The smog controls put in place by the Bush Administration may not be satisfactory enough for the Obama Administration, as  many state groups and environmental groups are criticizing existing standards. Any changes could impact utility exchange traded funds (ETFs).

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state groups are criticizing the standards on smog control put in place by the Bush Administration. On the flip side, however, big business claims they are already too tough.

Environmental Leader reports under the 2008 rule, the acceptable ozone limit in the air was 75 parts per billion, down from the previous limit of 84 ppb. According to the EPA, limits of no more than 70 ppb are recommended. Scientist say that going even lower is better.

Smog regulations and limits may extend beyond the utility companies and affect big corporations, as well.

Could the cost of these changes weigh on the utility sector in the long run, or will they find a way to prevail?

  • Vanguard Utilities (NYSEArca: VPU): up 5.3% year-to-date

  • Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLU): up 5.1% year-to-date

  • iShares Dow Jones US Utilities Sector (NYSEArca: IDU): up 6.3% year-to-date

For more stories about utilities, visit our utilities category.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.