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

John Keeble, Author HarperCollins Publishers $22.95 (290p) ISBN 978-0-06-016334-1
On April 8, 1989, two weeks after the oil tanker Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound, Keeble arrived there on assignment for the Village Voice . He remained through September, visiting affected areas and talking to hundreds of scientists, fishermen and other natives, and public and corporate officials. Examining the oil industry, Keeble ( Yellowfish ) points out the blurred line between economic power and regulatory authority, and notes that there was no provision for high-speed decision-making for this crisis and very litle reliance on local expertise. He charges that Exxon, ``the Hudson Bay Fur Trading Co. of contemporary Alaska,'' repeatedly exaggerated both the likelihood and facts of oil dispersal; that the upper echelons of the National Park Service tried to minimize the severity of the threat and deliberately stalled action. More than one and a half times as much refined fuel (gasoline, diesel) was used to operate machinery to clean up the effects of the disaster than was originally spilled. A hard-hitting, gripping account. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
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