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Pay Alaska Fishermen From Record Profits Says Greenpeace


November 09, 2005

WASHINGTON - With congressional hearings scheduled for November 9 on record oil company profits, Greenpeace called upon ExxonMobil Tuesday to fulfill its legal obligation to compensate Alaska fishermen for the ExxonValdez oil spill. Sixteen years after the ExxonValdez dumped 11 million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound in Alaska, fishermen and community members still have not been paid the $5 billion awarded by a jury in punitive damages in 1994, according to a Greenpeace release.



"ExxonMobil, which just reported third quarter profits of $9.92 billion, - a U.S. company record - should make good on its debt to the people of Alaska," said Greenpeace campaigner Melanie Duchin of Anchorage, Alaska.

In 1991 ExxonMobil pled guilty to breaking several environmental laws and settled criminal and civil lawsuits of more than $1 billion for clean-up of the spill. However, in 1994 an additional $5 billion in punitive damages was awarded. Since then, the company has avoided taking responsibility for its actions by dragging out the court case in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. More than 700 miles of coastline were impacted by the spill.

"My business was destroyed when the herring fishery collapsed after the spill. I relied on herring for half of my income and that just disappeared," said Ross Mullins, a retired Alaskan fisherman. "More than four thousand of the spill victims have died and will never see justice done. There will be no peace in these communities until ExxonMobil is held accountable for its actions."

ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond is one of five oil company executives who will testify Wednesday on rising oil prices and their companies' record third-quarter profits as a Senate hearing examines the effects of rising energy costs on consumers.

Members of Congress have called the hearing as a result of public reaction to the news of record third-quarter profits for major oil companies while consumers are paying record high prices for gasoline. Consumers are also expected to see a thirty to forty-eight percent increase in home heating bills this winter according to the Energy Information Administration.


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Ketchikan, Alaska