Lindsey Williams published this book in 1980, after spending two and a half years as a chaplain for the crews working on the Trans-Alaskan Oil Pipeline. As a Christian pastor, Lindsey’s first priority was to give spiritual guidance to the souls working on the mufti-billion dollar pipeline project. But as he gained acceptance among all the members of the workforce, including those in high executive positions, he began to realize that a major scandal was being executed by the US and state governments at the expense of the American public.
Pastor Lindsey Williams became close with an Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) executive, whom Lindsey refers to as “Mr. X.” (Note: Mr. X is now deceased and Lindsey has identified him as Kendall T. From.) As Lindsey began to learn from Mr. X and understand more about what was happening on the North Slope of Alaska, he invited former state senator of Colorado, Hugh Chance to come for a visit and bear witness to the situation. And it was while Mr. Chance was touring the area and interviewing the people there that Mr. X divulged that the ‘story’ of the energy crisis that the government and the media were pushing on the public was misleading. Mr. X postulated at that time that the purpose of distracting the American public was to control the price of oil and to regulate the privately owned oil companies to the point where they could be taken over (nationalized) by the government.
Mr X had shown Lindsey and Senator Chance all around the area of the Prudhoe Bay oil fields on the North Slope. Senator Chance was apparently surprised at the vast oil wealth of the area, because he and other public officials had been told by the federal government that there was an energy crisis. But the oil available in just the state-approved, 100-square mile area at Prudhoe Bay was estimated to provide 2 million barrels per day for 20 years into the future. This meant there was no energy crisis. Furthermore, Lindsey would go on to learn that the oil on the northern perimeter of the ‘governmental 100-square mile boundary’ would have even more oil. That was proven in a test drill on Gull Island. But the government stepped in and forced the company to cap the Gull Island well and to leave it alone, citing environmental concerns. Mr X had estimated that there’s as much oil, or more, under the state of Alaska than there is in Saudi Arabia!
Furthermore, the natural gas that exists there would be enough to supply the US with all its needs for the next 200 years! And it would have been relatively easy to tap into this resource, given that much of it comes up already with the oil. But again, government regulations are forcing the oil companies to re-inject that gas back into the ground at an exorbitant cost. Building a separate pipeline along the same route as the existing oil line would be relatively simple as well. But instead, as Lindsey describes, the natural gas project would be buried in politics, due to an alternate route proposed through Canada.
During the entire project, Lindsey noted that the federal and state governments were stepping in and regulating the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company (at the time, made up of 9 major oil companies) at every turn. Strict standards needed to be adhered to regarding all aspects of the drilling and pipeline work. Special out-houses (portable toilets) had to be built at $10,000 a piece. All vehicle traffic had to stay on the specially built road and not veer one inch off into the frozen ice-covered tundra, lest a hefty fine be levied. Federal and state government watchdogs were on the prowl at all times waiting to cite any transgressions against any regulation. And shooting/hunting bears was anathema. (Except, of course when the state employees did it.) Regulations were even changed mid-way through the project and permits were withdrawn. Re-permitting meant more delays.
But the project pushed on, and nearing the end it was reaching a successful conclusion. Then came, what Lindsey describes as the government’s last effort to halt or slow the flow of oil from the North Slope. A propaganda campaign was launched against the quality of the welds in the pipe joints along the pipeline. It threatened that each of the welds would potentially need to be re-worked. And worse, many miles of the pipe were underground. This would have been a killer, but in the end, the welds were proven to be satisfactory.
The initial estimated cost of the pipeline project was $600 million in 1971. But with all the added regulation, delays and fines, the cost approached $12 billion in 1976. And this is where Lindsey estimates that the government was successful. Because in order to actually finish the project, ARCO had to borrow ‘the net worth’ of the company. This will not only limit future profits, but further serve to regulate the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company through financial as well as environmental means.
Finally, as the oil flowed successfully, yet another campaign against the Alaskan oil deposit was launched. Rumors had been initiated that the quality of the oil was unsatisfactory and that US refineries could not ‘crack’ the crude. Specifically, it was said that the oil coming from Prudhoe Bay had too much sulfur content to be properly refined by US refineries. But when Lindsey asked his friend, Mr. X about these claims, Mr. X simply laughed and said the quality of the Alaskan oil was as good or even better than the oil currently being imported from other countries. Lindsey was shown chemical analysis data showing the Alaskan oil had only 0.9% sulfur content. (And here’s a 1975 report from the US Department of the Interior that shows the differences between the sulfur content of oil found in different regions of the world. Alaskan oil is shown to be of even better quality than that of Saudi Arabia.)
So why was the state and federal governments stepping in to delay or stop the private oil companies’ progress? Was it indeed done with the conspiracy to nationalize the oil companies?
If there’s that much oil under the North Slope, wouldn’t that be a good thing for America? Oil prices would fall and the price at the pump would be dramatically lower. Perhaps this is what the government was trying to avoid?
Let’s remember what had occurred just prior to the pipeline project. In 1971, Nixon had removed the US dollar’s tie to gold. Nations around the world began to abandon the dollar as their reserve currency of choice. Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger went to the OPEC nations to ensure that their oil was traded only in US dollars in order to reestablish the US dollar hegemony, thus creating the concept of the petrodollar. Any privatized company outside this oil conspiracy would interfere with their ability to control the price of oil. And failing to control the price of oil would directly impact the status of the petrodollar system, thus threatening the US dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency.
Secondary Note: Lindsey also makes a special point about the frozen tundra. It was witnessed by Lindsey and the pipeline crews that underneath the ice at Prudhoe Bay, there exists a ‘tropical forest’ at a depth of approximately 1,500 feet. While drilling, there were several occurrences of the teams bringing back to the surface such foliage as palm and pine trees. This foliage was in a frozen state and was not petrified. It reminds one of the book by Immanuel Velikovski, Worlds in Collision. where the climates of the various geographies of the earth were dramatically altered as the axis was suddenly spun by as much as 90 degrees. Velikovski cites examples of healthy organisms being instantly frozen, thus incapable of decaying normally. There was even mention of a wooly mammoth found completely intact, even with undigested vegetation in its mouth.