Staff editorial: Report card loves the environment, hates oil spills
Supreme Court lets Exxon Mobil off the hook: F
After appealing the $2.5 billion in punitive damages Exxon Mobil was to repay after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, Reuters reported Wednesday that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the original fine.
The court ruled that the damages should only equal the compensatory damages of $507.5 million.
Exxon Mobil, arguing that the company should not be punished for a ship captain’s mistake, said it has already paid $3.4 billion toward the spill’s effects and should not be held liable for additional damages under maritime law.
The prosecutors’ lawyer, however, argued Exxon Mobil had neglected numerous complaints about Capt. Joseph Hazelwood’s drinking problems.
No matter the amount of damages already paid, Exxon Mobil should be held accountable for the entire amount it was sentenced to repay. After reporting the highest yearly profits ever by an American company, it’s not like it can’t afford to.
Sweet deal for the Everglades: A+
United States Sugar agreed Tuesday to sell 187,000 acres of land north of Everglades National Park to Florida for $1.75 billion in the state’s hopes of restoring the national park’s original boundaries, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Concerns are for the 1,900 workers employed by the company. United States Sugar says a $350 a share buyout should substantiate any burdens until workers can find new employment.
Although there are worries about the workers’ future employment, this is definitely a positive step toward a cleaner environment. Companies lay off workers for reasons less commendable than this. To do so to save an important piece of the ecosystem should not be looked down upon.
White House ignores E.P.A.: F
The New York Times reported Wednesday that the White House refused to accept an e-mail from the Environmental Protection Agency, which concluded greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled.
The report was in response to a Supreme Court ruling, which required the E.P.A. to determine how dangerous greenhouse gasses were.
An E.P.A. official said "the Clean Air Act can work for certain sectors of the economy," but "(Washington) wants to show that the Clean Air Act can’t work."
In a world that has had numerous reports of damages caused by greenhouse gasses, Washington should be anxiously awaiting news of how to better protect the country, not marking them as "spam."