Texas Companies Navigate Environmental Agencies' Differences

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The politics and rhetoric of the Environmental Protection Agency's multi-front battle with Texas make for a grand spectacle. The EPA insists that Texas' environmental-permitting systems for air quality are too lax and must change — prompting state officials, from the governor on down, to denounce heavy-handed federal interference. Federal courts are considering a dozen lawsuits brought by Texas against the EPA.

Behind the scenes, however, there are signs that industry is trying to move past the stalemate. Big plants, unable to tolerate permitting limbo at the risk of some of their operations getting shut down, have been talking urgently with ...

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