ExxonMobil pled guilty to killing about 85 protected waterfowl, hawks and owls in five states over the past five years. The birds died from exposure to the company’s natural gas well reserve pits and waste water storage facilities.
Exxon has already spent $2.5 million safeguarding its facilities and is being fined an additional $600,000 — a total of $3.1 million for 85 bird deaths. That works out to about $36,470 per bird death.
Let’s put this in some perspective.
The “death gratuity,” as the U.S. military calls it, is only $12,420 for active duty personnel, jumping up to $100,000 for combat-related deaths.
Poultry give their lives to feed us for about $2 per pound — chickens and turkey existing at a level far below their “protected” bretheren.
There’s something very wrong about a society that values some dead birds on a par with dead soldiers — not to mention a Department of Justice that actually spends time and taxpayer money prosecuting the deaths of 85 birds.