Houston has received the dubious honor of becoming the second U.S. city to have a “severe” smog problem, as classified by the U.S. EPA. Los Angeles is its partner in grime. The downgrade from a “moderate” to “severe” smog problem gives Texas’ largest city nine extra years to meet federal air-quality standards. Both Houston and L.A. have, however, taken recent steps to combat their unhealthy air quality. Houston Mayor Bill White has unveiled a plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 11 percent and smog 16 percent by 2010, through use of the usual suspects: renewable energy, hybrid cars, LED traffic lights, energy-efficient buildings, rooftop solar panels, and expanded transit. Los Angeles, for its part, on Wednesday launched a pollution-control program at its bustling port, banning the entry of diesel trucks built before 1989.