The Exxon Valdez oil spill 20 years on
Source: http://www.youtube.com/user/CBSNewsOnline; 02-02-09
It is 20 years ago today that the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska when en route from Valdez, Alaska to Los Angeles, California. The ship was travelling outside normal shipping lanes at the time in an attempt to avoid ice. Six hours after grounding, it had spilled almost 11 million gallons of crude oil, which would eventually cause ecological devastation to more than 1100 miles of the Alaskan coastline. The Exxon Valdez oil spill remains the largest in US waters to date and — even after two decades — the legacy remains environmentally, economically and socially. As the video clip above records, the time it has taken for ExxonMobil to compensate people for the loss of their livelihoods has been unconscionably long and, to add insult to injury, a US Supreme Court decision in 2008 dramatically decreased the amount to be paid to local people in punitive damages from $2.5 billion to $507.5 million.