Chevron Corporation has paid (more like “Shelled out” ha ha lol I apologize) a $17.3 million fine to the government of Brazil for a spill near Rio de Janeiro last year. That’s after using a coupon.

The agency said in a Thursday statement that Chevron paid the 35.1 million real ($17.3 million) fine last week for 24 of 25 irregularities detected. The statement did not provide details on the irregularities.

Some 155,000 gallons of crude are thought to have been released in the November 2011 spill.

The agency said it granted Chevron a 30 percent discount because it paid the fine on time and did not challenge it.

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$17.3 million is a lot of money — at least to poor schlubs like you and me. To Chevron? Eh, not so much.

The company made $26.9 billion last year. In profits, not total earnings. Its profits were 1,555 times the size of the fine it paid. That’s like someone who earns $50,000 a year and who pays a 30 percent tax rate paying a fine of $22.50.

Chevron could have paid a fine of $17.3 million to Brazil every six hours of every day of 2011 and still come out ahead on the year. The system works.

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