Research the Exxon Valdez and Prince William Sound Case in Box 3.2 on page 67 of your Trusted Criminals text. Answer the following questions: What has happened to the key players since the events in this case? Since the events in the subject case, the environment continues to be the victims. The natural resources of Prince William Sound County have not recovered. Many people who relied on finishing as way of earning their living are still unable to make ends meet because the government has prohibited the fishing of specifies that have not recovered from the spill. The money that was given to the victims was not enough to pay the debts owed on the fishing boats.
There has been ongoing litigation on both sides reaching all the way to the Supreme Court. The incident did not drive the company out of business even when large punitive damages were imposed. The Exxon Mobile kept on growing. The corporation argued that punitive damages in excess of $25 millions are excessive. The original $5 billion in punitive damages has been gradually reduces by the courts through ongoing legal battle. Were the consequences they experienced as a result of their role appropriate under the circumstances and why?
No one really wish for accidents to happen. We can’t say that the corporation set up the stage for such a loss since its goal is to make profit. If they were aware that an accident was prone to happen, I am sure they should have implemented preventive measures. Exxon Mobil made a mess and it is expected that it bears the responsibility of cleaning it up and pay restitution to the victims. Regardless of the circumstances the corporation was responsible for the cost of restoring the natural resources of Prince William Sound and to maintain the financial stability of the victims. As long as we as one world engage in drilling and transportation of oil, accidents and consequences are inevitable.
The focus should be on what we can do to keep such disasters from reoccurring. What preventive and detective controls can be put in place to prevent this from happening again? The best preventive measure I can think of to keep such an accident from reoccurring is not to use gasoline. We can decrease the world’s consumption of fuel by switching to electrical power for most of the things that use oil products. One of the preventive measures that were imposed on the industry is double hull or double layered tank requirements.
All ships transporting oil are to meet the double layered requirement by 2015. But I think that is not good enough. It should be triple layered. Some detective controls that can be put in place as detective controls are radars, regular inspections, control ship routes etc. The Exxon Valdez had radars and was supposed to follow a specific route. The ship captain fell asleep and the radar that they should have used to prevent the accident was not in working condition. I believe that technology has far advanced since that incident. They can maximize use of technology in the ship building process to keep such accident from reoccurring.
Source: http://seatletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008912109_exxonherring24m.html Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee council Seattle Times: Exxon Valdez oil-spill recovery still is work in progress, 20 years later