Exxon oil spill damages reduced

US supreme court slashes compensation to be paid by oil giant for 1989 Alaska oil spill.

    Alaskans have called on Exxon to do more to clean up the spill [AFP]

    Exxon Mobil has posted huge profits in recent years due to high oil prices, reporting earnings of $40.6 billion in 2007.

    Legal battle

    Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska's Prince William Sound in March 1989, spilling about 11 million gallons of crude oil.
     
    ExxonMobil afterwards spent about $2.1 billion cleaning up the polluted coastline and more than $300 million in compensation for fishermen and locals affected by the catastrophe.

    The company also paid out more than $900 million in fines in a bid to halt criminal proceedings begun against it by the US government and the state of Alaska.
     
    However, in 1994, a jury in a civil Alaskan lawsuit ordered the firm to pay $5 billion in damages to fisherman and locals whose livelihoods were destroyed.

    The oil giant has fought that verdict ever since and in 2006 won a victory from a US federal court which cut the punitive damages to $2.5 billion.

    John Passacantando, executive director of Greenpeace USA, told Al Jazeera that Exxon has been rewarded for stalling on the case.

    "The US public should know our companies are not being held to account and that the Supreme Court will defend these corporations and their bad actions and not the citizens of the US," he said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.