Exxon Valdez Oil Spill 20th Anniversary Cartoon

Exxon Valdez oil spill - Cleaning up their ad

Twenty years ago March 24, 1989, the single-hulled tanker Exxon Valdez hit Prince William Sound’s Bligh Reef in Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the sea. The spill contaminated about 1900 kilometers of the shoreline and killed hundreds of thousands of birds and mammals and harmed the fisheries of the area.

I made the cartoon above in 1991, and unfortunately it hit closer than I could then imagine. Exxon concentrated to wriggle out of responsibilities and used hundreds of millions of dollars to avoid and to delay all claims for damages.

Democracy Now writes:

“In 1994, an Alaskan jury found Exxon responsible and ruled the company should pay $5 billion in punitive damages to some 33,000 plaintiffs. Exxon appealed. In 2006, the 9th US Circuit Court cut the award of punitive damages in half to $2.5 billion. Then, in a 5-to-3 ruling last June, the Supreme Court cut the amount of punitive damages again and ordered Exxon Mobil to pay just $500 million in punitive damages, one-tenth of the original jury’s ruling. That equates to about four days of Exxon Mobil’s net profits.”

ExxonMobil has also gained international fame by funding the global warming denial lobby.

More about Exxon Valdez Oil Spill: Climate Progress Blog, Mother Jones Magazine.

Documentary movie Black Wave: The legacy of the Exxon Valdez.

The Legacy of Exxon Valdez, video 15 min.

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3 Responses to Exxon Valdez Oil Spill 20th Anniversary Cartoon

  1. Lauren says:

    Can we use this political cartoon for a National History Day project on the Exxon Valdez oil spill? It would be shown on an internet site. When the site is named we will send address and include proper citations. Thanks.

  2. Seppo says:

    Yes, go ahead! 🙂

  3. OneTrueSoul says:

    Wow. I looked up some images of the Exxon oil spill because I’m trying to get a map of it, and found this. I read about what happened and saw all that oil on the beaches.. 🙁 Now BP has gone and repeated this, but in the Gulf. Poor fishes and birdies..

    In Science, we had to clean up ‘oil’ [chocolate powder with veggie oil] from our ‘ocean’ [aluminum tray with water in it]. It was hard.. We managed to clean it out by drenching it with a paper towel.
    Maybe these companies should get a giant sheet to clean it up.. xD

    So, how was this whole thing resolved? Did they clean it up? Or is oil still there.. Hmm, maybe I should add that to my project..

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