"The Exxon Valdez and Shetland Islands disasters provide constant reminders of the threats that oil tankers pose - both to the fragile environment and to the crew aboard the ships. In Tankers Full of Trouble, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Eric Nalder presents a compelling and sobering account of the men and women who make their living aboard these modern giants, and of a resistant industry confronting economic and social demands for change." "With a sympathetic ear and a knowing eye Nalder takes us aboard the Arco Anchorage - three football fields long, ten highway lanes wide, and with a hull as deep in the water as a five-story building - as it travels from Valdez, Alaska, to Cherry Point, Washington, and back again. During the 2,400 nautical miles of the voyage the crew faces peril at every turn, from temperatures of seventy degrees below zero, waves eighty feet high, and gas poisoning to violent explosions. Interwoven with this portrait of life and danger at sea is a penetrating investigation of the tanker industry: how well-meaning bureaucracies protect rather than discipline the industry they regulate; how systems designed to ensure against oil spills don't work; how shipbuilders prevent governments from enacting tougher rules to promote safety; and how an aging fleet is ever more susceptible to massive oil spills." "Written in the tradition of John McPhee, Tankers Full of Trouble moves from the bridge of the Arco Anchorage to the corporate boardroom as it presents a dramatic narrative that also addresses an issue of vital importance to an energy-dependent country."--BOOK JACKET.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 263-286) and index.
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