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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Listener Comments

Air Date: Week of

Living on Earth listeners sound off about Exxon, oil spills, and Superfund lawsuits.


CURWOOD: And now it's time to hear from you, our listeners. Our listener line has been humming with comments on our program about the lingering impact of the Exxon Valdez oil spill five years later. This response from a listener in Baltimore was typical.

CALLER: We feel very powerless when the oil spill happened, but I have never purchased a gallon of gas from Exxon since that time, because I felt it was the only thing that I can do. And yet, are you causing equal harm when you purchase gas from other companies? I don't know. But at least I feel like I've done something.

CURWOOD: Jim Sykes of Talkeetna, Alaska, also called.

SYKES: One of those things that the Exxon Valdez demonstrated, that it wasn't the state or the Federal government or the Coast Guard or Exxon who knew what to do. It was the people who lived and worked in Prince William Sound who understood the currents and the winds and the fisheries. So one of the good things that came out of the Exxon Valdez is, it made people realize that local people have valuable information and people need to make it part of the public policy process.

CURWOOD: And from Bridgeport, Connecticut, John Santa, the President of Santa Fuel Rights: "We observe a remarkable phenomenon of inconsistency in the American media and public. A very strong passion and zeal to punish Exxon for doing its job, combined with a staunch unwillingness to forego a tank of gas for your Taurus, or the jet fuel for your weekend trip to Acapulco, or even your electric toothbrush. American wants the energy, but it doesn't want it to be manufactured, or drilled, or transported, or spilled." Roger Thoma of Grandville, Ohio, called to comment on our interview with NAACP head Benjamin Chaves about Superfund reform and his efforts to speed up cleanup of toxic sites in communities of color.

THOMA: I was quite surprised to hear Mr. Chaves say that industry had told him that they were tired of litigation. It's primarily at the impetus of industry that most of the lawsuits occur. So if the NAACP thinks that somehow the industry is serious, I'm afraid they're going to be woefully disappointed.


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