Totem pole recalls oil spill

March 26, 2007 at 10:55 AM
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska, March 26 (UPI) -- An Alaska man has carved a 7-foot-high totem pole to mark the 18th anniversary of the largest oil spill in United States history.

Native carver Mike Webber of Cordova says the purpose of his work is to ridicule Exxon Mobile, the company responsible for wrecking havoc on Alaska's Prince William Sound, The Anchorage Daily News reports.

Carved from the trunk of a yellow cedar, Webber's totem pole features the words, "We will make you whole again."

That was the promise Exxon made to Cordova residents after the tanker Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of oil in the pristine waters.

But Webber says Exxon broke that promise by refusing to pay affected Alaskans billions of dollars in punitive damages.

"It made me so angry, it took me a week to carve those words out," says Webber.

Webber says the Exxon Mobil totem pole won't get money out of the company but it will remind people what happened 18 years ago.

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