In his talk, Peter Shulman, Associate Professor in the Department of History, will discuss the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve. In the middle of the 20th century, the most valuable piece of federal property was California’s Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve, set aside decades before to provide oil for the military in future emergencies. In 1998, the Clinton administration sold the field for $3.65 billion–still the most expensive divestiture of a single piece of public property in American history. Yet selling this field, a process that actually took over a quarter-century, reveals the fraught ways Americans reconciled increasing national security concerns with a drive to withdraw the federal government from the private economy.
Pre-Lecture reception begins at 4:15 pm.
About the speaker:
Dr. Shulman is an associate professor in the Department of History. He studies technology, science, and American politics in the 19th and 20th centuries, with special interests in the history of energy, environmental history, communication and transportation, the history of intelligence, and the history of American foreign relations. He teaches courses in the history of technology, energy and the environment, historical methods, and contemporary history. His current book project is a history of ideas about intelligence in twentieth century America.
Click HERE for Professor Schulman’s faculty homepage.