Unforgetting Exxon Valdez

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of one of the world’s great ecological catastrophes – the Exxon Valdez oil spill – The New York Times has carried a telling editorial. Excerpt:

More than $2 billion has been spent on cleanup and recovery. Exxon has paid at least $1 billion in damages. Supertankers have been made safer with double hulls, emergency teams given better equipment. Some fish species, though not all, have recovered.

Yet the Exxon Valdez still sends a powerful cautionary message: oil development, however necessary, is an inherently risky, dirty business — especially so in the forbidding waters of the Arctic.

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