There has been no shortage of global warming-related stories in the news lately. On Sunday night, An Inconvenient Truth received a Best Feature Documentary Oscar. Yesterday, California's Arnold Schwarzenegger and the governors of four other western states jointly revealed plans to reduce greenhouses gases through a "cap-and-trade" program. And today, The Wall Street Journal announced that the Edison Electric Institute -- whose members generate more than half of all the electricity in the U.S. -- and the American Gas Association had publicly agreed to support some sort of mandatory curb on carbon dioxide.
None of this is particularly surprising; I have written before about how General Electric
More succinctly, the index acknowledges that some companies' debt will be a better bet than others, depending on the type of regulations enacted into law. As examples, the article suggests that FPL Group
Congress has not yet passed legislation on carbon emissions, but with no fewer than five different versions of a federal cap-and-trade bill working their ways through Capitol Hill, it's clear that it is only a matter of time before such legislation is passed into law.
I mention all of this because while the index is clearly geared toward bond investors, it could also offer other investors a useful tool for assessing how different companies will fare under whatever new regulatory regime is enacted.
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