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Mar 032011

(Anchorage, AK) — An Alaskan environmentalist is trying to force Exxon Mobil to pay the rest of its bills from a supertanker oil spill nearly 22 years ago.

Rick Steiner is suing the petroleum giant in federal court to force it to pay 92-million dollars it owes Alaska for cleaning up after the Exxon Valdez accident.

The action also seeks 23-million dollars in interest.

The tanker's ruptured hull poured an estimated eleven-million gallons of crude oil into Prince William Sound in 1989.

The federal government and the state of Alaska got Exxon to pay about 900-million dollars into a special cleanup fund, but sent a new bill a few years ago.

That new bill reflected some 92-million dollars in long-term environmental damage, but the oil company has refused to pay.

The government has declined to pursue the unpaid bill, so Steiner is trying to force the issue in federal court in Anchorage.

The retired University of Alaska professor says the case also has implications for last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

(Copyright 2011 by VERTEXNews/Newsroom Solutions)