May 14th, 2010
Driving around Houston, or idling in traffic on one of the city’s big expanses of highway, itâ€™s hard to think of the nation’s oil capital as a green city. Like other sprawling Sunbelt meccas built on the assumption that roads were forever, the city deals with intense traffic-related pollution. It’s known in the parlance of the EPA as a “non-attainment” metro area for its inability to meet healthy air quality targets. It can mount a hazy skyline to rival L.A.’s and itâ€™s got the added burden of benzene and other toxics wafting in from nearby oil refineries. And still, the petrol city gets that it is a new greener day in America.