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Tuesday, 7 August 2007

image for Was VECO's Bill Allen in ExxonMobil's pocket as bankrupcy threatens oil giant?
Bill Allen: did he hire DC lawmakers to get ExxonMobil off the hook?

Anchorage, Alaska - (Malodorous Mess): As he pleaded guilty to a raft of corruption charges earlier this year related to bribing bent Alaskan state and Capitol Hill politicians VECO's ex-CEO Bill Allen stayed strangely reticent about his relationship with the ExxonMobil oil giant and connections to the US Justice Department.

Allen's plea bargain has produced evidence of massive scale corruption which the Feds are still investigating.

He and Rick Smith, his deputy at the oil clean up company, have admitted charges involving bribes for votes on key oil and gas legislation.

But their mercenary activities may have stretched even deeper into the political arena with the suspected hiring of DC legislators with infulence over the US Justice Department.

And at the heart of the matter is ExxonMobil's near bankrupcy over punitive damages imposed for culpability in the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster.

For over a decade ExxonMobil has fought the record $4.5 billion damages through the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

In December 2006 they were finally reduced to $2.5 billion but this left the oil giant still gasping for air.

It has argued fiercely that having already spent $2 billion cleaning up the spill and a further $1 billion settling civil and criminal charges any punitive damages in excess "of a very reasonable $25 million" would cripple the corporation and result in a massive shareholder mutiny.

The latest DC politician to feel the Feds pressure in the Alaskan Corrupt Bastards Club probe involving VECO's plea bargain is retired Senator Ted Stevens, for many years a GOP stalwart in charge of energy policy on Capitol Hill.

Two weeks ago the FBI ransacked his home after Bill Allen's testimony led to suspicion of serious corruption allegations.

Whether these also involve Stevens' exercise of influence on Department of Justice attorneys to soft peddle on the record punitive fines imposed on ExxonMobil is a question on many people's minds.

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