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September 25, 2023


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Exxon Valdez – Lessons Learned & Lost

In recognition of today’s 25-year anniversary of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska (March 24), this seems a good time to reflect on lessons learned, and lessons lost. 1. Oil spill “cleanup” is a myth: Once oil has spilled, the battle is lost — it is impossible to effectively contain, recover, and cleanup. Exxon spent more than $2 billion trying to clean up its Alaska spill, but recovered less than 7 percent. BP spent $14 billiontrying to clean up its 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill, and although they collected some at the wellhead, burned and dispersed some (with toxic chemicals), it recovered only 3 percent from the sea…

Arctic in Crisis

  By Rick Steiner The Arctic is one of most pristine and unique regions of our planet, but it is now in crisis from two serious threats — climate change and industrialization. As sea ice retreats, the Arctic has become the “wild wild north” — a last frontier for a failed development paradigm that has ravaged much of the rest of the biosphere. And while governments and industry say they will develop the Arctic “responsibly,” their actions so far suggest otherwise. On climate change, things have quickly gone from bad to worse. The Arctic is warming at twice the rate…

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…

Voices from the Flats – Earth Day

Earth Day – time to invest in sustainable future By Rick Steiner ———————- Today is Earth Day: a good time to assess the condition of our life-sustaining home planet. On this, there is both good and bad news. The bad news is that the global environment continues to deteriorate. For decades, our “ecological footprint” – the environmental impact of the global economy – has exceeded what the Earth can sustainably provide, now by over 50%, and our ecological debt is growing. Today more than a billion people are malnourished, thousands of children will die from preventable causes, and we will…

Exxon Denies Long Term Environmental Damage to Prince William Sound – A Day in Court

~Oil sheen from the Exxon Valdez spill fills a footprint on the beach 21 years later in July of 2010 Tomorrow will be a historic day. After 22 years, the final word will be had on the long-term environmental damage from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Last summer, I traveled to Knight Island in Prince William Sound. The point of landing was “Diesel Beach.” As you can imagine, this is a post-1989 name. You can read my post Walking With the Ghost of Exxon HERE. The long-term impact on Prince William Sound has been significant. With resident orca populations expected…

Former UA Professor Receives Cook Inletkeeper’s Highest Award

A Commentary By Susan B. Andrews and John Creed KOTZEBUE—Finally, he’s getting a dinner. For almost 30 years, Rick Steiner toiled away at the University of Alaska, rising through the ranks to become one of the most accomplished, high-profile professors in the history of UA’s Marine Advisory Program. But when Professor Steiner left our state’s public university system earlier this year, the employer to which he dedicated virtually his entire career showed him less regard than it would a temp. Most UA faculty members who rise to the rank of “full” professor and serve as long as Steiner are conferred…

Open Thread – Mark Your Calendar for Rick Steiner

Frequent Mudflats contributor Rick Steiner will be speaking on November 7 in Anchorage. Mark your calendar now.  The first time I heard Rick Steiner speak, I was blown away.  It wasn’t an anomaly. This is an event you will not want to miss. Steiner is incredibly knowledgeable and conveys even the most complex subjects in ways that are easy to understand and entertaining.  Bring a friend.