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Exxon Valdez Spill 20th Anniversary This Year

This year is the 20th anniversary of of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound up in Alaska. It seems that, over the last couple of decades, Americans have forgotten the lesson of the Exxon Valdez – they’re eagerly swayed with such nonsensical chants as drill baby drill to support expanding offshore oil drilling, though the offshore oil drilling that’s already been done has not kept gasoline prices down.

It’s clear that the oil still has not been all cleaned up, but how much is left? I’ve gone searching for information about how much of the Exxon Valdez crude oil remains in Prince William Sound, and I’ve found different accounts. The Anchorage Daily News says, without citing its sources, that 16,000 gallons of the oil remains in the Sound.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, on the other hand, says that 13 percent of the spilled oil went down to the sea floor – that’s something like 1,430,000 gallons. 220,000 gallons of the oil went onto the beaches, and according to NOAA, a great deal of that oil is still there, leaching out into the waters of Prince William Sound to this day. This information makes the 16,000 gallon estimate look rather too low.

Check out The Whole Truth – an organization still struggling to separate fact from ExxonMobil’s public relations spin.

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