Out of the Channel: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Prince William Sound

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9780060163341: Out of the Channel: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Prince William Sound

Ten years later, the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound remains the largest tanker spill in the history of North America, and in its devastating effects upon wildlife and habitat, arguably the most damaging tanker spill in the history of the world. First released in 1991, John Keeble's account, Out of the Channel, combined on-the-scene witnessing of the oil spill's lethal results with analysis of its ramifications upon ecology, community, economy, law, the nature of public information, and upon the American mythos. The aftermath of the oil spill, and no less transforming, the spill of Exxon's money and power, reached into every sector of Alaskan life as well as into the conscience of the people of the lower forty-eight states. The event is now seen as one of a handful of signal ecological disasters of the twentieth century.

The new "Tenth Anniversary' edition of Out of the Channel adds to its evocative, original text a new and full assessment of the permutations and twists of big money, big litigation, and "petroleum speak" from the vantage point of several years' remove, as well as an account of the 1991, $1 billion civil settlement between Exxon, the U.S. Justice Department, and the State of Alaska-the largest such environmental settlement ever. In this now definitive book on the oil spill, all the primary concerns of the first edition are updated with new material, including the cause of the ship's grounding on Bligh Reef, the fate of Captain Joseph Hazelwood, the long lasting effects of the spill, the projected death toll among animals, the little-known 1993 fisherman's tanker blockade, late-developing evidence about the true quantity of oil spilled, the benefits and abuses of professional science, as well as the heartening results of citizen pressure to improve oil shipping procedures in Prince William Sound and to protect fragile habitat.

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About the Author:

John Keeble, novelist and non-fiction writer, is also the author of Crab Canon, Mine (with Ransom Jeffrey), Yellowfish, and Broken Ground. He is a professor of Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

". . . the village health aide, had said, 'Veco came in one day and literally took over the country. . . . Our people are very excited about going to work, but there also was a lot of fear about losing our subsistence. And we have. We haven't been able to collect our clams, seaweed, herring roe, halibut. . . . . This is something that has affected us emotionally, and I expect it will affect us physically. It has affected us spiritually. Our spiritual leaders have gone off to work on the spill, making $16.69 an hour. . . . I don't know if Port Graham will ever be the same. People don't have time to visit. They don't have time for tea. They're too busy. Even the children look lost.'"

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