The Impact of Public Outrage on Oil Spills: the Aftermath of the Exxon Valdez
This paper estimates the determinants of probability of oil spills and the size of spills in a sample selection model using data on spills in US waters from 1985 to 1991 to investigate the immediate impact of the public outrage after the Exxon Valdez oil spill on oil spills in US waters. The Oil Pollution Act was passed in response to the outrage and became effective in August 1990 but it is possible that the public outrage caused by the Exxon Valdez spill influenced behavior of tanker owners as well as that of regulators and monitoring authorities. We find that the probability of a casualty resulting in a spill is more likely after 1989 due possibly to stricter reporting after the Exxon Valdez incident.
Keywords - Oil Spills, Spill Size, Sample Selection