Exxon earned the largest annual profit ever recorded by a U.S. company–$39.09 billion excluding special charges, up 15% from 2005 levels. Record 2006 earnings reflect a year of unusually high energy prices.

Eighteen years after the most devastating oil spill in U.S. history, ExxonMobil still has not paid the punitive damages owed to the victims of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and is operating the largest, most dangerous oil tanker in the area – the Exxon Valdez sister ship, Sea River Long Beach.
“Punitive damages are meant to deter reckless behavior, which is what the Exxon Valdez oil spill was,” said Shawnee Hoover, campaign director of Exxpose Exxon. “If ExxonMobil finally paid the damages it might think twice about risking another devastating oil spill in the area.”

ExxonMobil is the only oil company in the Alaskan spill area of Prince William Sound still operating a single-hulled oil tanker.

“It says a lot about ExxonMobil’s character that it continues to fight the families whose livelihoods were destroyed by the oil spill, especially when the company made nearly $40 billion last year,” said Zack Brown of U.S. Public Interest Research Group. “Operating the same type of tanker just shows the company’s disregard for people’s lives and the environment.”

Since 1994, ExxonMobil has appealed every court ruling to pay punitive damages to the more than 30,000 victims of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. During this time, 6,000 people have died waiting for compensation. When ExxonMobil was ordered to pay $2.5 billion in 2006, it again asked the court to reconsider.

ExxonMobil claims that Prince William Sound has recovered and is “healthy, robust and thriving.” The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council reports that the multi-million dollar herring fish industry, which once supported thousands of lives and livelihoods in the area, remains closed indefinitely.

“Exxon manipulates the science around the recovery of the spill area just as it manipulates the science around global warming,” said Shawnee Hoover.

“On both accounts Exxon pays for the science it wants to see. Just as with global warming, Exxon-funded scientists are the only ones saying there’s no problem, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary,” added Hoover.

“Even after eighteen years, there’s still no effective way to clean up oil spills,” said Myke Bybee of the Sierra Club’s public lands program. “Exxon Valdez is the quintessential example of why we want Exxon and the government to invest in renewable energy instead of drilling our sensitive ocean areas.”

On Saturday, March 24 the victims of the spill will unveil a seven-foot tall wooden Exxon Ridicule Pole in Cordova, Alaska. The special totem pole is a native Alaskan tradition meant to force a person of high standing to pay a debt or obligation.

Exxon Mobil Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rex Tillerson, whose company’s $39.5 billion profit last year was the largest ever by a U.S. company, received a compensation package for 2006 valued by the oil giant at about $18.4 million, according to an analysis of a proxy statement filed Wednesday. Tillerson, 55, who succeeded Lee Raymond as chairman and CEO of the Irving, Texas-based company last year, received a salary of $1.5 million and a $2.8 million bonus. The company boosted Tillerson’s salary to $1,750,000 on Jan. 1.

The bulk of Tillerson’s package, however, was from a stock award Exxon Mobil valued at roughly $13.6 million when it was granted Nov. 28, according to the company’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

buying a fuel efficient car saves you money even if you don’t believe in climate change. Not doing it out of spite just enriches Exxon-Mobil.