Introduction to the Issue:
The Alaskan Highway Pipeline Project is one of Trans-Canada's natural gas pipeline constructions. This project will be to move natural gas from Prudhoe Bay (North America's largest oil field) in Northern Alaska to markets in the lower 48 states. This "non visible" pipeline is suggested to run from Prudhoe Bay where it would parallel the road to Fairbanks, follow the Alaska Highway corridor through the Yukon Territory and continue across northeast British Columbia and on into Alberta heading south where it would cross the border into the United States. Once all rights-of-ways have been passed both in Canada and the United States, the production of the Alaska highway pipeline will be under construction year round: lengths of pipeline will be buried underground along with construction of several compressor stations (above ground facilities to compress the natural gas and push it through the pipeline) as well as meter stations (where the gas gets tested and measured).
Estimated project highlights in Alaska only:
Length: 745 miles (1200 km)
Pipe diameter: 48 inches (122 cm)
Compressor Stations: 6
Construction time: 3 years
Production Costs: $6.8 billion (estimated) for the whole project
*Predeger, D. (2005) ANWR [internet]. Arctic Power. Available from:
[Accessed November, 2005].
What is the environmental system that is affected?
The environmental system that is being affected by the Alaska Highway Pipeline is known as ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Reserve). This system resides in Alaska with a wilderness area equal to the size of South Carolina (19 million acres). ANWR is a reserve made to preserve the many land and marine mammals within an 8 million acre area. The other 8 million is designated as natural research areas and national natural landmarks. 1.5 million of these acres is known as the coastal plain in the northern part...