"Texas Looks To Motorists To Cover Industry's Pollution Bill"

"Houston's biggest sources of smog-forming pollution may avoid tens of millions of dollars in penalties for the region's failure to achieve federal clean-air goals."

"The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is asking the federal government for permission to waive fines for the region's 260 chemical plants, oil refineries and other large facilities.

The commission argues that it should not have to collect those fines because it already is raising money for smog-fighting programs through vehicle inspection fees and sales taxes for diesel equipment, among other revenue sources.

The commission does not plan to increase fees and taxes for motorists and equipment operators, but is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to consider those fees a substitute for industry fines."

Matthew Tresaugue reports for the Associated Press November 9, 2012.

Source: AP, 11/12/2012