Coal Plant Hearings

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The mayors of Dallas, Houston and other cities opposed to building seven coal-fired power plants in East Texas -- have won the right to challenge them.

But those city leaders Thursday failed to persuade two administrative law judges to slow the permitting process.

TXU's coal proposal is on the fast track, under a 2005 executive order from Governor Rick Perry, to expand production of electricity -- and lower its cost.

Critics say Dallas-based TXU is driven by profits and is rushing to beat more stringent federal rules on carbon dioxide emissions.

An administrative hearing begins February 21st.

Two administrative judges yesterday ruled that city and county governments have the legal right to be involved if their areas are affected.

The judges also decided that some cities supporting the construction will be allowed to participate in the hearings.