Thursday, July 24, 2008

Exxon Begs Supremes for Greater Valdez Gifts

Fresh off a Supreme Court decision that knocked $4.5 billion off the original punitive damage award for splashing 11 million barrels of oil along the Alaskan seashore, Exxon wants more savings. The high court ruling didn't address the payment of interest on the $507.5 million damage award. At issue is whether the company pays interest back to the 1996 date of the first court judgement, or to the recent Supreme Court decision, handed down weeks ago. The spill occurred in 1989. Consider Exxon's bottom line, beginning a decade after the spill:

1999 $ 7.9 billion
2000 $17.7 billion
2001 $15.3 billion
2002 $11.5 billion
2003 $21.5 billion
2004 $25.3 billion
2005 $36.1 billion
2006 $39.5 billion
2007 $40.6 billion

Total $215.4 billion

Exxon wants to pay just one month's interest on the $507.5 million, a mere $2.5 million (at 5.9%). This paltry sum brings to mind the size of the Grinch's heart. Those poor people in Whoville, otherwise known as Valdez, Alaska.