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KQED: Friedman Questions Effectiveness of Chevron Oil Spill Penalty

The heads of the state legislative committees that oversee much of California's oil and gas industry are questioning whether a fine issued by state regulators against Chevron this week, for a massive uncontrolled release of crude petroleum in a Kern County oil field, will be effective.

California's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources on Wednesday announced that it slapped the San Ramon-based oil giant with a $2.7 million fine for illegally allowing releases of large amounts of oil at one of the company's well sites in the Cymric Oil Field between May and July.

The division says the penalty is the second-largest fine issued under the agency's new office of enforcement. It comes on the heels of several notices of violation and orders that DOGGR has issued to Chevron over its steam injection work in the field since new rules went into effect in April, barring the releases known as "surface expressions".