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Richard A. Fineberg has researched and reported on economic and environmental issues related to Alaska and global petroleum development for four decades. Fineberg came to Alaska in 1969 to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in political science at the University of Alaska, leaving that position in 1971 to devote full time to freelance reporting.

Fineberg discusses Alaska's petroleum experience with financier/
philanthropist George Soros in Baku, Azerbaijan, May 2003. (Photo: OSI Assistance Fndtn. / Azerbaijan.)

 During the1970s, Fineberg's newspaper and magazine coverage of various subjects, including the construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) and a proposed natural gas line from the North Slope, earned state and national press awards.

In 1983 Fineberg entered government service, where he held the position of senior advisor to the Governor of Alaska on oil and gas policy between 1986 and 1989. In this capacity, his portfolio included issues such as oil and gas litigation, national energy policy and revenue forecasting, as well as special assignments.

Since leaving government Fineberg has consulted, prepared reports and served as an occasional expert witness for non-profit and government organizations, independent developers and private investors. His independent research covers topics that include Alaska North Slope profitability and long-term production prospects ; state and federal petroleum revenue; economic, operational and safety issues on TAPS; the Exxon Valdez; and oil and gas issues in Belize, the Caspian Basin and the Russian Far East. He has published a chapter on Alaska petroleum litigation in Caspian Oil Windfalls: Who Will Benefit? (Open Society Institute, 2003) and reviewed The Political Economy of Oil in Alaska: Multinationals vs. the State (Rienner, 2008) for The Northern Review (Yukon College, Spring 2010).

Fineberg, the principal investigator for Research Associates of Ester (Fairbanks), Alaska and this website, is available for consulting. (For rates, contact Richard Fineberg, Email: fineberg@alaska.net.)



What Others Say About Fineberg's Research:

1978: "Richard Fineberg, a gaunt, intense, mustachioed man who, for a time covering oil and gas for the News-Miner, scored one of the few genuine beats that actually originated with a newsman (a major leak at the Galbraith Lake camp, of whose full extent Alyeska had not seen fit to inform the reporters or the public). Later, free-lancing from Fairbanks, he was able to write more broadly of the ways in which the project's intentions had outrun performance; and to reflect on his colleagues' failure, for the most part, to keep up with either."

— Robert Douglas Mead, Journeys Down the Line: Building the
Trans-Alaska Pipeline
(Doubleday, 1978), pp. 370-371


2003: "Fineberg, who identifies strongly with Alaska's environmental community, has been a forceful and, among a small cult following, a credible critic of the oil industry in general and the Alyeska pipeline company in particular for more than thirty years on several fronts, economic as well as environmental. [With the Alaska Forum for environmental Responsibility] . . . he has produced several well-researched, artfully crafted and reasoned reports which often demolish Alyeska's, JPO's and Alaska Governor Tony Knowles's glib and facile posturing with respect to critical Trans Alaska pipeline matters."

— Joe LaRocca, Alaska Agonistes: The Age of Petroleum — How Big Oil
Bought Alaska
(Professional Press, 2003), p. 198


2006: "Richard Fineberg's harsh critiques of the Alaska oil patch make him a rare commodity in a state largely financed by oil. . . .

. . . to his supporters, Fineberg is the only person in Alaska with both the tenacity to fight the industry's public relations machine and the meticulous research to back up assertions.

'I wish we had a half-dozen like him in the state,' says Walter Parker, who has served on the boards of several groups that have sponsored Fineberg's reports. 'He's not afraid to seek the truth and write it.'

. . . . he has spent the last decade and a half creating a series of articles and reports that otten challenge the oil industry's take on issues like profit margins and pipeline safety."

— Tom Moran, "The Devil's Advocate," Far North Oil & Gas
(Spring, 2006), pp. 54-59
(To view entire article, click here.)

2012: "Not all our best work was that flamboyant. A personal favorite was a careful, brutally revealing examination of plans being advanced for a natural gas pipeline written by former college professor and freelancer Richard Fineberg. That article won a major national prize -- the Leob Award for business writing, which included a trip to New York for the ceremony and a $5,000 check. Richard, a banjo-playing railroad buff, flew as far as Seattle but then hopped freights from there to New York and back. He told me he kept the check in his shoe for safekeeping on the return leg.
----Winning a national prize for business reporting was especially sweet....

— Howard Weaver, Write Hard, Die Free: Dispatches from the Battlefields and Barrooms
of the Great Alaska Newspaper War (Epicenter Press, 2012), p. 69

  
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