Look Who's Going Green

U.S. utilities, with the help of enlightened regulators, are finding ways to do good by selling less

Power companies get to play the heavy in more than their share of environmental dramas. If they're not damming scenic rivers or generating nuclear waste, they're burning fossil fuels, contributing to acid rain, urban smog and the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In that regard, American utilities have a lot to answer for. The U.S., with 5% of the world's population, produces a quarter of the global output of carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas, of which fully one-third comes directly from the smokestacks of the companies that supply Americans with their heat and electric power.

Lately, however, a...

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