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EPA shifts greenhouse gas permitting to Texas

Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is giving Texas authority over greenhouse gas permitting after a lengthy, often bitter battle between the Lone Star State and the federal agency.

EPA's administrator in Dallas Ron Curry says he signed early Tuesday the paperwork that gives the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality authority over the program and the ability to issue permits to industrial polluters. He says the outline of Texas' new program will be open for public comment within the next two weeks.

Texas had been the only state in 2010 that refused to meet new federal greenhouse gas emission rules, placing in operational limbo some of the nation's largest refineries. Since then, the EPA has been directly issuing permits to those facilities.

Texas is the nation's leading greenhouse gas producer.

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