Concerned citizens across Alaska and the rest of the Nation have united to tell the whole truth. This year marks the 19th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and the final chapter in the long-drawn out legal battle waged by fishermen, women and Native Alaskans against Exxon. Today, these Americans persevere and seek justice for their economic hardship, loss of indigenous heritage, and damage to a pristine ecosystem.
As many will recall, on March 24, 1989 the Exxon Valdez, an oil supertanker owned by Exxon and under the command of a relapsed alcoholic, ran aground and spilled 11 million gallons of oil into the Prince William Sound. The results were catastrophic. As the oil slick expanded over days and then weeks it devastated marine wildlife, other natural resources and effectively crippled the fisheries upon which so many depended.
After the spill, Exxon pledged to clean up the oil and make the people of Prince William Sound “whole again.” This was just one of Exxon’s many broken promises. When it became clear that Exxon would fail to follow through, over 32,000 Native Alaskans, fishermen and women filed a class action suit against Exxon for the economic injury sustained by the spill. Nineteen years later the legal battle continues and will be heard before the United States Supreme Court this spring. At issue is a $2.5 billion dollar punitive damage award derived from Exxon’s reckless and irresponsible corporate conduct that caused the spill.
Exxon is hedging its bets and hoping that concerned citizens have forgotten the events that led to the United States’ worst oil spill. It is time to consider “The Whole Truth”, get involved and end Exxon’s quest to escape responsibility. Together, we can stand against a giant.