Anchorage.
Alaska has three major mountain ranges; the Rockies, the Kuskokwim, and the Brooks Mountains. As you travel northward over each mountain range, there is a climatic change. The southeastern coast of Alaska is known as the Osh Kosh, and this area of Alaska is very mild in winter. The Japanese current which warms Washington and Oregon also keeps this area of Alaska mild. Immediately after crossing the Rocky Mountains into the first interior area of Alaska the winters become severe, going to 50° and 60° below zero. After crossing the second mountain range you come to the Arctic Circle area. The Arctic Circle is an imaginary line around the face of the earth, north of which there is at least one day per year when you have 24 hours of sunlight and another day when the sun never appears above the horizon.
Just north of the Arctic Circle are the Brooks Mountains, and north of the Brooks Mountains is the area to which we are referring in this book as the North Slope of Alaska. This North Slope is a vast Arctic plain, many hundreds of square miles. Generally speaking, it is a flat and very desolate land where there are no trees. The Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline transverses the entire North Slope from north to south.
When we refer to Prudhoe Bay in this book, we are referring to the area from which the oil companies are presently producing oil. The North Slope is the entire area north of the Brooks Mountains; Prudhoe Bay is a very small spot in this vast area. Prudhoe Bay is located adjacent to the Arctic Ocean, and the Prudhoe Bay Field is developed under the auspices of two major oil companies. Atlantic Richfield was responsible for the developing of the entire east side of the oil field at Prudhoe Bay. B. P. Oil Company, which is a British company, under the authorization of Sohio (which is an American company), developed the entire west side of the oil field.
There were seven other oil companies participating in the development of this field, under the auspices of these two companies.
Remember at this point that Alyeska was a company formed by a consortium of nine major oil companies of America for the express purpose of constructing and maintaining the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline. The Alaska Pipeline is the biggest and most expensive project ever undertaken by private enterprise in the history of the world.
When the oil companies began to develop the pipeline route north of the Brooks Mountains, there were no people, no roads, and no towns. There was nothing but a vast Arctic wilderness. This is especially relevant to the problems forced on the oil companies by the Federal and State officials in regard to the whole matter of ecology and environmental protection.
At tremendous cost to the oil companies, entire self-contained cities were flown in by Hercules aircraft and then constructed to house three to five thousand workers each. As there were no people, no roads, and no airstrips, the huge Hercules aircraft landed on frozen lakes in the winter time. The equipment was assembled, gravel pads were built, and the housing units and all life support systems were constructed on the gravel pads. Everything was brought together right there—all electrical systems, water systems, sewage systems—everything had to be constructed on the actual sites.
Hercules aircraft are huge four-engine turbo-prop aircraft, capable of carrying tremendous loads. The entire rear section of the aircraft opens and very large objects can be placed inside. In fact, the Hercules was designed by the military during the last World War for the purpose of driving tanks and other military craft directly on board. Again, as we proceed, we shall see that these huge aircraft were at times used in ways that can be best described as frivolous, adding huge costs to the oil company expenses, and ultimately adding to the price that you and I, the consumers, will be paying at the gas pumps.
In 1974, the cost to the oil companies of one Hercules was $1,200 per hour to rent. Remember, not one penny of government money was used for construction of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline. It was entirely financed by private enterprise.
Animals north of the Brooks Mountains on the pipeline corridor had never seen human beings. The caribou, bear, and Arctic wolves had never seen man and had no fear of man. Almost every day you would see a survey team sitting in one of the few trees while a bear went by.
North of the Brooks Mountains the ground is known as permafrost, because it is perpetually frozen all year round. In the area of Prudhoe Bay the ground is frozen for 1,900 to 2,100 feet down from the surface. Yet to the depth at which the oil is produced, which is approximately 8,700 feet, the oil will come out of the ground at 135 °F.
Most oil fields in the lower 48 states have to be pumped from the time of their original production, and we are often told that this is a major reason why America imports oil from such places as Saudi Arabia. The argument is that because the Arabian oil is so readily available and so much easier to bring to the surface, it is ultimately less expensive to import the oil than to take it from our own ground. However, that is not the case at Prudhoe Bay; indeed it is not the case on the entire North Slope of Alaska. After 20 years of production at natural artesian pressure, the oil companies will inject treated water into the pool of oil, and then they can continue production at natural artesian pressure for many years to come.
One of the leading news magazines recently stated that the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field will run out of oil within five years. This is totally contrary to all technical data that I saw. In fact, the Prudhoe Bay Field will produce well over 20 years without any artificial methods, and then for many years to come at a rate of approximately 2 million barrels of oil every 24 hours. We stress that this is oil available from only one pool of oil; keep in mind that there are many, many proven pools of oil on the North Slope of Alaska. At the end of this book we will tell of one field that has already been drilled into, tested, and proven. Yet the Federal government ordered that no oil be produced from that new-found field. We shall elaborate on this in detail later.
There is an interesting point to mention in passing. Though the ground is frozen for 1,900 feet down from the surface at Prudhoe Bay, everywhere the oil companies drilled around this area they discovered an ancient tropical forest. It was in a frozen state, not in petrified state. It is between 1,100 and 1,700 feet down. There are palm trees, pine trees, and tropical foliage in great profusion. In fact, they found them lapped all over each other; just as though they had fallen in that position.
What great catastrophe caused this massive upheaval, and then led to such dramatic changes in the climate? We stress again that everything is frozen—not petrified—and that the whole area has never once thawed since that great catastrophe took place. So what could possibly cause these dramatic happenings? Most Bible scholars would come to one of two conclusions. Some would argue that it is tied in some way to a great ice age which they believe occurred between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, when many events took place that are not thoroughly understood. Others would point to the catastrophic effects (and after effects) of the Biblical flood of Noah as the case, suggesting that this is evidence of a sudden overtaking by the flood waters and sediments. The breaking up of a great canopy of water that once surrounded the earth, as well as the breaking up of the great "fountains of the deep" referred to in Genesis, could easily account for the tremendous volume of water that since then encompasses the globe. It is believed that the resulting atmospheric and geologic changes were the cause of the drastic changes in climate.
It is interesting to notice that tropical ferns have also been found at the Antarctic, and the evidence from these two areas, considered together, certainly suggests that there has been a dramatic change from a worldwide tropical climate to an Arctic climate within datable times.
It is also interesting to remember that the great Arctic explorer, Admiral Byrd, reported seeing tropical growth in near Arctic regions. Most write this off as being some sort of a mirage, or maybe even a hallucination, but perhaps we have to reconsider. Just as there can be a beautiful grand oasis in the middle of the desert of Egypt (such as the Fayum Region), perhaps there have been oases in this other kind of vast expanse in the Arctic Ocean area, where these subterranean tropical plants are (for some as yet unknown reason) still growing on the surface.
The finding of underground tropical growth is not hearsay, for I have personally watched these palm trees and other types of tropical plants being brought to the surface. Let me give you two examples. One day I watched as a pine cone was brought up from a well (although not considered tropical, they apparently grew together in historic times), and when we first saw it, it looked just exactly as it would look on a young pine tree today. It was closed, and we put it in an office on the premises of Atlantic Richfield. We simply put it on the desk and left it. The next day we came back and the pine cone had opened up. You could quite clearly see the seeds on the inside of the cone. This was obviously after thousands of years of being in a frozen state, hundreds of feet beneath the surface.
I personally have palm fronds in my home which were brought up from some 1,700 feet below the surface. Again I would like to make an observation, without necessarily giving an opinion, because I do not regard myself as expert in this area. I simply want to state that consistently this tropical forest was between 1,100 and 1,700 feet beneath the surface. The actual base of the perpetually frozen ground is approximately 200 feet below the depth of the frozen tropical forest. The oil is found at a depth of 8,700 feet, average, and it is amazing to realize that it comes from that depth
without artificial pumping.
I want to tell you a second incident that you will find hard to believe. As it cannot be documented, it might not be true, but I shall simply report it as it was told to me. One day I actually watched an operation proceeding at Pump Station 3, but did not take any special interest. After all, proceedings were going on all the time. However, on this particular day a man whom I personally know to be very reliable came to me and said something like this: "Chaplain, you won't believe this, but we were digging in this gravel pit on the Sag River, quite a number of feet under the surface depth. We brought to the surface what looked like a big Louisiana bull frog. We brought it into the building and allowed it to thaw out."
As I say, what was then told to me is hard to believe. However, let me point out that the frog is a cold-blooded mammal, and that in the winter season it does go into a virtual state of deep freeze much like the hibernation associated with bears and other Arctic animals.
Then this man described the way in which the frog was left there and then thawed out. He claimed they actually watched as it totally thawed, and that it then quite perceptibly moved—in fact it appeared to be alive, with those perceptible movements taking place for several minutes. Then the movement ceased, and the men threw the frog away. Of course, it would have been better if they had kept it and had the story both witnessed and properly authenticated. Nevertheless, I mention it as an incident that was accepted by others as actually taking place. I have no reason to doubt it.
This then is the setting for the North Slope of Alaska. It is a land of extremes, and that is well-illustrated by its temperature. At Prudhoe Bay I have seen it go, with the chill factor, as low as -130°F (130 degrees below zero). I have also seen it go higher than 90°F in the summertime (this being above zero and quite hot, of course). It is a beautiful land—a land that I have learned to love. In fact, during the months of July and August, the area of Prudhoe Bay is one of the most fabulously beautiful areas of the world. It looks like one great vast golf course, stretching for hundreds and hundreds of miles.
Anyone for golf?
Energy Non-Crisis Chapter 6.
The Workings of An Oil Field
We have said that the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company was a consortium of nine major U.S. oil companies. Each of these sent a certain number of their executives to Alyeska for the construction phase of the Pipeline. This meant that we had men from each of the nine oil companies who had been placed in management positions spread all across the North Slope of Alaska. These men would work so many weeks on the job, then work a number of weeks back home— and then they would return to the job in Alaska again. This meant that there was a continual rotation of executive officers, and, in practice, it was a very effective system. A man was not subjected to the rigors of the Arctic all the time, but would come back refreshed and able to perform with top efficiency while his alternate was relaxing in the lower 48 states or at Anchorage.
Most of the relaxing was done at Anchorage, rather than taking the arduous trip to the south at very regular intervals. It is relevant to point out that the top executives in the oil company worked one week on and one week off in rotation. The further down the ladder you went, the longer they stayed on the job and the less time they had at home. By the time you got to the ordinary worker on the Pipeline, he was expected to stay on the job for six or seven weeks at a time, to go home for one week, and then to come back for a further six weeks.
The top executives would always overlap each other for one day, so that there was constant briefing and debriefing. It was thereby insured that the work would proceed without undue problems. It was at these briefings that I constantly gained a great deal of information. I spent a lot of time in the offices, and at no time did the executives object to the fact that I was present when they were talking about activities that were proceeding at that particular time. It was not my goal or purpose to be there to "gain information," and indeed if I had been there for that purpose, I would have taken very much more notice and kept much more elaborate records. At that time I did not even realize just how pertinent the information really was.
Neither did I ever think that our own Federal government would go this far in producing an energy crisis. As the Pipeline was nearing completion, I then personally realized just how critical all this information really was. The total picture did not fit together until the end, and in fact it has not yet all fitted together. I confess that there are aspects that I simply cannot rationalize. I do not profess to have all the answers. This is one of the reasons why I have deliberately set out to report first what I know to be fact, before I briefly set forth my own opinions or speculations. Of one thing I am convinced. Somewhere, some place, there definitely appears to be a conspiracy.
Because there were, of course, numerous high officials, and each of these was rotating with his alternate, obviously a great deal of discussion took place. Statistics and figures were thrown around like confetti, and some of it landed on my shoulders. Perhaps we should change that and suggest it was thrown around like a basketball. Sometimes the ball landed in my lap, and I took it and ran with it.
Despite the implementation of rules and regulations in ways that were unbelievable, the major development of the Pipeline took place so rapidly that at times information was available which was quickly withdrawn. One outstanding example of that was the whole matter of Gull Island, of which we shall give full details in a later chapter. We shall see that the information relating to Gull Island was ordered to be sealed by the government authorities within days after proof of the find.
It is not our purpose to give all sorts of details as to the day by day administration of the Pipeline, or of the human nature of the men. There were, of course, the common problems such as theft, with the usual attitude of, "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours." That is in all big business and government operations, wherever human beings are found working—around the face of the globe. Human nature does not easily change, whether those concerned are in Alaska or in the lower 48 states.
The sort of graft that so often is associated with private enterprise and big companies is prevalent in many areas. In fact, ultimately human ambition demonstrates itself in ways that have similar roots, if only we can get back and understand the scheming behind various operations. Some people are anxious for financial gain; others are more interested in a power structure; and when it comes to the political arena, that power structure might go way beyond mere money. It is possible to relate this to the oil fields, and to see some semblance of comparison with what is taking place in Canada.
Canada has already nationalized its oil companies. That is an actual fact of history, and this was often referred to by executives of the oil companies working for the Pipeline. Often I heard it related that the same patterns that were used by Canada for the nationalization of their oil companies, it appeared to be the pattern that the United States government was following in its dealings with oil companies today. The oil company officials in the top echelons have suggested that the Federal government wishes to nationalize the oil companies of America. We will elaborate on this in detail in a later chapter of this book.
The heading of this chapter is "The Workings of an Oil Field." It is relevant to emphasize that the United States government, as such, did not own anything —equipment, machinery, buildings, or anything else—on the oil fields. Not one penny of government money was invested in the Pipeline, yet the government exerted all sorts of pressures as they implemented their multitudinous rules and regulations. Both did the oil companies own all of the equipment, for in many cases the work was subcontracted, and often the machinery was owned by the company to whom the work was contracted.
One official was responsible for all the subcontracting of heavy machinery on the east side of the oil field. At one point I heard him state that in a 30-day period he gave out as much as $2 million dollars in contracts for lease of equipment. That man's work is uniquely different from anything else, anywhere on the face of the globe, and that is true of so many jobs associated with the oil fields on the North Slope of Alaska. Because of the Arctic climate, many positions have been created and developed that have no parallel at all in any other project. Very often there is no available training, such as with university degrees, for the job requirements are unique to the Alaska oil fields, and there certainly is no university found out in the tundra on the North Slope!
I know of one man who was a sheep herder in Wyoming, and he operated a huge ranch. He came to Alaska because he heard of the exorbitant wages on the Pipeline, and he wanted a slice of the cake. He started as a general worker at the very inception of the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field, and today he is an invaluable executive with Atlantic Richfield (ARCO). He had no specific training—he was trained on the field, and I personally heard him say that he cannot be transferred because there is no other job like his at any other place on earth. This man is so unique that he virtually knows where every nut and bolt is at Prudhoe Bay, and he is quite irreplaceable. Mr. X remarked to me one day that if he ever wanted anything, he would simply go to this particular man. He seemed to always know where everything was.
Such a man is invaluable, if only because of the high turnover of the labor force on the Alaska North Slope. Many of those who had been there for comparatively short periods of time had no idea as to what had gone on before they had arrived, or as to the way certain activities developed. Over and over again the very nature of the field demands training that is simply not available anywhere else. This can be found only in the "University of Hard Knocks." The Alaska oil field certainly is one big branch in that University!
The dorms in which the men lived in the camps were very well appointed. There were two men in each room in a 52-room section. Men shared common baths in these common dormitory areas. As that executive stated, the food was the best you would find anywhere in the world. During the first year of pipeline construction, it was not unusual to have steak and lobster twice a week. I sat one evening and watched a man eat two steaks, and then he put one in his lunch sack so that he would be able to carry it off to eat on the job the next day. Nowhere but on the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline would you see a welder heating up his steak out on the job with a welding torch, while the steak was on a big piece of metal. He was actually heating the steak from the bottom side of the metal!
The food was always in plentiful supply, being available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The men did not pay for their food, nor did they pay for their candy bars or pop. They simply took all they wanted.
Another thing the general public does not know is that everything the men earned (after taxes and deductions) they could take home with them, because their dorms and all food were free. It was not unusual to see a weekly take-home paycheck of $1,000 after all taxes and deductions had been taken from the salary. In fact, the largest paycheck I saw for seven days of work was actually over $3,000 for an ordinary working man. Workers on the oil field did not exactly starve—in fact, most people would consider that their conditions were very desirable.
ENC chapter 7.
Toilet Paper Holder for Sale Cheap—Only $375.00!
We said we would mention problems. We do not wish to major on Union difficulties, so we shall give only one example to keep the picture in true perspective.
I was sitting with Alyeska's field engineer in the office, simply shooting the breeze before getting down to more important business. In walks one of the workers and says, "The toilet paper holder is falling off the wall in the commode stall over yonder in B dorm."
"Okay," said the manager, and he called in a carpenter. The carpenter came in, dressed for work, of course."Hey Jim, I'd like you to go over and fix the toilet paper holder in B dorm." "Okay," said Jim and off he went. I watched him go out and vaguely thought that he looked a capable man, really dressed for the part. I thought of some of the carpentry jobs around my home I'd like him to do. Surely he would be a lot quicker than I would be, although before very long my opinion on that was drastically changed.
The manager and I went on discussing our business, and had forgotten about that unimportant toilet paper holder over in B dorm. Forty-five minutes went by, and Jim, the carpenter, returned. "Hey," he said, "I can't do that job over there. That's a metal wall and it has to have a screw put in it. That's not a carpenter's job—you ought to know that. That's a metal worker's job. The union would not let me do that."
You notice that it had taken him 45 minutes to decide that, and he then came back to the office. Of course, we must allow the man to have time off for coffee and a cigarette. However, I did think 45 minutes was just a little long. "All right," said the manager, and he did the expected thing and called over a metal worker. In due time the metalworker arrived, and he in turn was told of the urgent need to repair the toilet paper holder on the metal wall in the dorm. Off went the metal worker, and about an hour later he came back. I was still there, for there were some matters that I needed to go over in detail with the manager. In walked the metal worker, and now I had a job to control myself.
"Hey, I can't do this. This involves a screwdriver. That's a laborer's job, and I'm a metal worker. I just tie metal together. You can't expect me to do a laborer's work."
The manager was beginning to feel frustrated, though not all that much, for after all these things happen so often. "All right," he said, "I'll send for one of the laborers." And he did. A little while later a laborer came in, and the manager carefully explained to him what dormitory it was he was to go to. He was very particular, because he had the impression that the man might not be following him very closely. The laborer went off, apparently knowing what it was all about, and the manager and I got down to our business again. It was probably 40 minutes later that again we were interrupted, this time by the laborer coming in with his story as to why he could not fix that toilet paper holder on that metal wall in B dorm.
"Hey, you can't expect me to do this. That screw you talked about—that's gotta go into some wood there—you know that as well as I do. That's a carpenter's job —I'd be on strike if I were to go against the union rules in a thing like this."
The manager turned to me, this time really frustrated. "What do you do, Chaplain? The carpenter can't do it because metal is involved, the metal worker can't do it because there's a screw involved, the laborer can't do it because there's a piece of wood involved—what do I do with that line up of men who are wanting to use the toilet paper?"
In desperation the manager now called in the foreman of the metal workers, the foreman of the carpenters, and the foreman of the laborers, hoping to be able to figure out some way in which somebody, somewhere, somehow could fix that toilet paper holder onto the metal wall with the little bit of wood over in B dorm.
So, these foremen came in, each of them being paid about $25.00 an hour. The carpenter would have earned something like $15.00 an hour, the metal worker about the same, and the laborer a little less. So the foremen were called in. The doors were closed. Chairs were drawn up. They sat down to this very important conference. None dare interrupt. It was almost as though the blinds should be drawn in case anybody would happen to see over their shoulders as they seriously discussed regulations for putting toilet paper holders on walls—no, not just walls, metal walls with wood protruding.
At last an amicable arrangement was entered into. It was clearly an excellent illustration of the unity that could be shown by human beings when they set their mind to do a thing. Nothing is too hard for men to accomplish when they really are serious about finding a solution! The conference relating to the toilet paper holder was a glorious demonstration of human ingenuity, friendship, and common sense. (Or was it?)
Of course, you will be very interested to know what the result was. When we tell you, it will be something like the interpretation of the Pharaoh’s dream in the days of Joseph. Once the interpretation is given, it is obvious.
The decision was that the foremen would call up one man from each of their ranks, and those three men would go together to that metal wall with the wood protruding over in B dorm. There was no decision made as to who would actually lift the toilet paper container, but it was agreed that the three foremen themselves would be there to insure that nobody did anything that was against the union rules. So the procession went across to B dorm. Unfortunately, the manager and I were unable to go . . . we couldn't stop laughing long enough! To be honest, we found it hard enough to not laugh until the team of valiant workmen were out of sight. Then we laughed until they came back.
We were told later what happened. One man would pick up the screwdriver. The other would pick up the piece of wood. The other would hold the screw. Between them they eventually managed to get the toilet paper holder back onto that metal wall with the piece of wood protruding, without offending any union rules. The three officials were satisfied, the workmen were pleased with their noble day's work, and the line of men that had congregated at the other toilets was reduced as the word went around that the toilet in B dorm was again in working condition.
As we say, everything can be done so long as there is a spirit of compromise, fraternity, and "ridiculosity."
You think that's the end of the story? Well, it's not, actually. After all, rules are rules. History has that grim habit of repeating itself. Who knows, perhaps one of those three men did not do his work properly. It would be a dreadful thing to go into that room and find the toilet paper holder had fallen off again. Perhaps by that time one of the foremen would be gone, and they would not have a proper reference to be able to see the matter through so expeditiously and as harmoniously as it had been the first time.
The manager was a man of great foresight. He recognized the problem, and so he said to the men concerned, "Now that you men have done such a good job, and have come to such a wise conclusion, we must see that this is properly established in case there's a repeat at some future time. I must put this down and telex it for our records." He did just that, and sent an elaborate telex down to Fairbanks. Presumably someone at Fairbanks had the arduous task of deciding into what subsection the new regulation should be inserted in the New Operations Manual.
Looking back, it is undoubtedly funny, and I've laughed many times as I've thought of that particular incident. However, the more serious aspect is that the cost of replacing that toilet paper holder on that metal wall with a small piece of wood attached was astronomical! (And that didn't even include the cost of buying the holder, itself.) I have actually sat down and calculated what the total cost would be, based on the salaries of the men concerned. Six men were involved, at salaries ranging between approximately $12 and $25.00 per hour, so the total cost was something like $375.00. As we say, it has its funny side, but it was a ridiculous, frustrating waste. Unfortunately, that was typical of so much that took place on the oil fields.
By the way, the next time you go to a gas station and pay over $1.50 for a gallon, remember that toilet paper holder. Your extra cents are helping to pay for that important piece of engineering and that is symptomatic of so much that took place while the Pipeline was being constructed.
As we have said, there were many problems over union matters—as with various types of labor being required for the simple maintenance of vehicles. There were many irritating delays and unnecessary, exorbitant costs.
The practice of wobbling became a serious problem. That was what the union men called it. It seemed that everything was piling up, all at once. It seemed almost as though there was some underlying force planning this whole thing—every day another catastrophe. By now there were only six months to go until the flow of oil, but everything was breaking loose—the whole place was coming apart. The unions had agreements with the oil companies, and they had promised that for the life of the pipeline they would not strike. The reason that they had promised this was that the men had been given salaries that were exorbitant. Nowhere on the face of the earth could you make that kind of money in these trades, and therefore the unions agreed to sign an agreement that they would not strike.
And then, some of my own Christian men—men who were supposed to be honest—came to me and said, "Chaplain, we can't strike, but we can wobble."I asked, "What's wobbling?"
They said, "That's just another way of striking. Instead of leaving the job and not getting paid for it, we just slow it down. We just sit in the buses and refuse to work because conditions are not right."
Who told them that the conditions were not right? Those conditions had been right for two years, and in all that time there had been no wobbling. The conditions were identically the same as they had been through that period of time, so who was telling them that the conditions were not right? Why did they decide to start wobbling?
When I asked for further explanation of this term "wobble," they said to me. "Haven't you ever seen a wheel turning on its axle? It doesn't come off, but just wobbles and slows the whole thing down." I said to myself, "That's it. That's exactly what's happening. They're trying to slow the whole thing down."
So Union problems were adding to other problems, such as the demand to dig up the pipes, the constant urging for withdrawal of permits, the claims that there were faulty welds, and the attempt everywhere to stop the flow of oil.
Despite these problems, it is worth mentioning that to a great extent the lower echelons of workers were very much behind the oil companies, especially in these last 6 to 9 months. They recognized that the government policies were ridiculous, and they could see what was happening. It was talked about quite openly. However, those workmen did not have the in-depth understanding I had, for they did not have executive privileges which I had as Chaplain. It is true to say, however, that to a remarkable extent the workmen were very upset at the ridiculous impositions by government authorities.
It is also true to say that the government policy was to put restrictions in the way of the oil companies at every conceivable and every inconceivable point. They seemed determined to give problems everywhere they could. It was bureaucracy gone mad.
The oil companies put some information out from time to time in their periodicals, but their reports are not usually available to the general public, and although much of the information about the way the ecology was protected to such extremes was written up, it did not receive wide publicity.
Extremes? Yes—let us illustrate that.
ENC chapter 8.
Want Some Falcons? just Two Million Dollars... A Pair!
The manager at Happy Valley Camp called me into his office one day (by the way, his name was Charlie Brown, and I always did like Peanuts!) By this time I had begun to notice that some things simply didn't make a lot of sense. Costs seemed to be exorbitantly high, and as time went by I was to find that this was indeed true in all sorts of strange ways.
The initial constructions phase of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline involved building a road from Fairbanks, Alaska, to the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay. This road is approximately 400 miles long. It is a gravel two lane road, right on top of the tundra. On this Northern Sector of the Pipeline there were no roads, no people, and no towns. Alyeska Pipeline Service Company had to construct everything from scratch. This road from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay is commonly referred to as the haul road.
On this Spring day the haul road was being constructed across a certain area. It is important to know, so that this story will be understood, that the Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline haul road that ran from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay was so designed that it would affect the ecology as little as possible.
This might seem strange to most people in the lower 48, that is to say, all the states excluding Alaska and Hawaii, but I have actually seen a 'dozer driver lose his job just because he accidentally drove the 'dozer off the main path of the road and drop out onto the tundra. That's how particular the ecology people were about the protection of the precious tundra. We shall discuss the ecology and environmental protection a little later, but at the moment let us simply say that in the construction of the Pipeline there were many ecologists checking on everything. There were Federal government men, as well as State men, and sometimes you would find these men actually walking out in front of equipment so that they could move away little ground squirrels to make sure that no animal was affected in any way by the building of the haul road.
So this day I was called into Charlie Brown's office at Happy Valley Camp, and he said, "Chaplain, you've just got to see what's going on here. I just wasted two million dollars."
I looked at him, wondering what he meant. He did not seem to be too unhappy personally, and I knew that he was talking about the company's money and not his own.
"Never mind," I joked with him, "With all the money you've got, you won't even miss a couple of million. I must come to you for a loan myself sometime."
The manager smiled, but then he became more serious. "Chaplain," he said, "We talk a lot about the way this Trans Alaska Oil Pipeline cost overrun is getting out of hand. I told you that originally the Pipeline was supposed to cost $2 billion dollars, and that the cost overrun is building up every day. Well, sir, as you know, we are putting this haul road across the hillside just outside Happy Valley, and we've been given permission by the government to build the road there. It's not as though we didn't have permission—we've gone through all the right channels, and we're putting that haul road across that hillside, and we have no reason to doubt that we could get the project done in good time."
He paused, and I wondered what was coming. I looked up and saw that he seemed really angry about something. "What's bothering you, Charlie?" I asked him sympathetically.
"Well, you'll never believe it. There was a falcon's nest up on the top of that hill. You know as well as I do that the major nesting grounds of the falcons are the Franklin Bluffs and around this Happy Valley area. These ecologist creeps want to insist that the falcons along the Sag River are on the semi-extinct list, and that they can't be disturbed at any cost. Now we find there are those two falcons nesting up there. One of the damn ecologists found them, and he told us we'd have to stop the whole job."
"The whole job?—you're not serious!" I asked. "Never more serious in my life. This creep found them, and he told us we had to stop the whole job—I mean he told us we'd have to shut down everything, with all those hundreds of men out there on the job working. That guy had the authority to tell us we couldn't go on with our construction, even though we'd been given permits to build it this way, and we were deeply involved with hundreds of men at work.
"Don't give me that nonsense' I said to him.”You don't really think we're gonna stop all this work just so a falcon can sit on its eggs?'
"That's exactly what I am saying,' he said. This creep told me, "You can't go on with this construction until the falcons have finished nesting."
"Why can't you move the damn falcon's nest further across the mountain?" Charlie asked him. That seemed to me to be a sensible enough question.
"My job is to protect the falcons. I'll do my job, you do yours. The road doesn't go through until those falcons have finished nesting." Charlie was told.
Charlie Brown looked at me, and obviously he didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. "Can you really believe it? What could I do? He's got that big book of rules and regulations, and if I go against him not only do I lose my job, but the company gets fined, and the
road doesn't go through anyway. They have got all these rules and regulations, and the overrun is simply getting to a stage of being absurd. This is the greatest construction by man in all the history of the world—so the experts tell us—and yet some creep can tell us that we can't build our road until two falcons have finished nesting!" "So what did you do, Charlie? Did you punch him in the nose?" I asked, with a rather un-Chaplain-like suggestion.
"No, that wouldn't have done any good. He's got both the Feds and the State on his side. I don't have any choice. I had to apply for another permit and reroute the whole damn road. We couldn't wait a month for the falcons to get through with their breeding process, so we just had no option but to reroute the whole haul road. Chaplain, we had to reroute the whole road all the way around that hill, and around the other hills, and take it away from Sag River, and then haul the gravel that much further."
I looked at Charlie Brown, and despite the seriousness of the situation, I saw the funny side and I laughed. "Sorry, Charlie, but it's so ridiculous I can't help laughing." I wiped the smile off my face and then I said more seriously, "How much do you reckon it will cost to move around those two falcons?"
"Well, I've actually calculated it. In order to go around that one nest, it's going to cost the oil companies an additional $2 million dollars. What do you think of that?" I said to Charlie Brown, "Sir, wait a minute-are you telling me that because of those two falcons the oil company is going to be charged an extra $2 million dollars—$2 million dollars extra for the cost of that road—a million dollars a falcon?"
Charlie Brown nodded his head and said, "Yes, that's correct. Two million dollars-a million dollars for each falcon."
I could hardly believe what he said as it sank in. I said to him, "Do you think they'll ever come back to this particular spot—are they likely to come back there
to that nest?"
"No," he said. "Nevertheless, we can't wait a month, and those creeps wouldn't let us move the falcons. After all, Chaplain, that would be a national crisis, and we must salute the flag and all that, you know. So we'll just quietly have to put up with it. Of course, when you go to fill up your car with gas, remember those two falcons—you're going to pay those extra $2 million dollars that we had to spend to reroute the haul road to protect the two falcons on the hillside outside Happy Valley. Maybe it won't be just you, Chaplain, but you and your friends will pay that $2 million dollars."
I love animals and living things, and I think they should be protected, but I do think that these things can be taken to a ridiculous extreme.
Some time after this I was in the lower 48, in the middle of a series of speaking engagements across America each winter. On this occasion I stopped off in Seattle to stay with some relatives of my wife, and we were sitting at the breakfast table one morning with the radio on. I heard an editorial. I think it was three minutes long, if I remember correctly, and it was by the Sierra Club.
By this time I had been to Prudhoe Bay for one winter and two summers—a year and a half. I had seen the caribou migration; I had watched the geese and the ducks come to the North Slope by the thousands. I had seen the beauty of the tundra in the summertime, I had watched the fantastic specter of the Northern Lights, and I had enjoyed the snow in the wintertime—in fact, I love Alaska, because I'm a natural born outdoorsman.
I had been very interested in all the ecology measures the oil companies were taking to protect the North Slope while they were building the Pipeline. I had, of course, noticed that they were taking extreme measures, and spending millions to protect the ecology and to safeguard the animals.
I listened to that Sierra Club editorial for about three minutes, and I heard them attempting to tell how the oil companies were destroying the ecology of the North Slope of Alaska. They made accusation after accusation after accusation. I listened intently, and then when the next program came on I remarked to the people in whose home I was staying that what had just been presented was rather odd. I reminded them that I had been in Alaska for two summers and one winter and had actually watched what took place on the North Slope of that country. I told my friends that I could not find a single accusation in that Sierra Club editorial that was true—not one.
Naturally they wanted to know more, and I told them how I had watched the caribou, animals that did not even know what a white man was, and had never seen a work camp before in their lives. I had actually watched them come through the work camp, because they had no fear of us. We could not shoot them, and we were not allowed to damage the migration pattern in any way at all. I had actually watched an entire herd of caribou walk through a Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline work camp with no fear of a human being whatever. As a matter of fact, I had actually seen them bring forth their young right on the pad at the work camp. I had watched those animals come over and actually settle down right beside the road, and swimming in pools of water and ponds and rivers. Man had never been in this area before, and the men who were there now were not damaging the wildlife in any way at that time, so the caribou had no reason to fear us
I have even watched bears walk right up to a truck that I was driving, obviously having no fear of me, because they had no natural fear of man in those areas. Man had never bothered them in this world of the caribou and the bear.
Thus I was able to substantiate my argument that there had not been one single true accusation in the entire three minutes of that radio editorial. It made me realize that the American people were being brainwashed. It became apparent that the authorities had no intention of telling the facts about Alaska and the Pipeline, and this bothered me because I very much wanted the American people to know the truth. I wanted them to know what was really happening at Prudhoe Bay. I wanted them to know that America needed leadership that would be honest with its people.
Let me state clear that I am in sympathy with some of the aims of the ecologists. I am a lover of the outdoors and certainly agree that species should be protected. However, I think that the matter had reached a point of absurdity when $2 million dollars was spent rather than removing the nest of a falcon. In view of the many other frustrating experiences which the oil companies endured, it is very difficult to reject the conclusion that there were deliberate efforts to cause costs to be raised to the highest point that was possible. We shall substantiate that view as we proceed.
ENC Chapter 9
How About An Outhouse for $10,000 (Extra for the Mercedes Engine, Of Course!)
There were some rather odd paradoxes in the matter of toilet facilities at Prudhoe Bay, and although the subject matter of this chapter may seem a bit crude (even though we have discussed the subject as delicately as possible), it is necessary to show to what extent excess expense was forced upon the oil companies, adding daily to the tremendous budget overruns.
At first it was official policy to hire only men on the pipeline, it being thought that the rough and tough life that was common to the pipeline was not for women. Then that policy was changed and a number of women, of every age, were allowed in as workers. There were no separate facilities for women for the
first few months, so they had to live in the same dorms as the men, even using the same bathrooms.
The dormitories were built so that 52 men were in a unit, there being two to a room, and the restrooms were in the center. I admit it was somewhat of a surprise to me one day to be in the bathroom and notice under the next door a pair of lady's shoes. Apparently it did not embarrass the lady, for she seemed to act as though that was a most natural thing for her to be there, to come out to wash her hands, and then to go on her way. That was life on the Pipeline for some time. You never even knew if the person in the shower stall beside you was a man or a woman.
Obviously sex was an important subject at the Pipeline, even when women were not present. There were some places, such as storehouses, where you simply could not look at any point on the wall without sex symbols being depicted. I remember one day when I was out with Senator Hugh Chance and our truck broke down. We had to wait a couple of hours in a room that was about 70 feet long and 40 feet across. Both walls were completely papered with nudes, from all the pornographic magazines that found their way to Prudhoe Bay. We were there for two hours—there was nowhere else to go, and about the only way to avoid seeing the pornography was to lie down and go to sleep.
Eventually the women had their own dorms, but one could not help sensing that they were not especially embarrassed by sharing the common facilities. The men, in general, had little respect for the women, even though some were decent and respectable. The building of these extra dorms was, of course, an extra expenditure that had not been anticipated at the beginning of the project.
The environmentalists had some weird ideas regarding human waste disposal while the Pipeline was being constructed. The oil companies were forced to use a Hercules aircraft to remove human waste off the slope to Anchorage. The Hercules is a massive four-engined aircraft, able to cart something like 48,000 pounds as a usual load. The tail opens up and the cargo can be loaded. Human excreta was loaded onto Hercules aircraft and tanked all the way to Anchorage, 800 miles away.
As it happened, the sewage system was not operating correctly at Anchorage at that time, so this excreta was dumped into the ocean. The sewage at Anchorage went directly into the inlet because the sewage system was not working effectively—there had been some massive problems with it, and the scheme itself was abandoned for a time.
At first thought, the use of a Hercules for this purpose seems incredible, but it is true. The oil companies were forced to take that human excreta from the slopes where there was virtually nobody living. Out there the excreta could do nothing but fertilize the ground, without having an effect on human beings at all, but the companies were forced to haul it down to Anchorage anyway. Well-placed officials made it clear that it would have been far more sensible to set up designated areas where the waste could be dumped, and then all that would happen would be that the grass would grow, the caribou would be fed, and there would be no problem of the sewage being dumped into the inlet at Anchorage. Obviously large numbers of people could be affected by the foolishness of disposing of the waste in the way it was done, but the ecologists were adamant.
This was not an isolated incident. There were other places where the human excreta had to be tanked into Hercules aircraft and taken away from the slope—another example being in association with the building of the Gilbert Lake Camp and the road in that area. One estimate was that it cost $6,500 for one round trip by Hercules to get rid of a load of human excreta. Anchorage was not the only place that benefitted from this type of unwelcome deposit: Fairbanks was another, and it is now said that Fairbanks has the most unsanitary landfill in the entire world. This waste was dumped into the river nearby, and it simply washes off.
There were loudly voiced protests that these were deliberate ways to make the oil companies spend large sums of money unnecessarily, and the fact is that evidence suggests there is much truth in such assertions. The money that was wasted is almost incredible. Millions of dollars were being spent on mobile sewage treatment plants so that the human waste could be carted from the drilling rigs and camps. Samples were sent to the State authorities regularly, and they insisted that tests were run to make sure that the ground itself was not contaminated with human excreta—excreta that, after all, would simply make the grass grow.
The controls were not limited to the Federal government, for State regulations were also very stringent. One of the regulations specifically states that all incinerators shall meet the requirements of Federal and State laws and regulations, and maximum precautions will be taken. Human waste is included in the discarded matter that must be gotten rid of, and it is specifically stated that, after incineration, the material that is not consumed by the incinerators shall be disposed of "in a manner approved in writing by the authorized officer." The State officials decided that the bacterial tanks in use that were fed with air were not acceptable. So they got some long white paper, set the bacterial action going, and whatever was left over was picked up on the paper that was rolled slowly through the water. This then went into a little incinerator and was burned. The ashes were taken to the sanitary landfill and they were buried.
In other words, the incinerator was really a kind of an outhouse. A diesel rig was used, and for a 35-man camp approximately 50 gallons of diesel was used each day. Remember, this was at a time when there was supposed to be a diesel crisis, and it was very difficult to get diesel fuel for jet planes. Because of manipulation, diesel was hard to obtain, and yet the State insisted that human excreta be burned up in this way. A Mercedes Benz engine was used, and it took approximately 350 gallons of diesel each week to run it.
As one highly respected official said, "Those Mercedes Benz engines are burning up 350 gallons of diesel every week just to get rid of human waste which the tundra desperately needs." He went on, "They do things like this in a very wasteful manner—such as using up 100 pounds of propane every three days, just to get rid of some human turds—why, ever since life began you simply put it on the ground and it makes the grass grow. Now suddenly it's supposed to kill the grass—I haven't figured that one out yet."
These things are not hearsay. We are not giving rumors or secondhand material.
Let me tell you about one day I personally investigated a $10,000 outhouse. I had set out one day to go out to a work-site, riding with one of the engineers at Franklin Bluffs Camp. I often got in the trucks and rode all day with one or another of the men, in order to be out where the men were. I wanted to be right on the work-site and to find out as much as I could. I was anxious to share with men in real life situations and not simply to see them on my terms. I had executive privileges, and so I was free to come and go as I liked.
I enjoyed the drive out with this engineer, and, of course, we talked at length about many aspects of this fantastic project. The engineers are often proud to tell you that they are engaged in what is believed to be the greatest engineering project ever undertaken by man, in all the history of the world. They believed in
what they were doing, but over and over
again they were frustrated by the limitations set upon them, by the endless regulations that are so often needlessly enforced. They believed there were deliberate efforts to slow down the project and
to escalate its cost.
So on this particular day I was riding with this engineer out from Franklin Bluffs. There was one of those outhouses out on the job site, in the middle of nowhere.
I turned to my engineer friend and I said, "Hey, you mean they even have to have privies up here in the middle of nowhere? That tundra surely needs manure—it would be a good idea to fertilize it. After all, there are lots of animals coming through here, and I haven't heard of anyone trying to put diapers on the caribou yet."
"Well," the engineer answered, "We don't dare drop any waste up here, even though the men will be here only a few weeks. According to the government officials we must not fertilize the tundra, because that might not be good for it. We've been instructed to put outhouses every so many miles up and down the haul road of the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline, and to have one for every so many men."
I looked at him, hardly able to believe my ears. Here we were out in the middle of nowhere, and intelligent people, products of Western Civilization in the 20th Century, were seriously suggesting that high quality outhouses must be put up at regular points. I chuckled and said to the engineer, "Hey, that's interesting—how in the world could they have an outhouse out in the middle of nowhere? After all, everyone that goes in it would freeze."
"No," the engineer answered. "Reverend, you won't believe how much that outhouse costs—the very one you're looking at over there."
I looked across in the general direction lie was nodding to. "Well," I said, "we used to build outhouses for nothing—we'd use scrap lumber on the farm." The engineer nodded. "Yes, that's what you'd do back on the farm, and that was the sensible thing to do, but we're not allowed to do that up here. We can't even dig any holes in this tundra to put an outhouse on—we are told that that would destroy the ecology. The regulation is that we must have these special outhouses hauled in."
I was finding it hard to believe my ears. Here was a highly intelligent man telling me that officialdom was of such a nature that apparently huge sums of money must be spent on these "special" outhouses.
I turned to the engineer and asked, "Well, what's so special about them?"
He answered, "The first thing that is special about them is that they cost $10,000 each." I looked at him in surprise. "Wait a minute, sir," I interrupted, "You're talking about an outhouse—you're not talking about buying a Mercedes Benz."
Then he gave me a smile. "As a matter of fact, that outhouse has a Mercedes Benz diesel engine on it. When I said $10,000, I didn't mean the engine—that's extra, of course."
"Come on now, explain it to me. What's all this nonsense you're trying to put over?"
The engineer assured me it was not nonsense. He said, "You see, that's an entire self-contained incinerator unit, and if ever you saw the black smoke coming out of the stack of that thing, and then you smelled the aroma, you'd really know what contamination was. It surely is contaminating the air, and the whole ecology, too."
"How does the incineration process work?" I asked. "Well," the engineer answered, "When a man does his business in that outhouse, it goes down to the bottom, and that diesel engine automatically cranks up. By electrical and other means it completely incinerates everything." He pointed to a pipe that came out from the outhouse. "It shoots out that pipe up there, and as a result it's not supposed to contaminate anything. Well, I can only say it certainly contaminates my nostrils all the time."
Right then I knew that my own nostrils were being contaminated in no uncertain way, and while I was there I always knew when someone was "Doing his business." I found myself annoyed at the idea of a diesel engine automatically cranking up for such a purpose. I must confess, too, that whenever I go to the gas pumps and buy fuel, I remember that my own pocketbook has been contaminated—contaminated by those outhouses at $10,000 each, plus the cost of the Mercedes Benz engine, of course!
$10,000 (plus) for an outhouse with a Mercedes Benz engine thrown in? Just because they didn't want to fertilize the tundra! This was bureaucracy gone mad. For what purpose? We shall answer that question as we proceed.
ENC Chapter 10
One Law for the Rich, Another for the Poor
We've talked about the two-million dollar falcon's nest, and the $10,000 outhouses. There were many other similar incidents—they can be multiplied, and taken together, they involved a huge sum of money.
Another method to add to the price of the pipeline, and again to the price that you the individual will pay at the gas pump, was the almost incredible use of fines. On one occasion a vehicle with sightseers on board ran off the road to let a truck go by. No damage was done —there was nothing off the road, just the tundra. Remember that it would take an ax to break through that tundra. Nevertheless, there was a fine of $10,000 levied because that vehicle ran off the road. Of course, it was not the sightseers that got fined, but the ARCO company.
People living in the lower 48 will find it hard to believe that such practices continued, but they surely did. Another case was where a pickup truck drove into the river to turn around. A security guard had locked the gate, and so this was the way that the driver solved his own problem. Again the ARCO company got fined $10,000 for not making an adequate turn around. They hurt nothing driving their vehicle into the river, and it is really impossible to figure out why they should have been fined—but fined they were.
The amounts of these fines were announced in the paper very often, and there would be a small write-up. It didn't make big news, for the policy seemed to be to keep these matters in low key. It is ultimately the poor guy who buys gas for his automobile that pays those fines of $10,000 and more—for the most trivial offenses against the huge number of regulations to which the oil companies were subjected.
Not only were there very heavy fines, but also they dragged the work out. One section of road was supposed to be a five week project, but because of government meddling, it was about 3 months before it was finished. The government tinkered with the administration, fined the company, and stopped them in all sorts of ways. They told them what they could and could not do, when they could work and when they could not. At one time there were 22 government monitors working on that one section of road. They came from such departments as the Department of the Interior, the Department of Fisheries and Game, and the U.S. Geographic Coastal Survey. Most of them were Federal workers, but some were State workers also. Those 22 workers were running around surveying the same stretch of road at the same time, day after day. While that stretch of road was being built, some 18 fines were levied—in a three month period. Every one of those fines was for at least $10,000.
The company that had the contract for that stretch of road ran over their estimated budget by about $5,000,000. The cost overrun almost broke them, and the ARCO company had to come back and reimburse them to keep them from going bankrupt.
There was no doubt that by the strict enforcement of often ridiculous and excessive regulations, the attempt was being made to bankrupt all the oil companies. Often regulations were changed; a good example of that was when the rules for going on the tundra were altered. It used to be that you could not go on the tundra unless there had been 30 days of consecutive freeze and a specified amount of snow. Then the authorities would issue a permit, and you could go anywhere you liked on the tundra—after all, you cannot hurt it. Then the regulations were changed to make it so that you could not go on the tundra for any reason without a permit. Anytime you wanted to go on the tundra you had to have a specific permit registered with the State—and it would take weeks to get one. Of course, people had to be paid to process those permits.
This new regulation was considered by many people to be absurd, for there were all too many occasions that it was necessary to go on the tundra in the normal course of events—to check out a marker, or to repair a light pole, or for many other legitimate reasons.
The tundra is not easily scored or damaged. You could drive all over it right through the winter and never see where you had driven. You need an ax to break it up, yet the authorities made it essential to get these permits. They were State people because the land is State-owned, not owned by the Federal government.
The same controls extended even to the dumps associated with the camps. One oil company executive told me that there were three State ecologists monitoring the dump where he worked. They lived at Attwood, and there were three of them employed, with no other work than the monitoring of that dump. At that place there is the only certified landfill in the North Slope!
One day these three monitors came to the dump, and someone had dumped some spoiled weiner packs—hotdogs—and of course hotdogs are supposed to be buried. On this occasion for some reason the garbage man had mixed up one of his bags and got the whole bag of spoiled hotdogs and dumped them on the dump
These three people found the hotdogs, and they fined the company $10,000 for throwing hotdogs away. Their argument was that food should not be thrown on the dump because it would attract bears. The fact was that this was a legitimate mistake, for the company operated its incinerator and a man was paid to burn all that stuff. He just did not get it done that particular day, and so the company was fined $10,000.
Thesame company executive, who indignantly told me about the hotdogs, also pointed out that it was not permitted to salvage anything from the dumps. Often
it would cost large sums of money to freight iron, copper, and brass to the site, but it was then buried at the dump.
Nothing could be moved out, even if it was urgently required, e.g., for repair purposes.
When the fines were levied, there was little the offending parties could do about it. The fines were levied, and the amounts were learned 2 or 3 months after the incident.
There is an old saying, "One rule for the rich and another for the poor." It certainly was true that there was one way to apply these regulations to the employees of the oil companies and another way when it came to the State employees. We've just said that the company was fined for allowing a bag of hotdogs to accidentally be thrown on the dump because it might attract the bears. Yet some of their own employees did worse things with food lying around, and it did, in fact, attract bears. Then those employees shot the bears, and nothing was done! No action was taken against them ... not even a fine!
The oil company people were not allowed to participate in hunting or fishing: they were fired if they got caught. A different set of rules applied to the State employees.
Here is another example—ARCO transferred to the State of Alaska the Dead Horse airstrip and camp. The camp itself was sold, but the airstrip was not, it being a gift. The company had put millions of dollars into that airstrip, and it was in fact the finest airstrip in the State. Those who know the facts would agree with that assessment, and would also agree that the airstrip has not been maintained properly since then.
The State authorities sent a tower man to live up there, and he was allowed to keep his wife there. The radio man maintained the radio and there was a mechanic to maintain the equipment. Maybe there were others also—they certainly had a Fisheries and Game man there.
A team of people came to that airstrip, and they would just throw the garbage out their back doors, which was something the oil company employees were not allowed to do. They had to incinerate all their rubbish at all times. So it was that the bears got to eating on the back porch where these State officials would throw their garbage, and then the officials themselves killed the bears and flayed their hides off.
That was in Prudhoe Bay, and it is widely known that they did what I am saying. The company's environmentalist wrote to the State authorities about it, but to no avail. Those people killed every bear in Prudhoe Bay: there's not a bear to be seen in the oil fields there now. These "outsiders" brought their guns in, shot them, tagged them, and hauled them out. By "tagging" we mean that they were supposedly legally shot, a hunting fee having been paid. Even that was something that was not legal for the oil company employees to do. Those bears were actually pets of the oil field, and they were ruthlessly shot by these employees of the State. There were about 7 bears that lived more or less as pets around the oil fields —7 Plains Grizzly bears, these being a rare breed Grizzly bear. They are a little smaller than the Kodiak Grizzly, with bigger heads and wider. They grow to about 9 or 10 feet, instead of 11 feet which is common with the Kodiak bears.
Bears were commonly seen around the camp. They would go back into the mountains and hide there in the winter months, but they would come down every summer and live in the fields around Prudhoe Bay—until the State people killed them. There was one mother bear with her three cubs living around one of the camps. Nobody had any problem with her-she was regarded as a pet. Another mother and her cub did cause some trouble, and they were put in a helicopter and carried about 150 miles away and unloaded, but they were back in their original camp area two days later. Would you believe it, the company actually got fined for taking that bear and her cub in the helicopter and removing them! Yet State employees killed bears and no action was taken against them.
Things were very different with these State people. They actually killed the cubs, as well as the adult bears, and this was common knowledge. Though the oil company environmentalists reported it, even getting one of the security guards as a witness, no action was ever taken on this entire matter.
The State people concerned did not have to stay long in the area. The tower man could only stay there one year, but then he could go somewhere else, such as Anchorage, Fairbanks, or even to the State of Hawaii.
As we stated above, there is a saying, "There is one law for the rich and another for the poor." At Prudhoe it was quite obvious that there was one law for the oil companies and another for the State.