A Regulatory Call to action
The public's strong reaction to the spill brought the issue to the US government. Many testified, calling for changes in the regulation of the oil industry.
"We have no adequate laws on the books, even though for 6 years there has been an attempt by the House and the Senate to get comprehensive oil spill liability legislation ... Now, there is no question that not only was the industry not ready to handle a problem of this magnitude; Exxon was not ready, either. There has never been a spill of this magnitude. If the industry had put the kind of time and effort and resources into preparing for this kind of disaster that they put into exploration, maybe we would be at a point where we could have contained and dealt with this." - Samuel Skinner, April 1989, US Congress Testimony.
Samuel Skinner in Senate Hearing, 1989, New York Times.
Paying for Oil-Troubled Waters, 1989, New York Times.
"The other lessons are, first, that the spill resulted not just from a few small lapses in the regulations, but from what is really a pervasive governmental attitude that the oil industry should be given breaks every step along the way. If we really want to change the oil industry's attitude toward environmental protection, if we really want to reduce the risks of these kind of spills, we've got to look at all of the environmental regulations and stop giving the industry a break" - Michael Wenig, April 1989, US Congress Testimony.
Environmental Protection vs Economic Growth, n.d., Gallup.