Thank You Very Little
The Supreme Court yesterday unanimously struck down the tough oil-spill prevention rules that Washington state enacted after the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska. The justices said that in most situations, federal laws preempt states from setting their own standards to prevent oil spills from tankers. In 1991, Washington state adopted rules that were stricter than federal ones, aiming to protect its shorelines against spills from ships that carry much of the oil from Alaska’s North Slope though Washington waters. The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners challenged the rules, arguing that only the feds have the power to regulate tankers, and the court agreed. The ruling could affect similar rules in Alaska, California, Maine, and other states, and enviros said it would hamper protection of coastlines.