Now, One Company's Poison Is Another's Cash

With more than a hint of understatement, Paul M. Ashline calls it "a teeny-weeny deal." Thanks to a shift to burning low-sulfur coal in its generating plants, Wisconsin Power & Light Co. will emit fewer pollutants than allowed under federal clean-air laws that go into effect in 1995. So in May, it sold two other utilities some of its excess right to pollute, which will let them emit up to 35,000 more tons of sulfur dioxide than they could otherwise. The buyers, Duquesne Light Co. and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), get breathing room before having to cut their emissions. And Wisconsin Power gets up to $14 million.

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