June 21, 2006
Mr. Rex Tillerson
Chairman and CEO
225 East John Carpenter Freeway
Irving, Texas 75062
Dear Chairman Tillerson:
We write as a bi-partisan group of United States Senators to urge ExxonMobil to resolve the ongoing litigation stemming from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound. It has been 17 years since one of the worst environmental disasters in our nation's history and more than 32,000 commercial fishermen and other individuals in impacted communities across all 50 States are still waiting for ExxonMobil to pay the $4.5 billion in damages awarded by a federal jury 12 years ago.
Unfortunately your corporation has chosen a legal strategy of delay and appeal. Your lawyers have filed hundreds of motions and over a dozen appeals, while the fishermen and impacted communities continue to suffer from the aftermath of the tragedy. Some ofthe fisheries in the region have never fully recovered. According to a study for the National Marine Fisheries Service released last month, in just one impacted area of Prince William Sound, 100 tons of oil still remains in one six-mile stretch of shoreline.
For the men and women of this country and the local residents and Natives who make their home in the spill area, seventeen years is simply too long to wait. More than 10percent of the victims have already died while waiting for your company to resolve this litigation. Justice delayed is justice denied and a prompt resolution of this matter is the only acceptable course of action. We call on ExxonMobil to either restart settlement talks or pay the damages awarded to the victims of the oil spill. Thank you for your attention to this matter.