Monday, March 23, 2009

$100M still owed from Alaska Exxon Valdez oil spill

Sarah Palin: 'Drill, baby, drill!'

WASHINGTON -- As the 20th anniversary of the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill dawns tomorrow, the federal and state governments have yet to collect all that the oil company agreed to pay. A final $92 million claim for harm to wildlife, habitat and subsistence users filed in 2006 has languished ever since.

In 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez spilled over 11 million gallons of crude oil on the Alaska coast, causing an estimated $15 billion in damages. The 1991 settlement following the guilty plea by Exxon Corporation (now ExxonMobil) provided for $900 million in payments, a $25 million criminal fine and $100 million in restitution. The plea agreement also called for added payment of up to $100 million for unanticipated damages unknown at the time of the settlement. On August 31, 2006, the federal and state governments jointly submitted a demand for ExxonMobil to pay $92 million, together with a restoration plan.

After submission of what was called the "reopener" claim, ExxonMobil had 90 days to pay or respond. Yet the claim sat unsatisfied, as neither the Bush nor the Palin administrations took any action to collect.

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Other coverage, 3/24: ENS

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