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Recalling the long, hard slog to a 'historic piece of legislation'

When the famously volatile Sen. Ed Muskie was "particularly testy," his staffers had a solution: Call Leon Billings. Armed with a bachelor's degree from the University of Montana, Missoula, along with a few years at the American Public Power Association, Billings landed on Capitol Hill knowing next to nothing about pollution. But today, in certain circles, he is recognized as the author of the 1970 Clean Air Act -- the man who brokered the behind-the-scenes dealmaking that enabled Muskie to push through his signature achievement.

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