Exxon posts record-breaking profit, tries to evade Exxon Valdez penalty

ExxonMobil has announced that it reaped $36 billion in profits for 2005 — the largest single-year profit ever by any American corporation. In related news, last week Exxon lawyers asked a federal court to effectively waive $5 billion in punitive damages related to the massive 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, meant to compensate thousands of Alaskans who lost their livelihoods. The company, which has been tenaciously resisting the fines since the day of the spill, argued that it had already done enough by spending $3 billion on cleanups and settling other lawsuits. Some in the packed courtroom openly laughed as an Exxon lawyer argued that “harm was largely avoided” by what the company’s paid so far. Yup, that’s funny all right. Ha. Ha.