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Richmond Belching Toxins, Cash

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["Richmond Oil Refinery," courtesy Curbed SF Flickr photog Charkrem]

People are still pissed at Chevron, in case you were wondering. A few weeks ago, we mentioned that a lawsuit was holding up retrofits on the company's Richmond oil refinery; Chevron says that the lawsuits will greenify the ancient equipment, their opponents say it's just a trick, Chevron says no it isn't, the opponents say yes it is, and there you have it.

But the squabbling doesn't seem to be hurting Chevron's bottom line; according to Fortune Magazine (a trade publication for old Gypsy crones and Tarot readers), the company sits at the number-three spot on the Fortune 500 list.

How'd Chevron do it? Well, some of the credit surely goes to good old-fashioned hard work; but the rest of the credit goes to some legal gymnastics that kept taxes at bay. In fact, California's one of the only states in the country that doesn't impose a severance tax on oil. Of course, if we did tax Chevron too heavily, we might accidentally provoke them into shutting down their Bay Area plant (which, according to Truthout, the EPA has declared is in "high priority violation" of air quality standards). Yeah, it sure would be a shame if that happened.

· Century-Old Sludge Factory Continues Oozings Amidst Layoffs, Lawsuits [Curbed SF]
· Chevron Owes More to Richmond [Truthout]
· 3. Chevron [Fortune]