THE BERGER REPORT
Before the Berger Inquiry
Oil and gas has been part of the economy and Canadian arctic for a long time. Aboriginals long used oil for things such as land construction and especially in their productions of the canoe. For trade, oil was used amongst themselves. From this, early Western explorers saw oil potentially available. This led to the early drilling in the oil industry. The first well was established in 1922 at Norman Wells. Prior to 1970 oil and gas was a small industry in the Arctic. It was generally shipped to the South for refining and distribution in the market. These southern markets wanted to take full advantage of the oil and gas reserves available in the North. So the dilemma on oil in 1973 involving O.P.E.C grabbed the interest of many companies to push for large projects promoting the construction of a pipeline. There were two competitive pipelines introduced.
The first was the 'Canadian Arctic Gas Pipeline Ltd.', which included companies such as Exxon, Shell, and TransCanada. They proposed a route from the fields of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska across Northern Yukon to the Mackenzie Delta, then south through the Mackenzie Valley to Alberta. This proposal was of the larger scale intended to cover 3,860km. The second and much shorter pipeline proposed was the 'Foothills Pipeline Ltd.'. This route would begin at the Mackenzie Delta and run along the Mackenzie Valley through to Alberta. (http://www.colorado.edu/geography/courses/geog_6181_fo3/ryer/berger.html)
Who was Thomas Berger
Thomas Berger was a lawyer, judge and humanitarian in Vancouver from 1957 to 1971. He was appointed to the counsel for plaintiffs of historic Aboriginal rights, where he considered proposals for pipelines and researched how they would affect the Northern environment socially, economically, and environmentally. From 1974 to 1977 Berger was the commissioner of the 'Mackenzie Valley...