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Wake up, dylansdream! XOM paid $3.5 billion to clean up in Alaska. They also gave the locals some money to help them during the difficult time that they were having. It was 5 years later, when the money that XOM had given these ingrates had run out, that those few greedy Alaskans decided to milk more money from XOM. XOM is a corporation, not a charity. The Exxon Valdez oil spill was a terrible accident, but it was that - an accident (the 70th largest oil spill ever, I might add). To continue bringing up the issue is like kicking a dead horse.

The oil spill was a tragic accident which we deeply regret. Immediately following the accident, we apologized to the people of Alaska and the nation and set out to clean up the oil. Exxon spent $2.2 billion on the cleanup, and continued our efforts until 1992 when both the United States Coast Guard and the State of Alaska declared the cleanup complete. Exxon also reached a $1.1 billion settlement with the Federal and State governments in 1991. Most of that money is being used for environmental studies and conservation programs in Prince William Sound.

It appears now that, more than ten years later, despite some continuing controversy, scientists are reaching consensus that the environment is once again healthy and robust. Further, while the vast majority of the thousands of species in Prince William Sound were either never affected by the spill or quickly recovered, the populations of the 32 species that suffered the most serious impacts from the oil today are also healthy and robust.

Exxon voluntarily began paying damage claims immediately after the accident to fully compensate those directly damaged by the spill. More than 11,000 people and businesses received more than $300 million in compensation. An Anchorage federal court in 1994 ruled that the plaintiffs had already received payments for virtually all of their actual damage claims.

ExxonMobil is appealing the $5 billion punitive damages because the company believes it is unjust and unwarranted. The Company is exercising a fundamental right to appeal these damages, a right to which every American individual and company is entitled. Clearly, the $3.5 billion Exxon spent on the spill serves as a significant incentive to ExxonMobil or any other transporter of crude oil to try to prevent future spills.

In the aftermath of the accident, Exxon redoubled its long-time commitment to safeguard the environment, employees and communities in which we operate worldwide. Some examples of improved oil spill prevention include modified tanker routes, strengthened training programs for vessel captains and pilots, and new technology to improve vessel navigation and insure the integrity of oil containment systems.

As a result of these and other improvements, the number and volume of oil spills from Exxon's marine vessels worldwide have been significantly reduced. For the past eight years, we have spilled less than three gallons of oil per million gallons shipped. Our most recent three-year performance has been even better, with less than five tablespoons of oil spilled per million gallons shipped by Exxon's marine vessels.

In the event a spill does occur, we have greatly improved our response capability. Exxon is a founding member of every major oil spill response center worldwide.

Last year, ExxonMobil's U.S. marine transportation affiliate received the Washington State Department of Ecology's Exceptional Compliance Award for its oil spill prevention plan for its tankers. This year, the U.S. Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) Pacific Region awarded ExxonMobil its Safety Award for Excellence. In announcing the award, the MMS Pacific Region Director, Dr. J. Lisle Reed, said, "The results of our inspection underscore Exxon's position as an industry leader in safety and environmental protection in the Pacific. It further strengthens the company's outstanding record in conducting overall offshore oil and gas production in accordance with Federal regulations."

Always Long,
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