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The Alaska Pipeline
Teacher's Guide: Hints for the Active Learning Questions


  1. You may want to do the first part of this activity as a class, asking students to suggest countries for both lists and to explain why they think those countries would rank among the top oil producers or consumers. You also may want to have students read this background information on the world oil market before doing the activity.

  2. Students also may want to read this U.S. government fact sheet on the United States' large reserves of oil shale, which raise many of the same issues as tar sands.


  1. More background on the A.N.W.R. controversy can be found at this Online NewsHour Web site from November 2, 2005.

  2. Encourage students to read this background on Alaska Natives before preparing their remarks.


  1. You may want to divide the class into three groups and assign each group one of the three timelines to complete. Also, at the end of the discussion about the timelines, you might ask students which force they think is stronger today: the desire for a cleaner environment or for more sources of energy.

  2. For additional background, students may want to read more about the pipeline's construction, as well as about how the pipeline's designers dealt with Alaska's permafrost and the danger of earthquakes.

    For more on the Exxon Valdez spill, students may want to view these photos of the spill's aftermath from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


  1. Background statistics on changes in U.S. energy consumption and how much of that consumption is related to transportation can be found in this table from the Department of Transportation.

  2. Potential sources of information include the American Petroleum Institute's "Progress Through Petroleum" interactive Web feature (requires the Flash plug-in) and this U.S. government fact sheet.

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