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Oil and Wilderness in Alaska

Natural Resources, Environmental Protection, and National Policy Dynamics

George J. Busenberg

Publication Year: 2013

Colliding environmental and development interests have shaped national policy reforms supporting both oil development and environmental protection in Alaska. Oil and Wilderness in Alaska examines three significant national policy reform efforts that came out of these conflicts: the development of the Trans-Alaska pipeline, the establishment of a vast system of protected natural areas through the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, and the reform of the environmental management of the marine oil trade in Alaska to reduce the risk of oil pollution after the Exxon Valdez disaster.

Illuminating the delicate balance and give-and-take between environmental and commercial interests, as well as larger issues shaping policy reforms, Busenberg applies a theoretical framework to examine the processes and consequences of these reforms at the state, national, and international levels. The author examines the enduring institutional legacies and policy consequences of each reform period, their consequences for environmental protection, and the national and international repercussions of reform efforts. The author concludes by describing the continuing policy conflicts concerning oil development and nature conservation in Alaska left unresolved by these reforms. Rich case descriptions illustrate the author's points and make this book an essential resource for professors and students interested in policies concerning Alaska, the Arctic, oil development, nature conservation, marine oil spills, the policy process, and policy theory.

Published by: Georgetown University Press

Series: American Governance and Public Policy series


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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

This book is the product of many years of research concerning oil and wilderness in Alaska. During those years my research has benefited greatly from the advice and assistance of a number of people whom I would like to thank here. The theory of the policy process applied in this book was developed by Frank Baumgartner and Bryan Jones, and I am...


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pp. xi-xii

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-10

This book examines the development of national policies for oil development and nature conservation in the state of Alaska. Alaska contains the largest developed oil field in the United States, and oil development poses major threats to the environment across large areas of Alaska (McBeath et al. 2008). Alaska also contains the most extensive system...

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2. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System

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pp. 11-43

The critical period of reform that eventually authorized the Trans-Alaska pipeline began with the announcement of the discovery of the Prudhoe Bay oil field in the North Slope region of Alaska in 1968. The Prudhoe Bay oil field was the largest oil field discovered in North America. In 1969, another oil field that ranked among the largest in North...

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3. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

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pp. 44-79

The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act played important roles in both the Alaska pipeline punctuation and in a subsequent punctuation concerning Alaska lands conservation. A 1978 House of Representatives report noted that the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971 "set in motion a sequence of events which may well constitute...

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4. The Exxon Valdez Disaster and the Oil Pollution Act of 1990

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pp. 80-111

In 1977 the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System commenced oil shipments, thereby establishing a marine oil trade that posed significant hazards to the coastal environment of Alaska. The risk to the environment posed by the marine oil trade in Alaska had been widely discussed during the Alaska pipeline punctuation. In the course of the Alaska pipeline punctuation, the...

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5. Oil, Wilderness, and Alaska: The Enduring Conflict

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pp. 112-128

The three critical periods of reform examined in this book together established enduring policy realignments governing oil development and nature conservation in Alaska. However, these policy realignments did not end the national conflict over oil and wilderness in Alaska. This chapter examines two particularly important political controversies...

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6. Conclusion

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pp. 129-138

This book has examined three major cases of policy reform that match the patterns of policy change predicted by the punctuated equilibrium theory (Baumgartner and Jones 2009). In each case, an equilibrium period of incremental policy change was punctuated by a critical period of major policy reform. Each critical period was marked by heightened...


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pp. 139-140


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pp. 141-156


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pp. 157-168

E-ISBN-13: 9781589016637
E-ISBN-10: 1589016637
Print-ISBN-13: 9781589016620

Page Count: 176
Illustrations: 4 maps, 8 figures
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: American Governance and Public Policy series
Series Editor Byline: Gerard W. Boychuk, Karen Mossberger, and Mark C. Rom, Series Editors See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 858896934
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Oil and Wilderness in Alaska