Hardly a man is still alive who remembers the embattled Republicans and a few Democrats trying to bring oil to America in the face of the Arab Oil Embargo. The TransAlaska Pipeline was authorized in ’73 by one vote; that of VP Spiro Agnew. There are only a handful of Senators still serving who voted, Biden is one of them.
Sen. Biden was a newly elected senator and essentially a nobody in those days but he went out of his way to vote against it, even bucking the leadership on some of the votes. The Anchorage Daily News has a story of Biden’s role here: http://community.adn.com/adn/node/129723