Environment: New Freeze on Alaskan Oil

Billions of barrels of oil reserves are buried under the stark landscape of Alaska's North Slope. The problem is how to get this treasure to market. The best way, oilmen argue, is to pipe the crude across the breadth of Alaska to the southern port of Valdez, then tanker it to Seattle and Los Angeles. To date, oil companies have spent $300 million on engineering surveys, tanker contracts and special steel pipes. Yet the Federal Government has steadfastly refused to issue a permit to build the 789-mile-long pipeline across public land.

Last month Interior Secretary Rogers Morton predicted that he would...

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