October 29, 2007

Exxon Valdez reopen

The US Supreme Court said it would examine the legality under maritime law of damages of 2.5 billion dollars awarded against ExxonMobil for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil tanker disaster. It is the latest twist in a long-running saga which began when the Exxon Valdez crashed into a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989 spilling 11 million gallons of crude into the waters. It was the worst oil disaster ever to hit the United States, and afterwards ExxonMobil spent some 2.1 billion dollars cleaning up the polluted coastline and more than 300 million in compensation for fishermen and locals affected by the catastrophe. The company also paid out more than 900 million dollars of fines in a bid to halt criminal proceedings begun against it by the US government and the state of Alaska.

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