Exxon Valdez…Disaster in Paradise

Today in History, March 24, 1989:

The Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker which had just filled up and was headed through Prince William Sound, Alaska, runs aground on Bligh Reef.

The rupture in the tanker’s hull allowed nearly 11 million gallons of oil to spill into the waters of the Sound and The Gulf of Alaska.

Over the next several days the crude eventually spread over approximately 1300 miles if pristine Coastline in what is arguably the last wild frontier.

Hundreds of thousands of fish, birds and other animals that make Alaska and its waters home were defenseless against the sudden onslaught. Many were rescued by volunteers equipped with dish soap, while many more died.

Exxon, the government and others tried several methods in attempts to clean up the mess, but what I’ve read indicated the results were meager, and nature is doing a better job of healing the Unfathomable damage itself. Still, almost 30 years later, the effects of the crew and company’s irresponsibility remain.

Exxon estimates it spent approximately 2.1 billion dollars on cleanup.

In the end a price or cost from the disaster can’t be quantified.

Goodbye 55

Today in History, September 20: 1995 – The US House of Representatives votes to approve the National Highway Designation Act, intended among other things to repeal the mandatory National Speed Limit of 55 MPH signed into law by President Nixon in 1974. The Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act had been enacted as a response to the 70’s oil embargo by OPEC nations. 

 President Clinton would sign the law repealing it on November 28th, and speed limits would go back up almost immediately when it went into effect December 8th.