This week on Moore Up North, we gathered panelists who were intimately involved in the reporting, clean-up and legal aspects of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Our goal was to provide some historic background for those living through this unfolding oilpocalypse on the Gulf Coast.
At the time of the Exxon Valdez, I was a commercial fisherman. I tendered herring and was docked in Sitka. When word of the spill came, we headed north to help with the clean-up. The Prince William Sound Herring Fishery collapsed and never recovered.
The response from BP is eerily similar to Exxon’s response 21 years before; the fleet of lawyers on the ground offering $5,000 cash in exchange for legal waivers; the under-estimating of the oil spill and damages; the promises to “make you whole”…
I feel an overwhelming sense of deja vu and PTSD.
We were joined by Alaska State Senator and Democratic candidate for governor Hollis French.
Our panel this week were each on the ground and witnessed the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez tragedy first hand:
- Peter Van Tuyn-Environmental lawyer, representing Alaska Native and conservation interests on environmental issues in Alaska, including onshore and offshore oil and gas, fisheries and marine conservation, mining, and wildlife and endangered species. Peter currently represent the Native Village of Point Hope, Alaska Wilderness League and Pacific Environment in litigation related to Arctic offshore oil and gas activities.
- Marybeth Holleman–author-activist. She has written nationally on the Exxon Valdez disaster and on Prince William Sound.
- Charles Wohlforth–author and Anchorage Daily News reporter assigned to the Exxon Valdez catastrophe in 1989.
- Steve Heimel-APRN broadcasting legend. Covered the Exxon Valdez on the radio. Steve is a walking-encyclopedia on the Exxon Valdez disaster.