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President Richard Nixon said America’s energy requirements outpaced its production capacity and urged Congress to pass a bill that would authorize the construction of a pipeline to access oil from Alaska. Nixon claimed the nation’s reliance on foreign oil, controlled mainly by the increasingly powerful, but politically unstable oil-rich nations of the Middle East, posed a threat to America’s economy. On Nov. 16, 1973 he signed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act. Oil began flowing through the pipeline on June 20, 1977.