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It's been 25 years since a drunken captain and an inept third mate put the Exxon Valdez hard aground on Bligh Reef, a couple of miles away from my favorite spot in Prince William Sound, Snug Corner Cove, first recorded for white folks by Captain Cook's expedition artist, John Webber, in 1778.

I'm still afraid to go there.  Afraid that my anger and rage would boil over, anger and rage at the oil that's still there buried in the gravel is still killing and causing genetic malformations through the entire food chain, anger at the number of Alaskans that died waiting for Exxon to pay them for their losses, anger at their bullying of Alaskan legislators into lowering their taxes for taking our oil, anger at their former lobbyist, Governor Seanoco Parnell (R-Conoco-Phillips) for appointing former Exxon employees to the state board supposedly overseeing oil and gas companies.

25 years ago today, and Big Oil is still buying Alaskan elections.  When will we wake up?

(edited to add picture)


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    "Everybody wants to go to Heaven but nobody wants to die" --- Albert King

    by HarpboyAK on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 07:30:58 AM PDT

  •  we will never forget it either, even though we are (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Senor Unoball, forgore, Eric Nelson

    from the east coast. We had tickets to the  Final Four and traveled to Seattle a day after it happened. SHocking. So now I still think of it every year, when March Madness comes around, even though it's so long ago that when I finished college a few years ago a professor had to explain what "Exxon Valdez" meant, even as the students were outraged at BP in the Gulf of Mexico.

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 07:49:22 AM PDT

  •  Prince William Sound today (5+ / 0-)

    When you look at the surface of the water, at the shorelines of the islands, all looks well.

    But that is deceiving.

    As Harpboy notes, the oil is deep in the rocks in many places, still leaching contaminants. Sure, the big sheens have dissipated and the goo has been cleaned, but let there be no doubt: The oil is still there.

    The cold waters of the sound make for a very slow recovery.

    Where are the herring? Gone, maybe never to return.

    Those tiny fish feed larger fish, feed birds, feed otters.

    Have otters recovered? Battling scientists have differing opinions.

    How about the murres, the gulls, the ducks, the eagles?

    Sure, you can still find them. Now in good numbers, in many cases, but numbers still not to pre-spill levels.

    I moved to Valdez in 1992, a mere three years after the spill. It was still a gaping, devastating wound to the town.

    And though I've not been back to Valdez for many years, I have no doubt that those wounds have not yet healed.

    As through this world I've wandered,
    I've seen lots of funny men;
    Some will rob you with a six-gun,
    Some with a fountain pen.
    -- Woody Guthrie

    by Senor Unoball on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:38:23 AM PDT

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