I remember it as a slow horrific realization...when the news came that a tanker had run aground, the damage was considerably downplayed. As the days went by and the devastation became apparent, people began scrambling around trying to figure out how to makes sense of it, how to make a living for that summer, how to help in the most productive way possible. None of us could have predicted the overall effects this accident would have. Whole towns have been ripped apart, not to mention marriages and families. A way of life was changed forever. Many went to work for Exxon to try to clean it off the beaches, they were paid crazy high wages and promised many things. My husband was one of them...he worked in some of the most heavily soiled areas. It was all for show, he felt, wiping off rocks with oil absorbent rags only to have the waves wash more crude up onto the beach on the next tide. They all knew then that mother nature would have to take her time to deal with it. After 20 years, those beaches still have a thick layer of crude, just a shovelfull of gravel below the surface. When they brought the suit against Exxon, I knew that they would argue that they had spent all this money in the clean-up and weren't to be held accountable for the longterm effects. The court fight has kept the rollercoaster ride going by giving false hopes to so many who believed that even with all they had lost, eventually justice would prevail. The Supreme court ruling Wednesday has made it clear, there is no justice the world of big oil, just record profits and big CEO payouts. (The big honcho in charge at the time of the spill just recieved a $4oo million dollar severence package when he left the company). It adds an extra twist to the knife that we, here in Alaska, are paying almost $5 a gallon for gas and that's if you live on the road system!
UPDATE 7/01: John was interviewed by our local radio station about the rulings, to listen go HERE