Reichert Continues Fighting for Victims of Exxon Valdez
Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-08) recently urged President Bush not to allow drilling for oil and gas in Alaska's Bristol Bay, and specifically not to allow ExxonMobil to drill in this area until the company pays the victims of the Exxon Valdez tragedy. ExxonMobil's prior behavior in the wake of the Exxon Valdez oil spill almost 18 years ago does not indicate they would be good stewards of the environment and local communities. This issue is of particular importance to Congressman Reichert, as residents of his District affected by the Exxon Valdez tragedy still have not been compensated by ExxonMobil, even though multiple legal rulings have ordered the company to pay billions in damages.
"Corporations such as ExxonMobil must be responsible for environmental damage that results from their negligence when drilling anywhere, but particularly in pristine areas and near communities," Congressman Reichert said. "ExxonMobil should show that they are capable of being a responsible corporation who is accountable for their actions before being allowed the right to drill in federal waters. Swift corrective action for environmental damage as well as any financial consequences nearby communities incur as a result of corporate negligence is absolutely critical when an incident occurs. This company should not be rewarded with new permits until they have proven they are serious about being responsible for their actions."
Congressman Reichert recently sent a letter urging President Bush not to allow drilling in Alaska's Bristol Bay. Reichert further requested that in the event that President Bush does choose to allow drilling in Bristol Bay, that safeguards are put in place to ensure that any environmental damage that may occur is followed by prompt and complete corrective action by the corporations involved.
Last spring on the 17th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill, Congressman Reichert spearheaded efforts in the House and Senate to pressure ExxonMobil to make good on their financial obligations to the fishermen and other members of the communities affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Following that move, Congressman Reichert contacted ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson and requested a meeting to discuss the effect the protracted litigation resulting from the Exxon Valdez oil spill is having on the approximately 6,000 Washington State residents who are plaintiffs in the case. Tillerson, however, refused to meet with Reichert.