"Senator Stevens Tees Off — Again"

Anchorage Daily News, August 29, 1969, p.1


Sen. Ted Stevens continued his two-fisted attack Thursday against "preservationists" in a blistering press conference.

He repeated his contention, first voiced in Fairbanks Wednesday, that federal stipulations governing construction of the Trans Alaska Pipeline are "stupid," stated that empty oil barrels on the North Slope are valuable, and claimed that the state is plagued by "professional conservationists who make money by alarming people all over the country."

The freshman Republican leveled the charges at the taping of a press conference at KTVA television. The tape is to be aired some time tonight.

Most of the 30-minute program was devoted to an elaboration of Stevens’ scathing blast at members of the Sierra Club and other conservationist groups delivered before the 20th annual Alaska Science Conference.

"Someone had to reflect what Alaskans are thinking," Stevens said.

Stevens said he agrees "in concept" with Gov. Keith Miller’s attempt to select the federal land along the route of the proposed pipeline, to get the pipeline out from under federal control.

As for federal stipulations that will govern installation of the pipe, Stevens said they were unnecessary and an insult to the state because the stipulations imply that Alaskans are not to be trusted with their own environment. Two structures he found particularly onerous govern the use of insecticides and prohibit pipeline contractors from venturing beyond the 100-foot right-of-way without prior permission.

And he said abandoned oil drums are not so much litter as valuable products that Natives can sell for $7 to $10 each. He was replying to conservationist charges that the Navy spewed its garbage over naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4 in the 1940s.

The Senator’s remarks put him in apparent conflict with Interior Secretary Walter J. Hickel, who as Alaska governor appointed Stevens to the Senate after the death of Sen. E.L. Bartlett late last year. The stipulations were developed by the Bureau of Land Management, which is part of the interior Department.

Stevens characterized himself as a conservationist, but a conservationist who was also interested in progress.

He sees the Trans Alaska Pipeline project as a prime potential job source for Alaskans and urged intensive vocational training for jobs that will be needed when construction begins.

As for Prof. Richard A. Cooley, who said Stevens possessed a "Neanderthal mentality" Wednesday at the science conference, and Prof. Richard W. Rogers, who reminded those present that Stevens "was not elected by the people of Alaska," Stevens said he believed he was representing the Alaskan viewpoint.

He invited Cooley or Rogers to run against him for the Senate in 1970.

He did make one concession to the conservationists. Stevens said he would favor the prohibition of oil drilling on the Arctic Wildlife Refuge on the North Slope near the Canadian border, if the conservationists would agree that roads and lodging should be built on the nine million-acre wilderness so that people could take advantage of the area.

Stevens also said he favors rapid development of the state’s oil reserves because the demand for oil is at a peak now. He said opposition to the internal combustion engine because it pollutes the air could eventually lessen the demand for Alaskan oil, as could the development of technology to extract petroleum products form oil shale at low cost.

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