Palin's Pipeline to Nowhere?

Sarah Palin vowed to take on Big Oil when she set out to build a gas pipeline in Alaska. But her uncompromising style has its costs

Farah Nosh / Getty for TIME

Energy firms like Tesoro, which ownsthe Kenai refinery above, are crucial to Alaska’s economy.

In 2001, a burly anchorage longshoreman named Scott Heyworth turned up in the nearby town of Wasilla for a meeting with its mayor, Sarah Palin. Heyworth, a local Democratic activist, had grown tired of waiting for the Big Three oil companies to tap their huge natural-gas reserves in the state's North Slope, the long swatch of northern Alaska tundra that includes the largest oil and gas fields in North America. For decades, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and British Petroleum had little incentive to sell the trillions of cubic feet of natural gas that shares space beneath the ice with all those oil deposits....

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