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Monday, January 12, 2009

Exxon Valdez, Greedy Oil and Idiots on the Bench

Incidentally, the ruling by the Supreme Court cut the judgment against Exxon-Mobil from 2.5 billion dollars to 507 million dollars, resulting in a Pyrrhic victory for the aggrieved Alaskans in the case. A Pyrrhic victory is one where the cost of victory is far outweighed by the damages of battle, such as was in this case. Losing the army to win the battle, or in this case, the environment, only to have the court say you weren't worth all that much, is a hollow win in any court. What a terrible cost to be awarded such minuscule damages, when Exxon made over 40 billion dollars in profits last year alone. Nobody ever proved the captain to be inebriated, but the stigma still hangs there like a heavy fog on a still night. Was he? Nobody will ever know but him.

I'm not a tree hugger by any means, but just one look at what that spill did to the animals, the environment, the people and their livelihood, both long and short term is abysmal. Exxon should be ashamed, and moreover damned, for their cavalier attitude and concern only for the almighty dollar in profits. Once again, big oil screws the mariner, if not in the fuel tank, in the wallet in one way or the other.

I come from a ship building and fishing heritage, and understand the dedication of the Alaskan fishermen, and the hardships they face in good times, nonetheless years of pollution ravaged waters and coastline to deal with. My heart is with you in Alaska, fellow mariners.

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