Fine particle soot emitted from coal-burning power plants causes the premature deaths of an estimated 30,000 Americans each year, more people than die annually due to homicides or drunk driving, according to a study released yesterday by the Clean Air Task Force. The report calls on Congress to approve a bill that would require 75 percent cuts in emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide from coal-burning plants, closing a loophole in the federal Clean Air Act that lets old power plants pollute far more than new ones. Meanwhile, a separate report conducted by the Environmental Working Group and based on data from the U.S. EPA found that Texas leads the nation in the number of industrial plants violating clean air rules, with more than twice as many as any other state.