Oil Industry

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  • The oil industry has played and continues playing a significant and controversial role in western economic, environmental, and political development. This is reflected in this industry's political power in states as diverse as Alaska, California, Texas, and Wyoming. Numerous oil companies have influenced the western United States and the nation as a whole, including Alyeska, Arco, ConocoPhillips, Humble Oil, and Standard Oil of California. Key personalities in western oil industry development include Edward Doheny (1856–1935), J. Paul Getty (1892–1976), Ernest Whitworth Marland (1874–1941), Waite Phillips (1883–1964), T. Boone Pickens (1928–), and John D. Rockefeller (1839–1937).

    The industry has been prompted by the discovery and exploitation of resources in many western states including the Spindletop oilfield in Beaumont, Texas; the Permian Basin near Midland and Odessa, ...

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