- - Thursday, January 19, 2012


Exxon reaches $1.6M settlement over spill

BILLINGS | A state official says Exxon Mobil has agreed to $1.6 million in penalties to settle water-pollution violations from a major oil pipeline break that fouled dozens of miles of shoreline along Montana’s scenic Yellowstone River.

Montana Department of Environmental Quality director Richard Opper said Thursday that the penalty marks the largest in the agency’s history.

Mr. Opper says the oil giant will pay $300,000 in cash and spend $1.3 million on future environmental projects. Exxon will reimburse more than $760,000 in emergency-response costs racked up by state agencies.

Exxon is also increasing its estimate on how much crude spilled in the July 1 accident to 1,509 barrels or about 63,400 gallons. That’s a 50 percent increase over earlier estimates.


GM retakes global title of top-selling automaker

DETROIT | General Motors sold slightly more than 9 million cars and trucks worldwide last year to reclaim the title of the world’s top-selling automaker.

The company says it sold 9.03 million vehicles last year, up 7.6 percent from 2010.

That beat Toyota, which took the crown away from GM in 2008. Toyota sold 7.9 million vehicles last year. The March earthquake in Japan cut Toyota’s factory production and hurt its sales.

Germany’s Volkswagen took second place with a record 8.156 million sales in 2011. That was up 14 percent over 2010.

Before 2008, GM had held the title for more than seven decades.

The title doesn’t mean much to GM’s bottom line. But it’s an example of how far the company has come since it nearly collapsed in financial ruin in 2009.


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