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. US Finds Venezuela CITGO Oil Company Guilty Of Pollution

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by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) June 27, 2007
Venezuela's CITGO Petroleum Corp. -- which provided cheap heating oil for thousands of Americans the last two winters -- was found guilty of environmental crimes by a federal jury in Texas, the US Justice Department said Wednesday. The state-owned company's Corpus Christi East Plant Refinery was in violation of the Clean Air Act "for nearly 10 years ... when it failed to install and operate proper emissions control equipment" on two open-top tanks, the department said in a statement.

For two felony criminal violations of the act, CITGO faces fines of up to 500,000 dollars for each count, or twice the profits it made since the violations were first detected -- whichever is greater, when sentencing is due on October 18.

CITGO, which runs thousands of gasoline stations around the United States, has often been the target of negative campaigns dissuading Americans from buying its fuel so as not to benefit the administration of Venezuela's anti-American President Hugo Chavez.

In particular, Chavez and CITGO irked the US government when they provided heating oil at a 40 percent discount to some 400,000 homes in 16 US states, in the winters of 2005 and 2006. The offer was branded by some as propaganda.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Russia-Georgia Gas Pipeline In Mountains To Be Highest In World
Vladikavkaz, Russia (RIA Novosti) Jun 29, 2007
A natural gas pipeline being built in the Caucasus mountains linking Russia and Georgia will gain the honor of being the world's highest pipeline, the project chief said Thursday. The high-altitude pipeline will link Russia and South Ossetia, a secessionist republic in Georgia, and is expected to end the region's gas dependence on Tbilisi.

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