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Texas firm fights green cement laws

When it comes to making anti-environment news, it seems the state of Texas never disappoints. From the governor urging the Environmental Protection Agency not to enact stricter greenhouse gas emissions to a state fight against ethanol regulations, the Lone Star State frequently lives up to its slogan, “Don’t mess with Texas.”

(To be fair, Texas is also a leader in wind-energy and other clean-energy projects, but it’s certainly a state that doesn’t cotton to — as they say — the federal government telling it what to do.)

So it’s no surprise to learn that a Texas cement company is suing cities that have adopted resolutions in favour of “green cement.”

The Dallas News reported this week that Ash Grove Texas LP has taken several local government agencies to court on the claim that their green-cement laws violate the company’s constitutional rights. The lawsuit also states those regulations run counter to state laws regarding competitive bids for public contracts.

So-called green-cement laws grant bidding preferences to cement companies that use dry-process kilns that emit less pollution. Ash Grove, one can consequently guess, uses the more old-fashioned and more pollution wet-process kilns.

“Ash Grove is alleging that the defendants ignored state and federal law by taking actions that stifled competition,” said Marshall J. Doke, the company’s attorney. “This is not a case about air quality.”

In other words, “No offense, air quality, but we’d rather have the cash.”

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