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1. OIL AND GAS

Puny fines, scant enforcement leave drilling violators with little to fear

Oil and gas drillers who pollute groundwater, spill toxic chemicals or break other rules have little to fear from the inspectors and agencies regulating the surge in American petroleum production. A Greenwire review of enforcement data from the largest drilling states shows that only a small percentage of violations result in fines, and the fines that are levied often amount to little more than a rounding error for billion-dollar companies.

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