Jump to CITGO: Alerts;
• CITGO is controlled by the Venezuelan government, though it is based in Houston, TX
• CITGO has a history of being fined for employee safety violations
• Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, announced in 2006 that CITGO would provide 100 gallons of free oil to elligible low-income households in the United States. However, this program ended in 2009 due to falling energy prices as a result of the economic crisis.
-- Profile Updated 04/04/2011
The owner of CITGO is the oil-company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), controlled by the Venezuelan state.The company is a refiner and marketer of gasoline, lubricants, petrochemicals, and other petroleum products and is operating about 13,000 service stations in the United States. As of 2010, CITGO has approximately 3,600 employees and a profit margin of more than $32 billion. The CEO for CITGO is Alejandro Granado and the company’s headquarters is situated in the energy corridor of Houston, Texas.
There are no known affiliates associated with CITGO.
Houston, TX 77077 United States
In January of 2010, the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States cited CITGO for violating employee safety and maintenance of facilities and proposed penalties of $236,500. An investigation in Corpus Christi, Texas by OSHA from 2009 claimed CITGO was responsible for two willful, 15 serious and one repeat violation. Read more about this in the news release.
-- OSHA, 01/15/2010
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) issued an urgent safety recommendation to CITGO to take urgent action to improve its inadequate emergency water mitigation system, discovered after an accident in July 19, 2009, at CITGO’s Corpus Christi refinery. A leak of the dangerous vapor hydrogen fluoride (HF) caused a fire burning for several days and seriously injured one employee.
-- U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB), 12/09/2009
Source URL: http://www.csb.gov/newsroom/detail.aspx?nid=298
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) settled on a penalty fine for CITGO of $155,250 as a result of serious safety violations that were discovered after the agency’s safety inspection in August 2007. The facility, Lemont III Refinery, had been inspected on previous occasions with several safety issues noted, such as lack of training and education for the personnel. According to a director of OSHA, CITGO is taking these investigations seriously and will try to improve the safety issues as quickly as possible to ensure a good working environment for their employees.
-- OSHA, 05/02/2008
CITGO came in last place of Greenopia’s “green” rankings of the top 10 leading US oil companies in 2011. Greenopia commends CITGO’s low number of spills and its installation of equipment on its plants to reduce emissions and air pollution. CITGO is also a major producer of ethanol and has heavily invested in this endeavor. However, Greenopia highly criticizes CITGO for its lack of environmental reporting: CITGO does not report its total greenhouse gas emissions (something that every other company reported one way or another) or the volume of oil spilled, rendering its accomplishment of a low spill rate almost meaningless. CITGO has had a few large spills recently as well, including one in Louisiana that released almost 2 million gallons of oil in July 2006. Data is also missing for water consumption and waste generation and finally, Greenopia recommends investing in other alternative fuels besides ethanol as ethanol has “questionable life cycle benefits” and there are greener fuels out there.
-- Greenopia, 03/01/2011
CITGO has completed its construction and started up its 42,500 BPD unit to produce Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) at its refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas; the new unit will reduce the sulfur content of the fuel produced at this facility by 99.7%. Sulfur dioxide produces acid rain, irritates the human respiratory system and negatively affects air quality. Due to this new facility, the company is now capable of producing 100% ULSD at all of its refineries. The CITGO CEO claims that the corporation’s new facilities demonstrate its commitment to the environment and local communities.
-- PR Newswire, 01/26/2011
CITGO was fined $13 million in September 2008 for violating the Clean Water Act. The petroleum corporation was charged with negligent discharge of pollutants in two rivers in Louisiana, resulting in the largest fine ever for a criminal misdemeanor violation of the Clean Water Act. CITGO pleaded guilty for failing to maintain storm water tanks and storm water storage capacity at its refinery in Sulphur, Louisiana. The company has repeatedly failed to repair the tanks’ maintenance equipment as well as refused to build an adequate amount of tanks in order to trim costs. In June 2006, a heavy rainstorm overwhelmed the tanks’ carrying capacity, forcing oil out of the tanks and into the two rivers; approximately 53,000 barrels of oil leaked into the rivers. Along with the fine, CITGO will have to implement an Environment Compliance Plan to prevent future spills. The plan includes building an additional tank, installing new and more effective equipment for the tanks and regular reports on tank maintenance.
-- Environmental News Service, 09/18/2008
CITGO Petroleum Corporation was found guilty in July 2007 for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prevents the killing of certain birds without proper authorization. The corporation allowed a total of 10 birds to die in the giant open-top oil storage tanks at its Corpus Christi, Texas refinery in 2003. Employees allegedly reported that birds were getting into the tanks but apparently management ignored this information. CITGO faces a $15,000 fine for each of the three violations of the Act.
-- Reuters, 07/18/2007
CITGO Petroleum Corporation was found guilty of two felony criminal violations of the Clean Air Act on June 27th, 2007, by a federal jury in Corpus Christi, Texas. CITGO was operating two huge open top tanks without the necessary emission controls required by federal law at its refinery in Corpus Christi. These tanks were used as oil water separators but did not include a fixed roof, which would have been vented to a control device used to prevent emissions of volatile organic compounds, including benzene, a known carcinogen. CITGO’s environmental manager, Philip Vrazel, was indicted along with CITGO, facing 4 felony counts of violations of the Clean Air Act, one felony count of false statements and 5 misdemeanor counts of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The company could possibly be fined up to $500,000 per count or twice the gross economic gain (whichever is greater) in addition to five years of probation.
-- U.S. Department of Justice, 06/27/2007
The CITGO Petroleum Corporation agreed to spend $323 million to implement the latest control technologies to reduce the emissions of its refineries in five different states as part of it its Clean Air Act settlement. The change is expected to reduce toxic air emission by more than 30,000 tons per year from six of its refineries, which represent five percent of the United States’ total refining capacity. This settlement is part of the EPA’s national effort to reduce refinery air emissions, embodied in the Petroleum Refinery Initiative, established in December 2000.
-- Environment News Service, 10/07/2004
Ethics and Governance
CITGO, in addition to several other oil companies including BP, Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron, has been linked to using a front group called “America’s Wetland Foundation” to spread propaganda proposing that US taxpayers should pay for the damage caused by the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast wetlands. One video uses the common PR trick of featuring celebrities to ask the public to sign the Foundation’s petition to demand the government to create and fully fund a program to restore the Gulf, instead of calling on the reckless oil companies responsible for the damages.
-- The Huffington Post, 07/28/2010
Larry Klayman, the founder of Freedom Watch, filed a lawsuit against CITGO Petroleum Corporation on behalf of a class of torture victims in Venezuela in May 2009. Klayman claimed that Chavez and his comrades use CITGO’s revenues to support terrorism, torture and continued human rights violations. The federal court class action sought over $5 billion in damages for the victims but the lawsuit was eventually dismissed.
-- WorldNetDaily, 05/13/2009
Source URL: http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=97968
In January 2009, CITGO decided to stop delivering heating fuel to poor families in United States. This decision was based on a predicted fall in oil prices and the world economic crisis. The fuel was distributed by the non-profit organization Citizen Energy. Beginning in 2006, the program provided a total of 100 gallons of free oil to eligible households every year but these deliveries have now stopped.
-- The Huffington Post, 01/05/2009
CITGO Petroleum Corporation and four other US gasoline retailers faced a lawsuit in March 2007 accusing the group of conspiring to drive up the price of fuel. The federal judge rejected the companies’ request to dismiss the lawsuit and instead ruled that the corporations intentionally limited the oil supply to drive up prices and boost profits.
-- Los Angeles Times, 03/29/2007
In November 2006, several companies that buy oil products from CITGO Petroleum Corporation filed a lawsuit claiming that the company helped OPEC fix energy prices in the US. The lawsuit is further damaging CITGO’s image, especially after calls for boycotts after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez publicly called President Bush “the devil” in September.
-- Los Angeles Times, 11/16/2006
Some native villages in Alaska refused to accept free heating oil from Venezuela-backed CITGO Petroleum Corporation after the President Hugo Chavez called President Bush “the devil” in a speech to the United Nations. These villages claim that they rather suffer than accept the donation despite the state being plagued with rampant poverty and high fuel prices. But as the winter cold pushes through, some villages admit they have no choice but to accept the corporation’s donation.
-- Los Angeles Times, 10/10/2006
CITGO Petroleum Corporation, Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, ran full-page ads in two major newspapers in December 2005, advertising its deliveries of cheap oil to cash-strapped Massachusetts residents. The ads promoted the move as “humanitarian aid” and a “simple act of generosity.” However, Bill Delahunt, a Massachusetts representative, came under widespread criticism for cooperating with Hugo Chavez and undermining any US pressure on the leader to address alleged human rights abuses. Delahunt claims that keeping the poor warm is a priority yet critics argue that Chavez is only returning Delahunt’s lobbying efforts in favor of the controversial leader with cheap oil.
-- Los Angeles Times, 12/02/2005