June 26, 2008

Coverage and Commentary on Exxon Valdez Decision

Every major news outlet and countless bloggers have now weighed in on the Supreme Court's opinion yesterday in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker. Howard Bashman has a nice collection of the mainstream media links.

In addition to those stories, here are a couple of opinion pieces with diametrically opposite responses to the opinion. Greg Palast writes about the $500 million in punitive damages: "It's so cheap, it's like a permit to spill." On the other side of the spectrum, the U.S. Chamber hails the decision in a blog post entitled "Towards Predictability and Common Sense."

In a couple of odd footnotes to this saga:

A Wall Street Journal article on the Exxon Shipping Co. opinion mentions that after the accident, the Exxon Valdez continued to sail the seas as a single-hulled Exxon oil tanker, ferrying crude outside of the U.S., until earlier this year when it was sold to a Hong Kong company, which converted it to carry bulk ore. It is now known as the Dong Fang Ocean.

And Newsday.com has a story about the current whereabouts of the infamous Captain Joseph Hazelwood, whose drunken encounter with a reef off Bligh Island twenty years ago caused this whole mess. The reporter asked Captain Hazelwood to comment on the Supreme Court's opinion and he said he had "no reaction."