China oil majors fail to meet pollution standards
BEIJING (AP) - Environmental regulators have taken the unusual step of blocking China's two biggest oil producers from expanding their refining capacity after they failed to meet targets for reducing pollution.
The penalties for PetroChina and Sinopec are a fresh blow to China's state-owned oil industry following this week's announcements that four senior executives are under investigation for unspecified offenses.
Such penalties are unusual in China, where critics complain regulators ignore environmental violations by state-owned companies. But Chinese leaders face growing public pressure to curb industrial emissions that have made China's major cities some of the world's most polluted and fouled water supplies and farmland.
PetroChina and Sinopec failed to meet targets for reducing "chemical oxygen demand," a measure of pollutants released into rivers and other bodies of water, the Ministry of the Environment announced.