Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil

From Alaska Public Media

Midnight Oil is the story of the pipeline that changed everything for Alaska and helped shape the modern environmental movement. The trans-Alaska pipeline turns 40 this summer. Alaska's Energy Desk is marking the anniversary with a podcast that explores how Prudhoe Bay was discovered and what followed: the booms and busts, social progress and scandals, engineering marvels and environmental disasters.More from Midnight Oil »

Most Recent Episodes

Ep. 6: When the lights went out - Alaska's great recession

Less than ten years after oil started flowing, Alaska's economy cratered. The recession was quick and deep. Ten banks failed, real estate values plummeted and tens of thousands of people fled the state. It was Alaska's great recession, 20 years before the rest of the country went through almost the same thing.

Ep. 5: How Alaska decided to give its oil wealth to everyone in the state

In Alaska, we don't pay income tax. We don't pay state sales tax. But once a year every man, woman and child gets a cut of the state's oil wealth. There are plenty of other oil states in the world, but Alaska is the only one that treats residents like shareholders and sends them dividend checks every year.

Ep. 5: How Alaska decided to give its oil wealth to everyone in the state

Ep. 4: Fast times and fat wallets - how Alaska got its pipeline

The trans-Alaska pipeline was the largest privately-funded construction project in the world, built across the biggest U.S. state and faced with unprecedented natural obstacles. It came with an $8 billion price tag, but true costs and benefits of the pipeline are still being calculated.

Ep. 3: How environmentalists won by losing the pipeline battle

Environmental groups fought hard to stop the trans-Alaska pipeline. Ultimately they lost. But along the way they turned an obscure bit of federal code into required environmental scrutiny for every major construction project.

Episode 2: Take Our Land, Take Our Life

When Alaska became a state, the federal government agreed to hand over more than 100 million acres. There was just one problem. Alaska Native people already claimed that land. Then Alaska struck oil, and the question of who owned what land in the 49th state went all the way to the White House.

Episode 1: Alaska, the oil state that almost wasn't

Oil started flowing down the trans-Alaska pipeline forty years ago, transforming Alaska into a wealthy oil state. But if it weren't for a few determined individuals, the giant oil field that started it all might still be hidden under the tundra today.

Coming Soon

On June 20, Alaska's Energy Desk launches the new podcast Midnight Oil.

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