Canada history Alexander Earle Gray

Alexander Earle Gray

Earle Gray was born May 24, 1931 in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada

The Gray family in 1936 moved to near Sechelt, B.C, then a small village on the West Coast, some 40 miles from Vancouver but accessible only by a six-hour steamship voyage. Earle began his journalistic writings during high school in Sechelt, writing for local weekly newspapers (initially The Coast News then The Peninsula Times), and as a stringer for the Vancouver Sun. His first feature-length magazine article appeared in the magazine section of the Vancouver Sun in 1948. From mid-1949 to 1951 he worked as a reporter with the weekly Lions Gate Times in West Vancouver, the Vancouver Sun, and the Calgary Albertan. In 1951, he began writing about the petroleum industry for Myers Oil News Service in Calgary. In 1953, he was the founding publisher and editor of a weekly newspaper in Invermere, B.C., The Columbia Valley Echo, now published as The Invermere Valley Echo, part of the Black Press chain of newspapers.

He was managing editor of Oilweek, the leading trade journal for the Canadian petroleum industry, from 1955 to 1964, and editor from 1964 to 1971. For the next seven years he was Director of Public Affairs for Canadian Arctic Gas, a consortium of major Canadian and U.S. gas utilities, pipeline companies, and oil companies. Arctic Gas spent eight years on environmental, engineering, and economic studies for a proposed pipeline to transport natural gas from Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic coast of Alaska and the Mackenzie River delta to major urban markets throughout much of Canada and the United States. More than 700 days of public hearings were held to consider applications to build the pipeline; in the United States before the Federal Power, and in Canada, before the National Energy Board and a one-man Royal Commission chaired by Justice Thomas Berger. The application was rejected in 1977 because of perceived socioeconomic and environmental concerns related to the Mackenzie Valley, while an alternative pipeline, along a longer route that would have moved only Prudhoe Bay gas, was approved by the governments of both Canada and the United States, but never built.

Since 1977, Earle has been engaged as a speechwriter, editorial consultant, publisher, and writer. He is the author of 10 published non-fiction books, including seven dealing with the history of the Canadian petroleum industry. He holds a number of writing awards, a lifetime achievement award from the Petroleum History Society of Canada and is one of only two Canadian recipients of the Samuel T. Pees award from the U.S. Petroleum History Institute.

Earle and Joan live in Lindsay, Ontario. They have a large family of grown children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, from Ottawa to the Okanagan.