Saturday, March 24, 2007

18 Years Later

I couldn't let today go by without posting something about the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill disaster.

New York Times

April 1, 1989

Quotation of the Day

LEAD: ''I'm a slick-licker. I'm going to make as much money as I can cleaning up this mess for Exxon. And then I'm going to leave Alaska for good and go someplace where there ain't so much snow and the water's cleaner.'' - Russell Roetman, a Valdez fisherman.

18 Years Later - Russell Roetman still lives in Valdez although no longer a fisherman. He works as Head Mechanic for the city's maintenance shop.


Riverbrat said...

Wow, eighteen years! Money ain't everything!

Heidi said...

Great quote..."Slick Licker" (that sounds bad out of context) and now the moneys gone and the mess is still here. I sure would like to see my husband bring home another herring check...maybe Exxon will pay up and the money will be more than a night out for us.

FishTaxi said...

Heidi - Russell is a friend of mine and his 15 yo son found that quote doing a google search on his dad. He was shrimping in PWS when the spill hit. He still still has his boat but like everybody can no longer make a living fishing. I miss the herring fishery. It was always a BIG shot in the arm in the spring wasn't it? We took divers out for kelp and helped string them for roe. Before the 1989 spill a herring permit was worth what? A couple hundred thousand dollars?

Riverbrat - Exxon paid boats to help clean up the spill in 1989 but has yet to pay punitive damages to the fishermen who lost their livelihood. Its been tied up in appellate court and over 2000 plaintives have died since 1989 never seeing a dime. Thats what they are doing is waiting for everyone involved to die so Exxon shareholders don't have to pay.