HJR 9: Urging the United States Congress to honor the process and judgment of the federal courts in the case of the Exxon Valdez disaster and to refrain from enacting legislation that would affect the outcome of the courts' resolution of the case.
00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 9 01 Urging the United States Congress to honor the process and judgment of the federal 02 courts in the case of the Exxon Valdez disaster and to refrain from enacting legislation 03 that would affect the outcome of the courts' resolution of the case. 04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 05 WHEREAS, in 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef off the 06 coast of Alaska, discharging more than 11 million gallons of toxic crude oil into Prince 07 William Sound, and becoming what President George H. W. Bush called "the worst marine 08 environmental disaster this nation has ever experienced"; and 09 WHEREAS, in September 1994, a unanimous jury of Alaskans found Exxon 10 Corporation liable for the Exxon Valdez oil spill and awarded damages of $5.3 billion to 11 those injured by the spill, including punitive damages in the amount of $5 billion; and 12 WHEREAS, nearly 15 years after the disaster, and more than ten years after the 13 original jury verdict, the victims are still awaiting resolution of the litigation; and 14 WHEREAS the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is currently reviewing the latest 15 appeal of the damages order by Exxon Mobil Corporation and is expected to issue its decision
01 sometime later this year; and 02 WHEREAS, during consideration by the United States Congress of the Oil Pollution 03 Act of 1990, Exxon Mobil Corporation sought an amendment that would have substantially 04 reduced the punitive damages that it would have paid for the Exxon Valdez oil spill; 05 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully urges that the 06 United States Congress respect the judicial process and refrain from enacting any legislation 07 that would alter the punitive damages awarded to more than 32,000 plaintiffs as a result of the 08 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill as finally determined by the federal courts. 09 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President 10 of the United States; the Honorable Richard B. Cheney, Vice-President of the United States 11 and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Bill Frist, Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate; 12 the Honorable J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; the Honorable 13 Frank H. Murkowski, Governor of Alaska; and the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable 14 Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, 15 members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.