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Biden Hands Rare Win to Permian Drillers With Pause on Smog Rule

The original policy would have threatened new pollution curbs — and deterred drilling — in the world’s largest oil field. 

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The Biden administration is deferring a plan to crack down on smog in the drilling hotbed of the Permian Basin, handing a win to oil producers along with their allies in Texas and New Mexico.

The Environmental Protection Agency had been considering formally labeling parts of the region as violating federal air quality standards for ozone — a designation that would have spurred new pollution curbs and potentially deterred drilling in the world’s biggest oil field.