By CHRIS TOMLINSON
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will no longer have the authority to limit greenhouse gas emissions under a proposal that has passed the Texas House.
Lawmakers in Austin voted on Thursday to instead have TCEQ issue greenhouse gas permits to allow local industries to emit the substances. The federal Environmental Protection Agency currently has that responsibility.
The bill's author, Republican Rep. Wayne Smith of Baytown says there is a back-up of permits in Washington and the bill will help Texas industries. Environmentalists oppose the bill because they say it could lead to more climate changing pollution. They also complain the bill would take away the public's right to challenge permits issued by TCEQ.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
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