Constituent's Concerns Over Stipulations for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline

EMD-81-79: Published: May 6, 1981. Publicly Released: May 6, 1981.

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Congress passed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act in response to the need for a domestic source of oil. In enacting this legislation, Congress also sanctioned various environmental and other stipulations to protect Alaska's environment, taking into consideration Alaska's sensitive climate, soil, and seismic conditions. These stipulations may well set a precedent for future energy resource development in Alaska.

GAO is concerned with possible over-regulation; thus, it advocated additional research of the long-term environmental impacts of the pipeline operations and the action by the Department of Interior to evaluate not only operator compliance with the stipulations, but also their effectiveness as well as the need for them. Such evaluations are needed to form the basis for an appropriate level of protection consistent with the Nation's need for oil and gas and with other Alaskan resources.

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