Energy: Exxon's $2 Billion Black Eye

Exxon's $2 Billion Black Eye

Exxon has always done things in a big way. The nation's largest industrial company is No. 1 in sales, assets and energy production. The oil giant last week added an embarrassing new superlative: the largest fine. A special three- judge federal court of appeals ruled unanimously that Exxon must pay the U.S. Treasury $2 billion for overpricing oil produced between 1975 and 1981 near Tyler, Texas. The ruling, which upholds a 1983 district court decision, represents what is thought to be the largest monetary judgment ever levied against a corporation.

The complex case stems from regulations imposed by the Nixon Administration...

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