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The effects of consuming fossil fuels have disproportionately elevated human importance by the collective impact made on the world environment. Even the most buoyant optimist can be depressed by adding the global climactic changes of the greenhouse effect to a list that already includes air pollution, water pollution, soil contamination, health effects, balance of trade deficits, declining technological competitiveness, and vanishing natural resources. In Texas the primary source of electricity, and a major source of environmental problems, is the combustion of fossil fuels. This article introduces the reader to some of the environmental, economic, and regulatory challenges involved in responding to the greenhouse effect through regulation of electric utilities.