Try this for a role reversal: Oil giant Exxon Mobil is seeking more than $45 million dollars from the federal government to cover the cost of a toxic waste cleanup.

The case involves a refinery complex the United States operated during World War II. Exxon is bringing its suit under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act — better known as Superfund, the government’s statute of choice for making big corporations clean up environmental messes.

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