Retro Report: The Exxon Valdez Disaster

Monday, December 09, 2013

An oil cleanup worker walks through the oily surf at Naked Island on Prince Williams Sound, April 02, 1989. (CHRIS WILKINS/AFP/Getty)

This week our friends at the Retro Report documentary team look back at a cold March night in 1989 that sparked one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S history.

On that frigid Alaskan night, the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the waters of Prince William Sound—making clear how vulnerable the environment is to the transportation of fossil fuels.

The spill led to tighter regulations and reforms, but as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrated, many of those lessons were forgotten after more than 20 years.

Scott Michels, reporter for Retro Report, joins The Takeaway to examine how the spill happened and what we did and didn't learn from the disaster. 

Watch a video of Retro Report's findings below.



Scott Michels

Produced by:

Mythili Rao


T.J. Raphael

Comments [1]


Corrupt Big Business, and small minds go together.

Corporations pay millions of dollars to get around legislation. Those who lobby for corporations see that Legislators get the big-bucks to keep them in office. Those people continue corruption of our system of government in the name of democracy, but there is nothing democratic about this vicious cycle. Big Money Treadmill . . .

Tea Party supporters are blind. The Republican Party will bring it's self down eventually, because they think they support upstanding individuals, and business to build our country's economy, but they fail to see corrupt money destroying the American way of life.

Dec. 10 2013 01:29 PM

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