The Texas-based utility company TXU's plans to build 11 new coal plants, with funding from firms such as Merrill Lynch, have been scuttled. Two equity firms will buy TXU under terms that include trashing the controversial plans. The group Billionaires for Coal had staged protests outside Merrill Lynch offices last week. At about the same time, equity firms entered into negotiations with environmental heavyweights National Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense, asking the groups what it would take for them to support the buyout. TXU will instead look to develop cleaner energy holdings. The New York Times is touting the deal as a beacon of what financial dealings may look like in "a regulatory and public-relations landscape in an era of climate change."