In this week’s installment, we take you back to 1982 as Mel Watkins takes a look at the Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline. The pipeline was originally planned in the 1970s to run natural gas from Alaska to the American midwest via several thousand kilometres of pristine Canadian wilderness. Although the plan was eventually scaled down to a more modest eleven-hundred kilometres linking Southern Alberta to Wyoming and Nebraska – Watkins glibly describes it as the “southern Canadian gas export line” – TransCanada continues to put pressure on the federal government for permissions to move ahead with the project.
What’s most striking about Watkins piece is how familiar it all seems. The political wrangling and the triumph of greed over decency and commonsense Watkins describes eerily foreshadows the debate over Keystone XL. Reading the piece, we can’t help but recall the old dictum “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”