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June 19, 2021

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Quiet, 26 Years After the Spill

Several years ago Shannyn Moore, Jeanne Devon and I went out to Prince William Sound [read the post from Jeanne Devon] on an assignment from BBC World Service. We were sent for the odd request that could only come from a international news agency like the BBC… gather sound. They didn’t need video, or pictures, just sound. BBC had certainly been there before and had much in their catalogue to make it sound like their reporter was in Alaska – but they were looking for sound from right then. It was July 4th weekend so instead of BBQ and beer the…

Walking With the Ghosts of Exxon

It’s 5 a.m. on the 4th of July, and the alarm goes off. I open one eye and think surely I must have set it for the wrong time, but then I remember. Today I’m heading to Prince William Sound with Shannyn Moore and Zach Roberts. Our goal is to document the lingering effects of oil, still present in the Sound after the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in the spring of 1989. It’s 2010, and a child born then would be 21 years old now. It’s hard to believe. I was not in Alaska back then. I,…

The Exxon Valdez Gets Its Death Sentence

The artist tanker formerly known as the Exxon Valdez has gotten its death sentence. It has been sold for scrap for about $16 million. The tanker, which was only a shiny new three year old in 1989 when it slammed into Bligh Reef, causing devastation of people, marine life, and the economy in Prince William Sound, has had an odd history which is almost at an end. The Dallas Morning News reports: Twenty-three years after the oil supertanker became synonymous with what its Irving-based owner at the time calls “one of the lowest points in ExxonMobil’s 125-year history,” the ship is…

Exxon Valdez – The Final Showdown?

~An Exxon Valdez oil-filled footprint on a beach in Prince William Sound, known as “The Death Marsh” and “Diesel Beach.” Taken July 4, 2010 – twenty-one years after the spill. (photo by Jeanne Devon) By Prof.  Rick Steiner In what could be the final court showdown regarding environmental damage from the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, tomorrow (1:30 PM, Tuesday Nov. 15, 2011) the U.S. District Court in Anchorage will hear oral arguments regarding the final payment from Exxon for long-term environmental injuries from the spill. The present Court proceedings were triggered initially by my 12/7/10 amicus motion, then the…

Vulture’s Picnic – My Home is Now a Strange Place (Installment 3)

  [This is the third installment of Chapter 7, My Home is Now a Strange Place from Greg Palast’s Vulture’s Picnic. Many thanks to Mr. Palast for providing The Mudflats with an exclusive of this story that is so critical to the state of Alaska, and reveals so much about the corporate interests that still dominate here.] By Greg Palast PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND, ALASKA, 1989 State Inspector Dan Lawn, grabbing a fast launch from Valdez, was the first to reach the shipwrecked tanker, risking the ride through the sickening fumes and fountains of crude that could explode with the touch…

Vulture’s Picnic by Greg Palast – A Mudflats Exclusive Excerpt

By Zach Roberts Hey Mudflatters – In addition to my duties as New York Bureau Chief of The Mudflats, I’ve taken on working with Greg Palast. You might have heard him on the Shannyn Moore Show talking about the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He was a forensic economist for the Chugach Natives – kind of a Sam Spade, except with numbers (not as sexy… and no whips). He uncovered the fact that it wasn’t the drunk Captain, but Exxon being cheap that caused that man-made disaster. The story made him give up his day job and start working as a…

Voices from the Flats – Dear Sarah, You're Not Alaska.

By Zach Roberts Special note: This is a message to Sarah, that I sent to her via Facebook. Alaskans will get all the places, some of the references and some of the names. If you don’t get them, give it a Google, or read TheMudFlats.net (why aren’t you reading it already? What’re you a member of the Paliban?) Or better yet, get your butt on the next flight up to Anchorage. Yes I know it’s November and it’s cold… that means flights should be cheap. Go to Spenard Roadhouse get the Bacon Jam and tell them I sent you.  ***************…