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Mary Nichols has 'rock star' influence as top air quality regulator
Mary Nichols has 'rock star' influence as top air quality regulator

A meeting with Gov. Jerry Brown and Chevron executives was ending when an oil company official turned to Mary Nichols, California's top regulator for air pollution. There was only so much Chevron could do to meet the state's rules, he told her. "I know we've told you before that we couldn't do things that you wanted us to do, and then we've turned around and succeeded," he said. "But this time we really mean it." The October conversation, recalled by Nichols in a recent interview, echoed many others in her decades-long career as an environmental lawyer and regulator. Once it was car companies fighting her efforts to reduce the smog choking...

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