In recent years, we settled cases with Shell Deer Park and Chevron Phillips, getting both companies to reduce upset emissions and pay almost $8 million in penalties. We also got a federal judge to order Exxon to pay a $20 million penalty for 16,000 violations at the company’s Baytown refinery and chemical plant complex. Exxon has appealed that ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and we’re currently awaiting a decision.
We’ve made progress in reducing air pollution in Texas in the last two decades, but more needs to be done. We need to get local, state and federal regulators to take enforcement action against big polluters and ensure clean air and compliance with the law. If citizens, communities, non-profit groups and our allies in government band together, we can force the big polluters to stop violating the law. Combining research, organizing of citizens and local elected officials, and litigation has cleaned up the air before and will again.
Backed by our members, Environment Texas is standing up to ExxonMobil and other polluters, pressing regulators to act, and taking legal action. Using the same strategy that allowed us to force Shell Oil to clean up its Deer Park refinery in 2009, we’re exercising our right under the Clean Air Act to demand compliance with the law.