Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Not Readily Distinguishable From Insult

$507.5 million? Nearly 20 years later, with how many of the original plaintiffs dead, this is what we get? For an ecosystem that has not yet recovered?

How long does it take Exxon to earn that much? 15 minutes? They've probably spent less in the last 20 years on public relations in this state, convincing us of how benign Big Oil is, what a kind, benevolent master.

The KoKon has a post featuring a comment that I particularly like. I won't spoil it for you. But I have a better idea for a damages, given the fact that Big Oil has been reaping windfall profits and daily we struggle with the question of how Alaskans are going to afford to heat their homes this coming winter and for the foreseeable future.

11 million.

That's the number of gallons that the Exxon Valdez dumped in 1989. Rather than rebates and or vouchers - although I think weatherization and energy rebates are not a bad idea, only the black helicopter crowd can be against encouraging conservation - I say Exxon Mobil owes us oil.

11 million gallons of it. Model the system after the CITGO program that has helped out rural Alaska immeasurably in the last two years and let Exxon Mobil help heat homes until they've reached the 11 million gallon mark. Then they've paid their tab.

In the meanwhile, the Alaska Legislature and the Gov could set about to establishing a robust energy policy with conservation at its core - and with meaningful shifts to alternative energy sources.

And apologies to Dan O'Neill for cribbing his phrase for the title; it comes from his excellent book, The Firecracker Boys.

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