Mudcat Café message #2276811 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109038   Message #2276811
01-Mar-08 - 04:46 PM
Thread Name: BS: Exxon: Drunk Ship Captains Wanted...
Subject: RE: BS: Exxon: Drunk Ship Captains Wanted...
I have mixed feelings on this one.

I was 17 years old when the Exxon Valdez spill happened. I live in the very town it took place...Valdez, Alaska. I was here when it occured and I personally know all the people who played a role in the response and clean up.

I also used to be a fisherman here as well and worked on a small fishing vessel called the ROALD. Within 2 months of the spill that vessel was drydocked and he owner of that vessel was paid over $1/2 million by Exxon as were all the other fishermen in the area. He retired, left his family and headed for Hawaii. This was the case for hundreds of fishermen. The fact is that Exxon paid these people multi times for the same claim. Then to top it all off Exxon paid them to help clean up the spill at a rate of $25 a hour working 84 hours a week. The money Exxon threw at this town was amazing.

Exxon brought in hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment that was tossed into the city dump. The city had to install fencing and gates so the locals wouldnt salvage what was being put in that landfill. Everything from generators, welders, inflatable boats, lumber etc was discarded. Prior to the gates being put up, I personally got 5 truck loads of stuff. We collected enough material to buil a friends house from the ground up. All that material was paid for by Exxon.

When Exxon pulled out, the large complex that was build for them to house their offices was given back to the company who built it. Exxon sold it and the land for ONE DOLLAR and the company who built it turned it into a hotel. Ive been working for that company since they opened the old Exxon HQ as a hotel.

Exxon paid alot. But they have gotten a raw deal in many ways. I would submitt that the Coast Guard, Alyeska, the union contractors, the State of Alaska itself as well Rikkie Ott (president of Cordova District Fishermen United) as the many enviormentalists that were protesting in the first 3 days of the spill are the ones to blame for it not being contained in time and it doing the dammage it did. They all stood point fingers at each other and nothing happened. As a result it led to the biggest economic boom this state has seen since the construction of the pipline in the 70s. Hell the local gas station was built with funds made on the oil spill and the owner named it "Captian Joes" after Joe Hazelwood himself as a tribute.

Come on people it was 19 years ago. They paid for it then and kept giving out money to people for years after. When is it going to end? Exxon wasnt the only one to blame. I hope the Supreme Court will finally put this to an end.

Now here is something that is reassuring. There wont be another spill like that on the water with another tanker here again due to the measures in place today. However the sad thing is the next major spill will be on the land because all efforts are on prevention on the water and Alyeska has cut back on maintaince on the pipeline and the terminal itself. The line is 30 years old and needs work. Trust me...its not if there is a proplem with the pipeline. Its only a matter of time. I just hope this whole town doesnt blow up as a result of the lack of maintaince.