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Midnight Oil

Jul 25, 2017

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.


Jul 18, 2017

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.


Jul 11, 2017

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.


Jul 4, 2017

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.