Utilities will face stark tradeoffs in meeting the next round of emissions controls.
Some utility execs gasp at the shear breadth of environmental proposals being bandied about during the past few weeks. Even the environmentalists are calling "historical" the extent to which different kinds of emissions will be regulated.
No sooner had the "Rest of the World" at last enacted the Kyoto Protocol, but that U.S. lawmakers had begun to respond. For example, they slowed work on the Bush administration's "Clear Skies" multi-pollutant legislation so that, among other things, they could discuss adding a federal mandate on greenhouse-gas emissions (GHG). And while no agreement was reached, Congress came surprisingly close (the vote ended in a tie), prompting many to believe that a federal greenhouse mandate may well win passage within the next few years.
If anything, at least some utility execs have come to prefer a federal mandate over a hodge-podge of state-imposed plans. But that's just the tip of the proverbial environmental iceberg.