Exxon Valdez Sold to Metal Recycler, Americans Want More Offshore Drilling
It’s been 23 years since the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, and now the ship will rest in peace as metal scrap.
The ship can’t be used anymore because after the spill, the federal government passed the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which requires oil tankers to be double-hulled (although many still aren’t around the world).
Maryland-based Global Marketing Systems Inc. bought the ship for $16 million, after changing owners several times since the 1989 accident. Global Marketing is the world’s biggest cash buyer of ships for demolition, reports Bloomberg.
The spill, the biggest in the US before the BP spill, dumped 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s 700 mile, pristine Prince William Sound.
All these years later, it’s still easy to find all by scratching the beach. Several species of water birds and ducks, the harbor seal and pacific herring have yet to fully recover.
And Exxon Mobil is still fighting litigation. It spent $3.86 billion over three years for clean up, and in 2009 it agreed to pay $470 million in interest on a $507.5 million judgment won by local victims, including fishermen and small businesses, in addition to a $900 million civil settlement, reports Bloomberg. Last month, a judge ruled that U.S. and Alaskan governments could pursue further damage claims.
In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that Exxon didn’t have to pay $2.5 billion to fishermen and others whose livelihoods were permanently damaged by the spill.
Many of the victims died since filing their claims – it’s easy for Exxon to just wait.
And Where Are We Today?
A new poll shows that American support for expanded offshore drilling is back to where it was before the BP oil spill.
65% of Americans want more offshore drilling, according to a Pew Research Center poll. Support dropped to 44% after the spill.
Why? Because of rising gas prices.
52% says renewable energy should be the top priority, down from 63% last year, and 39% says fossil fuels should come first (coal, natural gas, oil), up from 29% last year.
Republicans apparently have done a good job convincing the American public that drilling more can lower gas prices. But, those are not the facts.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, the US is drilling more than in the past decade and also producing so much natural gas that there’s a glut – but we still have rising oil prices because worldwide, oil consumption is high, not to mention the trading that pushes up prices.
With only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, no matter how much we drill, it wouldn’t affect oil prices.
Read Freedom From Oil, which lays out a long term path:
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