Environment: The Pipeline Lives

As its supporters see it, the trans-Alaskan pipeline would be a veritable lifeline, bringing the vast oil riches (10 billion barrels) of the North Slope to an energy-starved U.S. To its foes, the 789-mile pipe is a monster that could leak and pollute the Arctic wilderness.

For three years, various environmental groups have fought the project to a standstill in the courts. They have argued that the Interior Department's ninevolume, 3,000-page "environmental-impact statement" failed to examine all the possible effects on plants and wildlife; they have charged that the Administration did not explore...

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