ALASKA: The Last Frontier by Bryan Cooper

ALASKA: The Last Frontier

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The Alaska Gold Rush (David Wharton, p. 1135) had all that frontier bravado but the new rush -- for oil -- is of much more significance says Cooper, an English writer (North Sea Oil, The Ironclads of Cambrai, etc.) who trekked around that relatively unpeopled land observing the consequences of the black boom, weighing the industrialist versus conservationist arguments, wondering about the pipeline and the politicians, musing over the plight of the poor caribou and wolves, puzzling over the native Eskimos' legal and moral claim to the oil deposits, recording the details of the North Slope discovery in 1969, waxing unctuous over British Petroleum's developmental role in the strike -- indeed this frequently sounds like it was commissioned by that company's Sir Eric Drake whose ""personal ambition"" is to ""see Alaskan oil begin to flow before he retires. It would be the crowning achievement of his years of stewardship as BP's chairman."" Similarly, American environmentalist groups like the Sierra Club are pictured as fanatical obstructionists to the idea of progress. Despite efforts to sound impartial and reasonable, Cooper's viewpoint is decidedly pro-oil. Very slick propaganda which just avoids being greasy.

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 1972
Publisher: Morrow