Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Fuck Exxon.

Here's something scary for you on Halloween.

Exxon is having their day in court... they think their fine for the Exxon Valdez spill is excessive and our Supreme Court is going to hear the case. Are you kidding me? (But anyway, does the Court even have credibility anymore?)

What kind of values does Exxon Mobil support? Clearly, they care only about one thing, the bottom line. And that's fine, they're a business and I guess that's what they're all about. But when we end up having to pay for their mistakes, that's where you have to draw the line.

They argue that the fine is a "punishment" to them? Yeah, no fucking doubt it is. Do they not deserve to be punished for running a tanker filled with oil aground? When you earn close to $11 billion a quarter you still want to fight a $2.5 billion fine for creating the worst environmental disaster in history? They say it's the responsibility of the captain... well they were employing that captain. They hired him. He's their responsibility.

They are fighting having to pay less than a month's worth of net profits out after creating the single largest man made environmental disaster at sea... ever.

You pay them money everyday at the pump. What are they doing with those profits? Perhaps they should clean up the environment they are doing so much to foul. Right now there's an even larger spill that Exxon is responsible for in Brooklyn, NY. And guess what, they're fighting that too.

Fuck Exxon. How about stepping up and taking responsibility? Pay up and shut up. Fighting this for ten years is an insult to every American who drops coins in your coffer everyday.

Now back to your regularly scheduled good natured blogging. Oh, and good morning.


Ned said...

What Exxon doesn't say is that average income for commercial fisherman is not half of what it was before the spill.

Exxon doesn't tell you that limited entry permits that used to sell for 1/2 a Million dollars now can be purchased for 30K and in some cases are worthless.

Exxon doesn’t tell you that the herring, which used to be a huge fishery, are now gone. There are no more herring in Cordovan waters.

Exxon doesn’t say that you can go out to the beaches of Prince William Sound, turn over a rock, and find oil.

Exxon doesn’t say how very little fishermen have received in compensation to this point. If you have a business and you, on average, make 500,000 per year, then someone does something like spill oil all over your business, and after that you can only make 250,000 a year, but the spillers give you 250,000 one time, is that fair? In this example you receive 250,000 once, but lose it 18 times (18 years since the spill happened).

Also, Exxon likes to point to the 3.4B it spent cleaning up the spill but it doesn't tell you how that money was spent. I had many friends who assisted in the cleanup and they all couldn't believe the total incompetence of the clean up effort. There were laws in place at the time of the spill regarding any possible spill and the required assets Exxon must keep on hand. None of the laws were followed.

I knew about Bligh Reef when I was six years old, how could anyone on an oil tanker, especially one named the Exxon Valdez, not know?

When the original punitive damages award of 5Billion was set it was supposed to represent one year of Exxon's net profits. Having been lowered to 2.5Billion it now amounts to around 3 weeks of Exxon's profits. I would say (and I admit to not being impartial) that the award is now too small. Punitive damages are meant to punish, 3 weeks profit is not true punishment.

Dinosaur Trader said...


Thanks for your comment. It helps put things into more perspective.

It bothers me that this can even happen... that a company who is so obviously at fault can drag it's feet through the muck forever and get away with this crap.

It's wrong. We need some politicians with backbone in this country and it would help if we had a media that was playing the role it's meant to play instead of acting as a propaganda machine for the powers that be.


KC Equity Trader said...

Contrarian opinion here.

Exxon Mobile (XOM) does not deserve punitive damages. 30,000 people are taking advantage of the legal system to try to cash in from a fortune 500 companies.

If XOM were a small company that barely made money to stay afloat, you would not see this lawsuit.

XOM was not negligence in the accident. The ship's captain made errors, which resulted in that disaster. Upper executives had nothing to do with it.

Exxon Mobile has suffered enough. XOM lost its oil to the sea, had to pay billions to clean up the mess, and this negative publicity will always be remembered in history.

Big oil helps funds politicians to office and government officials will remember that.

Just before you shout out, "so what, make them pay because they still deserve it." Know this, XOM will not be paying, it will be the small consumer who buys gas at the pump when they increase gasoline prices along with all other oil members.

Consider the people in Alaska lucky to be apart of the United States because if they were in any state of the former Soviet Union, people would have disappeared and the few found would no longer be alive.

Dinosaur Trader said...


That's so twisted I want to blow it up. However, I have to go trick or treat. I will have to leave it for now and blow it up later.


Ned said...

KC equity Trader

So if I ram my car into you when I am drunk, hurt you badly and destroy your car my responsibility is to fix your car and pay your hospital bills? That is all I owe you?

As to your assertion that XOM was not negligible my response is HAW! Exxon knew Hazzelwood was a drunk. They knew he drank onboard, they knew he drank onshore, they knew he encouraged his crew to drink with him. This may have been against company policy, but they did nothing to stop it. If your company has a policy against sexual harassment and nobody follows it your company is still liable if someone is sexually harassed. Having a policy, in and of itself, does nothing. You have to have a policy and you have to enforce the policy.

And a, really, saying Alaskans are just lucky to be a part of the United States, that is just insulting. The United States needs Alaska far more than Alaska needs the United States. Strategically, Alaska is a must have. And we know it! (That is not to say Alaskan politicians aren’t some of the slimiest people around and routinely bilk the Federal government.)

Now maybe you are right that they will pass the cost on to consumers, but then again maybe not. They had to put aside funds in 1994 when the original judgment against them was entered. Since that time they have had to accrue interest on it at 5.9%. Their Internal Rate of Return has been closer to (this is an old number) 14%. Not only that, but they have the strongest balance sheet there is. One month of their profits will cover any judgment they have to pay. If they are still not satisfied they can throw some bottlenecks in the refining process next spring and make an even crazier amount of profit.

Now, the truly hilarious part of your asinine argument is this: If XOM were a small company that barely made money to stay afloat, you would not see this lawsuit. Well, yes, in that case this lawsuit would not have dragged on for 18 years. The company’s assets would have been seized and sold off. You wouldn’t have an army of lawyers throwing paperwork around like confetti at a ticker tape parade.

The jury, in this case, thought the proper punishment was one year of Exxon’s profits. They didn’t know, at the time, that the case would drag on so long. Nor did they know that one years profit for any company, ever, could reach 40 Billion dollars. If they had, and if they had known that gas would go to $3 a gallon, they most likely would have set punitive damages much higher than they did.

Dinosaur Trader said...

Ned blew it up.