40 Years at Prudhoe Bay: Alaskans remember Prudhoe Bay — Arliss Sturgulewski
Most Alaskans don’t remember what Alaska’s economy looked like before the discovery and development of Prudhoe Bay.
Only 14 percent of about 670,000 Alaskans today lived in the state in 1968, the year of the Prudhoe Bay discovery, according to Scott Goldsmith, economics professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Institute of Social and Economic Research.
So nearly nine out of every 10 residents today know little about Alaska prior to major development on the North Slope, he said. Goldsmith compared 1968 and 2008 in a recent report called, “How North Slope oil has transformed Alaska’s economy.”
A few longtime Alaskans, participants and decision-makers during Alaska’s major economic changes, recently recalled events of the era.
Arliss Sturgulewski attended the oil lease sale in 1969 that brought $900 million to the state.
“We just thought we were very rich,” she recalled recently.
Sturgulewski, who came to Alaska in 1952, has seen many changes in the state. She served in the Alaska Legislature from 1978 to 1992.
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