French citizens are calling for the government to crack down on oil tankers that travel through French waters, reacting to a devastating December 1999 spill that dumped 19,000 tons of oil off the nation’s Atlantic coast. The accident, which some are calling France’s own “Exxon Valdez,” could cost some $1 billion in cleanup expenses and economic losses. Everything from the tourist and seafood industries to gourmet salt operations have been disrupted by the environmental disaster. Cleanup work is still going on, and many citizens are incensed that Total, the French oil company that chartered the problem tanker, is refusing to pay for most of the cleanup and is denying all legal responsibility for the spill. Even though the governments of France and the European Union are working on tighter restrictions for oil tankers, many of the French argue that the proposed steps aren’t nearly strong enough.