Sunday, February 04, 2007

These images brought to you by Exxon, circa 1989. You know, the 11 MILLION gallons of oil that fouled coastlines for years. Exxon just posted it's earnings for this year, they made 40 BILLION dollars. Forty Billion dollars profit. In one year. Yet they maintain that the spill is insignificant and do not want to be made to clean up. Here's the news bit...

"Crude oil is still polluting Alaskan waters almost 18 years after the tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground, according to a study by US government scientists to be published in two weeks.

The study, an advance of which was released on Wednesday, found more than 26,600 gallons of oil remaining at Prince William Sound. Researchers say it is declining at a rate of only 4% a year and even slower in the Gulf of Alaska.

Predictions that the pollution would have disappeared by now have proved to be inaccurate, and the damaged ecosystem is struggling to recover. The lingering oil, lying below the surface, affects wildlife and the general environment, and "degrades the wilderness character" of protected lands, the report says.

The study, by experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is to be published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal.

The scientists conclude: "Such persistence can pose a contact hazard to inter-tidally foraging sea otters, sea ducks, and shore birds, create a chronic source of low-level contamination, discourage subsistence in a region where use is heavy, and degrade the wilderness character of protected lands."

The oil spill in 1989, the worst single incident of pollution in US history, covered 1,200 miles of pristine shoreline.

The slow rate of dispersal means the oil could persist for decades more below the surface near some beaches.

Mark Boudreaux, a spokesman for Exxon Mobil said yesterday the company would review the findings. "Based on our initial review of the report, there is nothing newsworthy or significant in the report that has not already been addressed," he said. "The existence of some small amounts of residual oil in Prince William Sound on about two-tenths of 1% of the shore of the sound is not a surprise, is not disputed and was fully anticipated."

Mr Boudreaux said Exxon has supported more than 350 independent studies whose scientists have found no evidence of significant long-term impact."

I love that last bit... " But all the studes WE funded concluded what we wanted them to conclude!! "



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