|Table of Contents|
Table of Contents
Chapter I. The congruence of land use and energy: An overview analysis
Chapter II. The impact of energy development on land use
Chapter III. Land and energy planning at the State level
Chapter IV. Land and energy considerations in Federal agency programs
Chapter V. Vectors for policy integration
Chapter VI. Land and energy for the future
%4 1:n 1 11'3 .
COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR
UNITED STATES SENATE
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1976
94th Congress COMMITTEE PRINT
LAND USE AND ENERGY:
A STUDY OF INTERRELATIONSHIPS
PREPARED BY THE
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
AT THE REQUEST OF
HENRY M. JACKSON, Chairman
COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS
HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington. Chairnian
FRANK CHURCH, Idaho
LEE METCALF, Montana
J. BENNETT JOHNSTON, Louisiana
JAMES ABOUREZK, South Dakota
FLOYD K. HASKELL, Colorado
JOHN GLENN, Ohio
RICHARD STONE, Florida
DALE BUMPERS, Arkansas
PAUL J. FANNIN, Arizona
CLIFFORD P. HANSEN, Wyoming
MARK 0. HATFIELD, Oregon
JAMES A. McCLURE, Idaho
DEWEY F. BARTLETT, Oklahoma
GRENVILLE GARSIDE, Special Counsel and Staff Director
DANIEL A. DREYFUS, Deputy Staff Director for Legislation
WILLIAM J. VAN NESS, Chief Counsel
D. MICHAEL HARVEY, Deputy Chief Counsel
OWEN J. MALONE. Senior Counsel
STEVEN P. QL'ARLES, Counsel
W. 0. (FRED) CRAFT, Jr., Minority Counsel
MEMORANDUM OF THE CHAIRMAN
To Members of the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee:
Two of the most critical challenges facing this Nation are how to
insure the wise use of our land resources and how to maintain adequate
and reliable sources of energy. This Coimnittee has been deeply in-
volved in both of these issue areas through its conduct of the Senate's
National Fuels and Energy Policy Study and through its deliberations
on surface mining and coal leasing legislation, public land and Outer
Continental Shelf leasing measures, siting bills, and many othlier leg-
islative proposals on land and energy matters.
Yet, to date there has been very little success in addressing land and
energy issues in concert in policy making and administrative contexts
even though the interrelationships of those issues are obvious.
Our Committee has reviewed numerous plans for energy independ-
ence each of which envisions several thousand new energy facilities.
The construction of a significant number of those facilities would in-
volve some of the largest public works projects in the history of the
Nation. Certainly the siting, construction, an operation of those facili-
ties will have a profound effect upon this Nation's land resources. I
have been deeply concerned that the need for those facilities and the
Nation's energy problems in general may appear so critical as to com-
pel the Congress to endorse a "single-purpose" short-term energy
planning approach without sufficient recognition of the dangers such
an approach might hold for the long-term future of our land.
Indeed, as we have heard repeatedly in our committee sessions, many
States and local governments have already expressed dismay that
single-purpose energy planning, if permitted to override broader plan-
ning goals, could create a land use nightmare: Farmers could be de-
prived of water for irrigation, if not of agricultural land itself; trailer
park energy boom towns would spring up with inadequate schools,
roads, hospitals, and other essential services; delicate ecological sys-
tems and food chains could be disrupted; urban sprawl would con-
tinue unabated in areas where energy development occurs. In short,
an "efficient" approach to energy facility siting by the Federal Gov-
ernment might undo recent initiatives of the States to better plan and
manage the use of land for the long-term welfare of their citizens.
The objections heard to various proposals to force States and locali-
ties to comply with national energy development needs or plans are
not those of a few disgruntled environmentalists. Increasingly, State
and local governments have themselves been assuming the role of in-
tervenor in energy development disputes through legislation and
court actionn It is becoming increasingly difficult simply to dismiss
such objections as an obstinate reluctance to acquiesce in energy
policies deemed to be in the national interest. Such a. definition of the
national interest, is hardly persuasive to those governments who must
play host to large-scale energy development which can destroy vast
landscapes so thoroughly that the National Academy of Sciences has
dubbed then "national sacrifice areas."
Recognizing the critical need to better relate land use and energy
issues and avoid the inherent dangers of adopting too narrow a focus
on energy development or any other single use of land, I introduced,
in 1970, a national land use policy bill to assist State and local govern-
ments to develop land use programs for the various, critical land uses,
including the siting of energy facilities. Succedent versions of this bill
were passed by the Senate in the 92d and 93d Congresses. This Con-
gress I introduced, and several of my colleagues on this committee co-
sponsored, S. 984, the Land Resource Planning Assistance Act. The
measure differs from the earlier land use legislation reported out of
this committee in prior Congresses in that it contains a new title spe-
cifically pertaining to energy facility planning. Unlike S. 619, the ad-
ministration's siting bill, S. 984 would insure the integration of
facility planning with other land use planning objectives, would ac-
complish this at the State level, and would not involve Federal over-
ride of State planning prerogatives.
It is possible that this legislation can, in the light of recent events,
be improved. It is my opinion, however, that unless the Congress acts
to develop an integrative approach such as that envisioned by S. 984,
it will be impossible to reconcile the destructive conflicts between land-
use and energy goals.
This reconciliation is no easy assignment. The interrelationships be-
tween land use and energy are as complex as they are numerous. To aid
the committee in its deliberations on land and energy policy, I have
asked that the Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division
of the Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, prepare
a comprehensive report on the policy interrelationships of these two
issues. Accordingly, a task force headed by Charles E. Little, specialist
in environment and natural resources policy, was appointed to conduct
this study. Contributing authors in addition to Mr. Little are W.
Wendell Fletcher, Susan R. Abbasi, Connie A. Musgrove, and Howard
Their report, is, to my knowledge, the first full-scale treatment of
land and energy policy issues. It is specifically intended to address the
interrelationships of these issues well beyond the narrow focus of en-
ergy facility siting. Clearly, energy independence must not be bought
at the expense of our land, nor need it be if, as this report makes plain,
energy and land use goals can be appropriately integrated in national,
State, and local policy.
HENRY M. JACKSON, Chairman.
LAND USE AND ENERGY:
A STUDY OF INTERRELATIONSHIPS
Charles E. Little
W. Wendell Fletcher
Susan R. Abbasi
Connie A. Musgrove
Howard A. Brown
Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division
Congressional Research Service
Library of Congress
at the Request of
HENRY M. JACKSON, Chairman
Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs
United States Senate
Digitized by the Internet Archive
Memorandum of the Chairman-------------------------------------- i
Chapter I.-The congruence of land use and energy: An overview analysis- 1
Chapter II.-The impact of energy development on land use-------------- 13
Chapter III.-Land and energy planning at the State level-------------- 41
Chapter IV.-Land and energy considerations in Federal agency programs- 57
Chapter V.-Vectors for policy integration---------------------------- 77
Chapter VI.-Land and energy for the future-------------------------- 103
CHAPTER I.-THE CONGRUENCE OF LAND USE AND ENERGY*
Literature comprehensively relating land use and energy is virtually
nonexistent; and where analysts do grapple with the interrelationship
beyond the "siting" issue, they do so only tentatively. There are few
data available, and even if there were more they would be of little use.
for there is no policy framework within which to judge their impor-
The purpose of this report is to help to establish a framework, not
for planning-for-siting, but for planning for land-and-energy develop-
ment and conservation. In this way, the process of identifying the
hand-holds for comprehensive policy analysis can begin-shand-holds
that have proved, on the evidence, elusive for the Congress in both
land use policy and energy policy when taken separately.
Elizabeth Drew, in a recent roundup article on energy in the .ew
Yorker,' describes the difficulties in creating new policy constructs for
energy-and by extension for land use-as arising from the emer-
gence of a new category of political issues-the "issues of resource con-
straints," as she puts it. In a keen analysis of governmental interven-
tion in private sector economics beginning with the New Deal, Drew
describes how intervention has gone through two stages and is now on
the doorstep of a third. The first stage involved restoring the post-crash
economy to the status quo ante means of such "relatively simple"
mechanisms as Social Security and other forms of insurance. The sec-
ond stage, taking place 30 years later in the 1960's, had to do with di-
rect intervention for the purpose of solving persistent social and
environmental problems-through the war on poverty, housing
programs, and other means.
The third stage Ms. Drew describes this way:
With several of the questions about the second stage still
unsettled, the country is confronting a third generation of is-
sues involving Government intervention. These issues have
several common characteristics: they are technical and highly
complicated; they are not subject. to resolution by spending;
they cut across the interests of a wide variety of interest
groups; and they concern economic resources that are seen
to be shrinking rather than expanding. They cannot be
settled by the traditional method of buying off-doing a little
something for-the various competing interests. There is not
much room for maneuver, not much that can be traded off.
The solutions involve not giving things to people but asking
them to give things up-something the Government has
usually achieved only in time of war.2
*This chapter was prepared by Charles E. Little. Specialist in Environment and Natural
Resources Policy, Congressional Research Service.
SElizabeth Drew. "A Reporter at Large: The Energy Bazaar." The New Yorker. July 21.
SDrew, op. cit., p. 35.
As if these difficulties were not enough, Drew adds that issues of
resource constraints "seem to connect with everything that is around
to be connected with." Certainly land use and energy interact in funda-
mental ways to environmental, economic, and social concerns of all
kinds. But to follow each interconnection to its multiple destinations
is to create confusion. if not olbfuiscationl. In a legislative setting there
must be some optimum level of interpolicy connection that is neither
so ad hoc or simple-minded that important consequences will be over-
looked, nor so cosmically complex as to lead to inaction. The difficulties
in dealing with land-use, policy and energy policy as separate issues
may have led to too little policy interconnection in the past. A fate no
better would be to go too far the other way in the future. The objective
of this report, therefore, is to attempt to combine the issues-land use
and energy-in a way that avoids such impenetrable snares of inter-
connectedness that no legislative product is possible, or, to put it more
affirmatively, to reveal interconnections that can show the way to a
new order of policymaking.
ENERGY INDEPENDENCE VERSUS THE LAND ETHIC
As ecologist-philosopher Garret Hardin's quotable phrase has it,
"You can never do just one thing."3 That is the lesson reflected in the
growing conflict between energy and land use. When the city planners
agreed that the Twin Trade Towers in New York City was a feasible
idea, the project may have seemed at the time of its heavy promotion
by former Mayor John V. Lindsay to be a land-use decision. But now
it seems to have been an energy decision. How so ? These two buildings
in lower Manhattan use more electricity than the entire city of Sche-
nectady. If the gargantuan Twin Trade Towers were wired up directly
to Big Allis, Consolidated Edison's giant turbine generator, Allis
might not be able to light another bulb in the entire lower New York
State region it serves. It is only a single step from a Big Allis brown-
out to the justification of plans for expanding Con Ed's nuclear ca-
pability at Indian Point up the Hudson, or to build a cement lake in
the Hudson Highlands at Storm King Mountain-a few miles further
upstream-to provide a pumped storage facility to cope with peak
This is the way land decisions become energy decisions which then
turn around to be land decisions again. In the Western States, along
coastlines, and anywhere a utility covets a site for a nuclear plant, what
seems logical for energy purposes is not perceived that way by those
whose land is affected. Said an official group of Western Governors
recently, "The Nation is looking to the West to assist in solving our
energy problems. We desire to respond. However, we will not allow
our air to be fouled, our water to be contaminated, our land destroyed,
our people harmed."5
Fighting words like these have been emanating from all manner
of official and unofficial quarters with increasing frequency. As of
3 Garret Hardin. "What the Hedgehog Knows" in Exploring New Ethics for Survival:
The Voyage of the Spaceship Beagle. New York: Viking Press, 1972.
4 Seepp Robert H. Boyle. "Power, Power Everywhere." Chapter 8 in the Hudson River:
A Natural and Unnatural History. New York: W. W. Norton. 1969. Boyle calls the Storm
King battle. "The most fierce and publicized in the history of American conservation."
The battle was started in 1963 and isn't over yet.
5 Statement of the Western Governors' Energy Policy Office In connection with Presi-
dent Ford's successful veto of the strip mining bill. Quoted by Neal R. Pierce, "Western
Governors: America's New Rebels." Christian Science Monitor. Aug. 6. 1975, p. 27.
November 1975, there were, astonishingly, some 3.000 lawsuits logged
in at the Interior Department objecting to administration goals to de-
velop Federal oil and coal resources. One of the suits, brought by the
Sierra Club. held up no less than 183 applications for strip mining
permits over 478,000 acres of coal-rich western landscape Interior
Secretary Thomas S. Kleppe has had some fighting words of his own
about State-level insurgence in the West: "We will seek wherever we
can concurrence with the governments involved but we will not abro-
gate responsibilities that belong to us."7
The responsibilities Kleppe refers to are those proposed by the Ford
administration to bring about, energy independence. In his 1975 State
of the Union address. President. Ford asked for "200 major nuclear
powerplants, 250 major new coal mines, 150 major coal-fired power-
plants, 30 major new refineries. 20 major new synthetic fuel plants.
the drilling of many thousands of new oil wells" in the next 10 years.8
The land use effects of such a program can be vast. Some 45 mil-
lion acres would, according to the Federal Energy Administration.9
be disturbed in one way or another-a calculation that does not include
transmission lines or other transport facilities. This amounts to a
tripling of the amount of land devoted to energy thus far in the course
of American history. To devote 45 million acres to new energy de-
velopment in 10 years would be like subtracting the entire State. of
Missouri from the land-resource base of the United States.
And this is the least of it. In the vacation States of the western
mountains and deserts, in the coastal Stateq. and in the Appa-
lachian States-together totaling 40 States out of 50-the energy boom
would create new settlements where none existed before, new cities
where only towns had stood, sprawling new megalopoli connecting
cities into endless urban regions as industrial and commercial growth
gravitate to energy sources of supply.
All of this raises a policy conundrum for the United States that
some think may well lie beyond the reach of compromise. The State
of California, for example, has filed suit, with the express approval of
Governor Edmund G. Brown, to halt offshore leasing plans of the Fed-
eral Governmnent on grounds of economic, environmental, and social
disruption.'0 In a companion suit, several minicii)alities and counties
sought, for many of the same reasons, to block Interior Depart ment
leases over 1.25 million acres of Outer Continental Shelf in southern
California. Though a Federal iudge denied their request for a pre-
liminary injunction, the plaintiffs said they would appeal the ruling."
Maine, Delaware, Massachusetts. and New York- are so., other
coastal States that, have passed laws or brought suits that tend to mod-
ify-by-obstruction any thoughts by the adr linistration that potential
fuel shortages are a sufficient reason to clianae the delicate and complex
balances of power between States and localities and the Federal Gov-
6 Bill Richards. "Kleppe to Press Coal. Oil Programs' Washington Post. Nov. 26, 1975.
8Gerald R. Ford. State of the Union Message. Jan. 15. 1975. p. 11.
'Federal Energy Administration. Draft Environmental Impact Statement: Energy
Independence Act of 1975 and Related Tax Proposals. Washington. D.C.: March 1975.
20 Gladwin Hill. "Oil Rights Value Stir Legal Fight." New York Times. Nov. 2.3. 1975.
11 Associated Press. "Court Refuses to Bar Oils Leases." Washington Post. Dec. 6. 1975.
12The National Conference of State Legislatures and the Federal Energy Administra-
tion have compiled six months worth (Jan-July 1975) of state energy statutes (and likely
poposals) Into a 1107-page, two-volume compendium. Energy : The State's Response.
ashlngton, D.C. NCSL/FEA. August 1975.
eminent. Coal States in Appalachia and throughout the northern
plains have also resisted, not only en bloc, such as through the
Governors' energy office, but also individually. In South Dakota, for
example, the State's attorney general, commenting on a proposed coal
slurry pipeline that would draw off precious water from agricultural
use in his State, allowed that "They'd have to have a Federal marshall
along every mile" of the pipeline's length to enforce its construction.13
As cries of colonialism mount 14 from official and civic resisters of
coal and oil exploration and development, the nuclear scene has not
been any calmer. Where once "the peaceful atom" was hailed by many
conservationists and consumerists as a viable answer to power needs,
lately there has been a nearly total about-face. In Vermont, for ex-
ample, legislators responded to civic displeasure over nuclear plants
by recently enacting a law that requires both houses of the State legis-
lature to approve any project before the Public Service Commission is
allowed to issue a permit for construction.15 So constrained is nuclear
development, by capital and materials requirements as well as by en-
vironmentalists' assaults, that Ralph Nader has flatly predicted that
nuclear plant construction will be halted within 5 years.16 Two new
books, We Almost Lost Detroit and The Prometheus Crisis, along with
Nader and a million or more 17 antinuclear activists urge that fission
power be sent to the same limbo that Rachel Carson and her followers
sent DDT 10 years ago. In California, in fact, an antinuclear proposi-
tion will be put on the ballot next year under that State's constitutional
right of citizens to take legislative initiatives of their own. A California
coastal planning statute came from the same source a few years ago
(Proposition 20), which radically increased the right of the public to
intervene in private decisions affecting treasured resources such as
California's coastline. Based on the success of Proposition 20, the odds
are that the antinuclear proposition may have a reasonably good
chance to pass. Activists are planning similar legislative initiatives
in at least 13 other States.18
The nuclear controversy, together with State-level and local and
civic recalcitrance in the matter of fossil fuel development, seems to re-
flect something far deeper than mere grumbling about safety stand-
ards or environmental or economic effects which can be palliated by an
adjuistmnent here or a compromise there in energy development plans.
The resistance may derive from a more profound impulse relating to
what Aldo Leopold called "the land ethic." When he first voiced the
concept in the 1940's, Leopold had no confidence that it would have
an effect on policy soon, if ever. But the emergence of a land ethic
was the primary finding of the Rockefeller Task Force on Land Use
and Urban Growth in 1973. They called it "the new mood." 19
13 Bill Richards, "Water Is Key to Coal Pipeline Fight." Washington Post. Dec. 1. 1975.
14 The Governor of Colorado, Richard Lamm. put it his way at the Democratic Governors
Conference a year ago: "Our position is easily misinterpreted. We belong to the United
States and we're proud of it. We're not blue-eyed Arabs trying to hold up this country.
But we are saying that there are certain things that happen to colonies-whether they
are Colorado or the Congo-if there is not some assertiveness on the part of their leaders.
And we are not going to be colonized." See David S. Broder. "A Regional Alliance in the
West." Washington Post. Nov. 23, 1974.
25 Center for the Study of Responsive Law. Citizen's Guide to Nuclear Power. Wash-
ington. D.C., November 1975. p. ii.
I$ "The Great Nuclear Debate," Time. Dec. 8, 1975. p. 36.
27 Center for the Study of Responsive Law. Op. eit. p. ii.
"6A new mood in America has emerged that . appears to be part of a rising em-
phasis on human values, on the preservation of natural and cultural characteristics that
make for a humanly satisfying living environment." The Use of Land. New York: T. Y.
Crowell. 1973. p. 155 ff.
Leopold's "land ethic" concerns the "land community" which in-
cludes waters, plants, animals, man and the settlement of man, as well
as the basic land-resource itself. "That land is a community," wrote
Leopold, "is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved
and respected is an extension of ethics." 20
As presently expressed, the land ethic seems to have three elements:
First, new understandings of the need to maintain essential natural
processes in equilibrium. This is the result of a remarkably sophisti-
cated comprehension of what was once the arcana of a little known
science, ecology. Public perceptions of ecological balance are now fairly
well developed, particularly as they relate to the hydrological cycle,
to natural hazards, and generally to the economic functions of various
Second, the need to control growth. "Timed development" ordi-
nances in such places as Ramapo, N.Y., and Petaluma, Calif., are the
logical and expected community reactions to suburban and exurban
growth that has taken place. with such speed in postwar years that
environmental, social, and economic patterns have been violently dis-
rupted. The growth control impulse is not confined to metropolitan
areas but also obtains in many recreation-resource areas-seashores.
mountains and deserts where substantial housing and commercial de-
velopment has been taking place. Moreover, it is widely understood
that certain kinds of "key facilities" are major contributors to un-
bridled growth. These facilities include transportation links such as
roads, bridges, mass transit facilities, shopping malls, large residential
development, industrial parks-and by extension energy parks-and
other such development.
Third, the need to preserve. "livability." This word describes land
values that have emerged in a large segment of the population since
World War II. Whereas once the American dream was thought to be
achievable if only one had enough money to buy a piece of Eden and
a vehicle for transportation in and out of it, today it has dawned on
many disenchanted suburbanites and others that Eden cannot be sub-
divided, and that pollution pollutes people on 1-acre lots the same
way as those in public housing projects. Hence.. a new appreciation of
landscape and environmental quality, together with economic and
social stability informs public attitudes about land and land use. These
attitudes have been responsible for efforts in park and open space
acquisition and preservation, for improved design aesthetics in road-
side, housing, and commercial development planning, and the reluc-
tance of many communities to welcome large industrial or commercial
facilities into their midst even though such facilities could relieve
property taxes significantly.
Although the land ethic-ecology, growth control, and livability-
is evidently not a fad. it does not necessarily follow that there isn't deep
ambivalence about the land-energy issue-an ambivalence dramatized
by this exchange among citizens of Minneapolis. The meetin- at which
these comments were recorded was held in a springtime that followed
a gelid, deep-snow winter plagued by shortfalls of heating fuel:
"I think it's immoral to go out there and do to Montana what they
did in northern Minnesota to get the iron ore out." said a woman who
wrote a column for a suburban newspaper. She was speaking of coal.
*Aldo Leopold. A Sand County Almanac. New York: Oxford University Press. 1949.
"That's hardly a scratch on the surface compared to what strip
mining's done to the South," observed an architect.
"I've been to Kentucky; I've been to Appalachia," said a school-
teacher, shaking his head. Then someone asked, "OK, well, that's the
position you take. All right, we're not going to take the coal out of
Montana then, so the industrial plant of this city is not going to keep
growing any more; then what's going to happen to this metropolitan
area if you don't take the coal out of Montana?"
What they, and every one else, seem fully to understand, however, is
that for better or worse, energy development is going to be a primary
determinant of land use-in Montana, in California, in Ramapo, and
in Minneapolis. And they recognize too that land development is going
to be. a primary determinant of energy use-be it the Twin Towers of
Manhattan, or an all-electric subdivision named Sugarland Run in
Virginia where the utility bills to the homeowners are often larger than
the mortgage payments.
THE CAT'S CRADLE OF LAND USE AND ENERGY
In order to perceive what kind of legislative possibilities might
arise from a joining of land use and energy considerations into a single
new policy concept, it is first necessary to take a hard look at the inter-
relationships in something of a structured way. By arraying the basic
components of energy against the basic component of land use, one
might be able to discover modes of interconnection that could lead to
legislative ideas that are neither so simple-as in planning-for-siting-
not so cosmically complex-as in "everything is connected to every-
thing else."-that virtually any action is impossible. To achieve a struc-
ture, for analysis, a "cat's cradle," is shown on the following diagram
which indicates some 36 major interconnections between energy and
ENERGY AND LAND USE:
INTERRELATIONSHIP OF PRINCIPAL COMPONENTS
:1 From Charles E. Little, "Preservation Policy and Personal Perception: A 200 Million-
Acre Misunderstanding" in Erwin H. Zube. et al. Landscape Assessment: Values, Percep-
tions, Resources, Stroudsburg, Pa. : Dowden, Hutchinson and Ross, 1975. p. 54.
land use. Thle most salient of these interrelationships will, for the pur-
pose of this paper, be examined from the standpoint of land use,
although an analysis from the standpoint of energy should theoreti-
cally yield approximately the same information.
An extreme interpretation of what constitutes an ecologically
critical area can encompass virtually every acre of land. But it is not
extreme to allow that many new energy development schemes do in
fact create serious problems in maintaining the ecological integrity of
critical land areas. For example, offshore oil development can have a
serious impact on the fragile littoral. The coastal zone is the site of
diverse ecological functions, including but not limited to marshes as
a food source for coastal fisheries. Onshore oil facilities, including plat-
form fabrication sites, energy conversion facilities, and storage and
distribution facilities can displace the ecological functions of vital
marsh areas. Moreover, possible seepage, wastes, and spills from oil
exploration and development can further damage the marsh ecosystem
and contaminate beaches and bird life as well-all of which interlock
in a food chain that is vital not merely as a textbook illustration of
ecology but as an important element in human food supply and its as-
sociated economic system.
Other examples of critical area problems created by energy develop-
ment include the well-known issues arising from the Alaska North
Slope pipeline and, more recently, the issues arising from increased
strip mining in the interior Western States. There is no assurance-
and much expert opinion to the contrary-that even huge outlays of
money spent on grassland restoration after stripping will bring about
full recovery of the original ecosystem within any reasonable time.
This suggests an important economic impact, as well as a cultural one,
on the areas' traditional use of land for agriculture and range.
Further examples of the effects of energy development on critical
areas concern nuclear power plants, and the waste products of these
plants-especially thermal pollution. Because such plants ordinarily
require water for cooling, they are more likely than not to be sited in
a critical environmental area. Electrical transmission lines, especially
as they proliferate, cannot help but intersect critical areas in their path.
Additionally, other transport methods, especially coal slurry pipe-
lines, and major oil and gas pipelines, even though buried, may have
an undesirable impact upon critical areas. New technology, too, may
not always be able to avoid interrupting natural processes. Giant solar
collectors have been described that would cover scores of square miles
of desert; yet no one has analyzed the effects they might have on that
In general, energy development may exacerbate natural hazards in
certain areas. As is known, much inappropriate development is already
located on flood plains. Should the hydrological regimen be altered
by energy development-through increased runoff, siltation, and the
like-these flood plains would be increased in size, with increased in-
tensity and frequency of flooding. A case in point, though perhaps
overly dramatic, is the Buffalo Creek disaster, in which an earthen dam
created by coal mining operations in West Virginia gave way and
wiped out an entire settlement.
In the coastal zone, too, energy development could increase the in-
cidence of natural hazard. Marshlands, if drained, can no longer func-
tion as zones for the absorption of wave shock during hurricanes, and
changes in dune formation as a result of dredging for ports or other
purposes could lead to primary and secondary dune breakdown-even
at some distance from the dredging site-permitting storm-driven
tides to inundate coastal settlements. In fact, it is even possible to con-
ceive of increases in earthquake damage along fault lines should the
geological equipoise be upset by certain kinds of mining operations,
forced water intrusion into wells, subsidence associated with oil recov-
ery, or other kinds of fault-line aggravation. Certain other technol-
ogies proposed, such as heat storage wells created by thermonuclear
explosion, might create a major hazard where only minor seismic
activity would be experienced otherwise.
The land use issue concerning the location and size of "key facilities"
is perhaps the best understood part of the land use and energy inter-
relationship. In terms of land use policy, key facilities are important
not only because they are major users of land, but more because they
create secondary uses and effects that dwarf the impact of the facility
itself. This would be especially true in connection with energy facility
siting, for not only would a complex infrastructure have to be cre-
ated-schools, roads, housing, and municipal services of all kinds-but
also the location of certain kinds of energy facilities could have an
effect on land use and settlement patterns throughout an entire market-
ing and distribution area.
Industry will tend to cluster around energy supply, and workers,
commercial services, and all the rest will shortly follow. Major de-
velopment of energy facilities could permanently alter the structure
of land use for.whole regions, perhaps even creating new conurbations
where only scattered settlements had existed before. In short, key en-
ergy facilities might well produce key facilities of other types, which
in turn would produce land use effects in ever widening circles of
These effects would hold true for areas of primary resource develop-
ment, such as the Southwest and northern Plains-for coal-Alaska
and certain coastal areas-for oil and gas-as well as for areas given
facilities of conversion, transport, transmission and storage are located.
Moreover, the land use changes required by waste and hazard man-
agement would have their own impact on land settlement and use
patterns. Nuclear disposal sites, for example, may require large buffer-
zones which could depress local economies and land values and pre-
clude certain land uses that might ordinarily obtain.
Energy development and its concommitant, energy conservation,
can have interesting effects on this pervasive problem. Sprawl, as a
phenomenon, arises from two different, though not unrelated, trends.
The first is centripetal metropolitan centralization and the second, the
centrifugal motion of city people to suburbs. The city as entrepot, a
role required by capital concentration in an industrial society, is by its
very nature culturally unstable, politically monolithic, and, for many,
socially repressive. Hence, as urban skills are learned, by-usually-
rural immigrants, the denizens choose smaller social and political
units-suburban towns-in which to live and sometimes work. These
places tend to be more amenable and the political apparatus is not
beyond the reach of the average resident.
Though centrifugal suburbanization is augmented by improved
transportation modes, it was not caused by the interstate highway pro-
gram. Suburbanization pre-dates the great investment in limited-ac-
cess highways by at least 50 years. The effect of highways has been
more pronounced on an associated phenomenon of metropolitan growth
called conurbationn." This is the linking of pre-existing independent
cities and towns into large megalopolitan units.
Energy development, if centralized in, say, large energy parks to
serve such conurbations, may tend to maintain or increase their size.
More dispersed energy production facilities might reduce the problem
of conurbation. Energy conservation measures, too, could have a star-
tling effect on megalopolitan growth patterns and the degree of metro-
politan growth itself as opposed to growth in rural and small town
In existing metropolitan areas, reduced use of gasoline will tend to
concentrate new development and renovation around mass transporta-
tion nodes; it will tend to encourage employment diversity and a self-
contained economy in satellite cities, a trend that is already taking
place; it will tend to create new housing on an "in-fill" basis, develop-
ing those areas overleapt by builders in the rush to large tracts in the
metropolitan countryside; and it will tend to rejuvenate central cities,
too, along with prewar suburbs which are now falling into disrepair.
An irregularity or reduction in supply and increases in the cost of
energy may lead to the application of new technologies for energy sup-
ply-particularly solar-related systems-more quickly in metropolitan
areas than is generally presumed. For example, a group of tenants on
New York's Lower East Side have recently retrofitted an apartment
building with solar hot water heating under a HUD grant program.
Much experimental work in small-scale, community-level energy
facilities is now going on in rural areas as well. Small-scale, self-suffi-
cient energy systems can help to break the self-reinforcing pattern of
urban sprawl by reducing dependence on large, metropolitan-based
utilities. In fact, a recent-June 1975-Department of Agriculture
study by Calvin L. Beale. of the Economic Research Service. "The
Revival of Population Growth in Non-Metropolitan America," reveals
that nonmetro growth between 1970 and 1973 outstripped metropolitan
growth-4.2 percent for nonmetro versus 2.9 percent for metro areas.
Of this increased nonmetro growth, not all was in counties adjacent-
some 4.7 percent-to metropolitan areas, as most planners might con-
clude. In fact, as Beale puts it, the "significant point is that nonad-
jacent counties have also increased more rapidly than metro counties
(3.7 percent vs. 2.9 percent). Thus, the decentralization trend is not
confined to metropolitan sprawl."
A logical surmise from these data is that as decentralization in-
creases, a greater "market" for small scale energy systems may in-
crease with it. Then, as smaller communities become more viable eco-
nomically, this type of settlement pattern may begin to displace the
efitrepot megalopolitan area in significant new ways.
71-327 0 76 2
It is Beale's belief that this will be all to the good. "Under condi-
tions of general affluence, low total population growth, easy transpor-
tation and communication, modernization of rural life, and urban
population massings so large that the advantages of urban life are
diminished, a downward shift to smaller communities may seem both
feasible and desirable."
The implications for land use and energy policy in this regard are
vast, since in both cases, basic assumptions have heretofore centered
on the need for large scale infrastructural systems to serve in increas-
ingly conurbanized population. The new trend toward decentraliza-
tion could, if sustained by events, render much of the conventional
wisdom of energy and land use policy formulation inappropriate.
The problem of the preservation of class I agricultural land is
related to urban sprawl, in that some of this land such as in New
Jersey and California-has been lost through urbanization. While the
total amount of acreage is not great, the areas involved quite often
contain agricultural land that is appropriate for specialized or perish-
able crops-as opposed to commodity crops-and is strategically
located close to large markets.
Other agricultural land losses derive from interruptions in the hy-
drological regimen. Damming itself floods otherwise productive acres;
withdrawing water for industrial and urban uses can lower water
tables, significantly affecting production; and irrigated lands risk,
after a period of years, gradual accumulation of salts which not only
reduce productivity, but can completely destroy the primary produc-
tive capacity of such land for any kind of crop.
The effects of energy development may tend to exacerbate these
problems and add new ones. For example, land disturbed by strip
mining can lead to changes in the composition of ground and surface
water supplies, affecting production. In Napa County, Calif., thought
to be the best wine-grape region in the United States, vinyardists are
concerned about the possible effects of a geothermal generating unit at
the head of the valley which could create an adverse microclimate.
Burying nuclear wastes could take large areas of crop and range land
out of production, should there be an unexpected diffusion of radio-
active materials. Increased use of coal for electrical generation could
lead to significant crop destruction through "acid rain."
Energy conservation policies, too, might have a major effect on the
shape of agricultural economics in the United States. Decreases in the
use of petrochemicals for fertilizer as well as for herbicides, insecti-
cides, fungicides and for vermin control might lower production
Increased costs for transportation may, even though these are now a
small part of the cost of agricultural goods, increase food prices, as
would increased prices for the fuel needed to run large and highly
specialized farm machinery.
Energy shortage, increased cost, and statutory conservation meas-
ures may have some interesting long-range effects as well. For ex-
ample, should the cost to the consumer of certain garden crops-
tomatoes, fruits, lettuce, and the like-continue to rise, it is likely that
nonproprietary agriculture may increase more significantly than it has
already, with more substitution of home-grown produce for store-
bought produce. A 1972 Gallup poll shows that 4 out of 10 U.S. fam-
lilies grow some of their own food. Morever, the "decentralist" energy
forms discussed above can relate to the development of a more labor-
intensive agriculture which would be encouraged by a low energy
future. Decentralized energy production would suggest more agricul-
tural diversity, more part-time and subsistence farming, and shorter
transportation links to major markets.
Though landscape quality-the aesthetic and cultural values of the
land-is a difficult matter to determine objectively, the degradation of
landscape is what has provided motive power for a large segment of
the land conservation movement. This movement is quite aware of the
impacts that energy development, conversion, transport, and waste
products can have on the visual and recreational landscape. The
various "fights" through the years need only to be mentioned here to
dramatize the vigor with which landscape degradation is attacked:
the battle over the Storm King pumped storage plant coordinated by
the Scenic Hudson Conservation Conference; the Alaska Pipeline
fight led by the Sierra Club and others; the denial of a permit to
Aristotle Onassis to build an oil depot and refining facility in Dur-
ham, N.H.; the Delaware State law banning industrial facilities along
the coastline; the Kaiparowits plateau controversy which has delayed
coal mining and generating operations for 12 years in this scenic area
of Utah-a controversy which has led to the withdrawal of the chief
sponsors of the project. All of these issues show the conflict between
landscape quality and energy development.
The conservation movement is generally in favor of a skip-step
energy development policy-skipping over nuclear directly into solar,
wind, geothermal and other new sources of energy-from the present
fossil fuel base. Nevertheless, even the most environmentally benign
technologies are not without their aesthetic drawbacks. Not only would
coal stripping uglify the northern plains, but so would giant wind-
mills. Energy from the sun may not require the withdrawal of energy
capital, but at the macroscale of production-say, 1,000 megawatts-
giant collectors may require a grid system taking up between 10 and
40 square miles of desert land.
Thus, in order to reduce aesthetic and cultural impacts on landscape
quality, the new technologies would not only have to be really new, but
would also have to be developed on a small-scale basis: individual or
community wind, solar, thermal gradient, gen thermal, methane, or
other kinds of facilities.
IMPLICATIONS FOR FEDERAL POLICYMAKING
If the foregoing catalog of land and energy interactions is per-
suasive at all, it must lead to these theorems:
First, there is no way meaningfully to create a comprehensive land-
use policy-to plan for land development and conservation-without
being able to plan for energy development as an inherent part of this
process. Energy- development, like any basic element of the physical
infrastructure, is both a primary user of land and a primary shaper of
Second, there is no way meaningfully to create an energy policy-a
plan for energy development and conservation-without beinr able to
plan for the land needed for the purpose of extractincr, processing.
transporting, storing, and distributing energy and fuels, and to
modify land use decisions for the important permanent goal of induc-
ing a settlement pattern that will help bring energy demand into bal-
ance with energy resource constraints.
These two theorems must, in turn, yield this kind of conclusion:
What is needed is a truly constructive land-and-energy policy in which
neither land nor energy is a subset of the other, but in which both are
subsets of a larger policy format which, in the end, has to do with the
nature of "growth" in the United States.
In an otherwise inchoate legislative setting for land use and energy,
a land-and-energy policy could provide an organizing principle for
both these controlling aspects of growth. Without such an organizing
principle, questions of "who decides" tend to replace the essence of the
matter, which is "what do we really want?"
If Federal intervention into land use policy is to have a constructive
effect, most analysts believe it should be more comprehensive than the
policy-by-default resulting from the necessity for State and local gov-
ernments to weave in and around various Federal regulations and
grant programs. By using energy development and conservation as the
vector for intervention in behalf of the public interest, many if not all
the policy goals for improved land use planning can be achieved, or
better, reformulated so that the public interest is more perfectly
Similarly, energy policy in most important respects must do a kind
of broken field running of its own, rather than being able to speed
directly to its goals. The obstacles are presented by various expressions
of the land ethic by means of constitutional appeals to State's rights,
home-rule, and property-rights prerogatives as 'a way to protect en-
vironmental quality. By capitalizing on the land ethic-rather than
fighting it-an energy policy might also achieve a better expression of
long-range public interest.
Many analysts might well conclude at this point that the synthesis
suggested by the two theorems is, however desirable, beyond the
capability of a policymaking structure as diversified and pluralistic as
that of the United States. Whether or not the merits of synthesis-a
format for growth resulting in better land use and conservation to-
gether with better energy development and conservation-are pie-in-
the-sky may well be beside the point.
The strong impression one gathers in reviewing the interactions of
land and energy-through the cat's cradle or through the newspaper
headlines-is that decisionmakers may have very little choice but to
make a quite purposeful effort to produce policy integration. Two
imperatives face each other across a policy chasm: the imperative im-
plied by energy independence and the imperative implied by the land
ethic. The chasm is there not only because these are "issues of resource
constraints" but also because these are issues of intergovernmental
relations with significant constitutional overtones. To put it flatly, the
State of Colorado is not really willing to have its land use decisions
made by the Federal Energy Administration-or by extension the
President or the Congress. At the same time, the Federal Government
is not really willing to let the State of Colorado dictate national
To fail to solve this potentially volatile intergovernmental issue,
which lies at the crux of any possible synthesis, is to reduce the future
chan 'res for a sound land-and-energyo olicy to odds that do not seem
to bode very well for either energy independence or the land ethic.
CHAPTER II.-THE IMPACT OF ENERGY DEVELOPMENT
ON LAND USE*
More land is presently used for energy production purposes than for
any other industrial land use except agriculture and forestry. Further-
more, the amount of land used for energy purposes could increase
greatly in the coming decades if Federal plans developed to cope with
the energy crisis are implemented to any substantial degree. These
plans envision accelerated surface and deep mining for coal; construc-
tion of energy parks, some of which could be several thousand acres in
size; development of new onshore support facilities to process fed-
erally anticipated increases in Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and
gas production; construction of a large number of new coal fired and
nuclear powerplants and synthetic fuel plants; new hydroelectric
dams; and greatly expanded construction of electric transmission lines
and oil and gas pipelines.
An idea of the amount of land that could be directly affected by new
energy development by 1985 is given in the Federal Energy Admin-
istration's (FEA) Project Independence Report, published in Novem-
ber 1974.1 Using a model developed by the National Science Founda-
tion, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Environmental
Protection Agency, FEA estimated existing energy related land use
in the country on a regional basis, and also projected the amount of
land that would be directly used in 1985 for energy purposes under
"business as usual" and "accelerated" energy development assump-
The report indicated that 15.8 million acres of land were committed
to "fixed" energy related land use in 1972. Fixed land use, as defined
in the report, means land used in such a way that alternative uses are
precluded for many years. An additional 2 million acres, in 1972. fell
in an incremental land use category-that is, land excluded from alter-
native uses until reclamation is achieved, such as surface mined land.
By 1985, the report estimated between 35.6 and 35.8 million acres
would fall in the fixed land use category. An additional 1.5 to 2.7 mil-
lion acres of land would be temporarily excluded from other land
uses (the model assumes that reclamation of surface mined land will
be required in all States by law.) Hence. between 37.1 and 38.5 million
acres of land could be used for energy production purposes by 1985-
more than double the 1972 level. As a measure of scale, there are 30
States in the United States which have less than 38.5 million acres
within their boundaries. Fi-mire 1, prepared by the Interior Depart-
ment, displays the FEA land data.
*This chapter was prepared by W. Wendell Fletcher, Analyst in Environment and Nat-
ural Resources Policy. Congressional Research Service.
1Federal Energy Administration. Project Independence Report. November 1974, pp. 213-
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Independence Report as adapted in Energy Perspectives,
FEA predicted even greater land disturbance should the President's
proposed Energy Independence Act of 1975 be implemented. The
agency's draft environmental impact statement on the proposed bill
estimated that over 45 million acres would be affected: 25 million acres
for coal mining; up to 20 million acres for hydroelectric facilities;
7,250 acres for oil shale development; and 823,000 acres for other
energy related facilities, such as refineries, storage tanks and power-
plants.2 This is a land area about the size of the State of Missouri.
The FEA projections do not include land used for overhead trans-
mission lines. The Federal Power Commission estimated in 1970 that
transmission line right-of-ways covered 4 million acres of land-an
area about the size of Connecticut-and that an additional 3 million
acres of transmission line right-of-ways would be needed by 1990.3
The FPC figures may be understated if a large number of mine-mouth
powerplants, similar to the Four Corners plant in Utah, are con-
structed. These plants, which may be located a thousand or more miles
from market areas, would require major new transmission lines.
Finally, the FEA projections are limited only to land used directly
for energy material extraction and processing, and do not include esti-
mates of the amount of land that would be devoted to secondary
development stimulated by major new energy facilities. Many land use
planners think that such secondary development will have greater
land use and environmental impacts than energy development per se,
particularly if the pace of energy development brings new population
into remote areas at a rate beyond local capacities to plan for and
Despite the enormous potential for adverse impacts on the land, few
Federal energy development scenarios have dealt with land-energy
relationships to an adequate degree.4 The only land use issue that has
been consistently recognized as an important constraint upon energy
development is the problem of energy facility siting-the nuts and
bolts problem of finding new sites for new energy facilities in a society
with increasingly intense competition for land, and considerable local
opposition to energy facilities. Broader issues pertaining to the
amount of land committed to energy development, the impact of
energy development on other land uses such as agriculture, forestry
and recreation, and adverse impacts stemming from secondary de-
velopment, have been given considerably less attention.
Yet to a degree paralleled only by the Federal Interstate Highway
program, which transformed land use patterns across the Nation to a
greater extent than any previous public works project and produced
conditions conducive to the Nation's urban sprawl. Federal decisions
will in large part determine how severe the impacts of energy develop-
ment will be. Federal decisions about coal mining on public lands and
leasing of federally held coal rights on non-Federal land; about leas-
ing OCS land for oil and gas development; about Federal subsidies
2 Federal Energy Administration. Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the Energy
Independence Act of 1975. and Related Tax Proposals DES-75-2. March 1975. pp. 2-77.
3 U.S. Congress. Joint Committee. Economy. Enerc'y. and the Environment. Prepared by
the Legislative Reference Bureau of the Library of Congress. 91st Congress. 2d Session.
1970. p. 116.
4 For example, the discussion of the land use projections just quoted In the Project In-
dependence Report and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the President's
Energy Independence Act of 1975 is limited to about five pages in texts totaling over
for high risk energy development; about research and development
priorities; and about a host of other issues will influence greatly the
timing, location, and intensity of new energy development and related
secondary development. States and localities, however, will be left
with the job of planning to avoid the impacts, since, under the Con-
stitution, land-use regulation is thought to be an inherent power of
Because of the sudden recognition that Federal energy development
efforts could adversely affect State and local land use planning, legis-
lation has been introduced in the 94th Congress to encourage States to
conduct energy and land use planning in concert. Both Houses of Con-
gress, for example, have passed legislation to amend the Coastal Zone
Management Act, in order to address specifically the many problems
associated with coastal zone energy development stemming from ac-
celerated Federal leasing of Outer Continental Shelf lands.5 The
Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 makes Federal grants available
to coastal States for comprehensive land and water management of
their coastal areas. A similar approach had been proposed in the Land
Resources Policy and Planning Assistance Act of 1975, S. 984, which
makes land planning grants available to States for establishing state-
wide land use programs. One section of the bill deals with energy
These approaches differ from energy facility siting legislation pro-
posed in each of the last three Congresses, and proposed by the Ford
administration in the 94th Congress.6 The siting legislation has been
concerned almost exclusively with expediting State and Federal proc-
essing of applications to construct new energy facilities, iand does not
provide for significant integration of land and energy planning.
While land impacts from energy development will affect all regions
of the country, the most intense impacts are expected in Alaska; 7 the
sparsely populated, arid, interior Western States, which have large
reserves of untapped coal and oil shale, the Appalachian region, and
the crowded coastal areas of the country, which are adjacent to OCS
oil and gas resources, which already receive most imported energy
products and which are the most likely location for new nuclear
Figure 2, from the Project Independence Report, shows FEA esti-
mates of the gross acreage that could be required for new energy devel-
opment in each region of the country if alternative Project Independ-
ence scenarios are implemented.
THE IMPACT OF FOSSIL FUEL DEVELOPMENT O.N APPALACHIA AND
Most scenarios for increasing domestic energy supplies foresee mas-
sive strip-mining of largely untapped Western coal reserves, in addi-
tion to intensified mining of all types in the Appalachian and Midwest-
ern regions of the country. Ford administration officials, for example,
5 See S. 586 and H.R. 3510. As of April 1976, a conference on the two bills had not been
I The siting proposal. included in title X of President Ford's Energy Independence Act
of 1975, was introduced separately in the Senate as S. 619.
T The problems associated with energy development and the Alaskan lands are not dealt
with in depth in this report. Because of the unique geographic conditions in the State. and
because of its climate, low population, and wilderness character, the energy-land relation-
ship in Alaska is anomalous.
are anticipating coal production to double by the year 1985,8 including
a five fold increase of coal production from coal leases on Federal and
Indian lands.9 The administration also has anticipated the tapping
of high-quality oil shale-80 percent of which is on Federal lands-
and tar sand and geothermal resources in the coming years. Much of
this new energy development would also be located in the interior
Many of the energy development scenarios also involve mine-mouth
siting of major new coal burning powerplants, coal liquefaction or
gasification facilities, and oil shale conversion facilities to synthesize
For example, in 1974, former Secretary of Interior Rogers C. B.
Morton, called for "an all out national effort" to bring into being the
Interior Department's "proposed solution" to America's energy prob-
lem: "vast mine, refinery and shipping points, already designated as
COGS-for Coal-Oil-Gas." Morton went on to describe these massive
SELECTED REGIONAL LAND POLLUTION RESIDUALS
Fixed land Maximum incremental land
BAU, AD, BAU, AD,
1972 $11 $11 1972 $11 $11
Northeast...................................... --------------------------------236 1,699 1,699 0 0 0
Mid-Atlantic -------- ---------------------........................... 1,111 3,147 3,138 308.0 170.0 163.0
South Atlantic-----------------------------.................................. 519 2,708 2,661 775.0 750.0 488.0
East north-central ----------------------------243 1,394 1,384 332.0 893.0 770.0
East south-central--------------------------- 1, 020 3, 554 3,544 499.0 499.0 422.0
West north-central................... ------------------------- 1, 592 2, 476 2,472 6.0 182.0 153.0
West south-central ------------------------............................. 1,547 936 949 12.0 91.0 65.0
Mountain...................................... -------------------------------3,050 5,397 5,398 41.0 78.0 112.0
Pacific---------... ------------------------................ 6,448 14,385 14, 387 3.0 10.0 10.0
Alaska......................................... -----------------------------------34 72 115 .6 .2 .3
Source: Project Independence Report.
We envision the first of these as a $450 million prototype
of a total energy-systems complex, located somewhere near
a minehead and close to an industrial area. A site of perhaps
1,000 acres would be crammed with machinery, gasifiers, con-
verters and refineries. Every day it would combine coal with
water to produce large supplies of pipeline gas, synthetic oil,
ashless, low-sulfur chemicals for plastic and petrochemical
products, sulfur, cement, iron-plus cinder bricks and blocks.
We should be building ten or more of these complexes by
1980, to increase our coal production by then from 500 mil-
lion to 1,500 million tons a year.10
$See, for example, the statement of Dr. S. William Gouse, Deputy Assistant Administra-
tor for Fossil Energy of the Energy Research and Development Administration in hearings
before the Fossil Energy Subcommittee of the Committee on Science and Technology, U.S.
House of Representatives. Feb. 18, 1975.
9 Testimony of Assistant Secretary of Interior Jack Horton at hearings of Federal coal
leasing held by the Subcommittee on Mines and Minerals of the U.S. House of Representa-
tives Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, March 1975. This increase was calculated
from existing active leases. Substantially greater increases were predicted for newly
10 Rogers C. B. Morton. "Coal: 'Our Ace in the Hole' to Meet the Energy Crisis," Reader
Digest, March 1974, pp. 87-90.
President Ford, in his 1975 energy message to Congress, also envi-
sioned a similarly ambitious energy development program. Among
the goals advocated by the President which could particularly affect
land use in the Western States and Appalachia: 250 major new coal
mines, 150 major coal fired powerplants, and 20 major synthetic fuel
plants, all to be in operation by 1985.
If such intensive energy development goes ahead, the Appalachian
and Western States will bear a disproportionate share of the environ-
mental costs. In addition to destruction of land by surface mining,
and increased pollution from new energy facilities, there would in-
variably be a considerable amount of new economic growth and devel-
opment in these areas. Without adequate measures to anticipate and
ameliorate the impacts of the new development, many problems now
associated with urban areas may be transferred almost overnight to
largely rural and often primitive areas.
A key issue in development of Western coal fields is the choice of
mining techniques: most scenarios, for economic reasons, expect sur-
face mining, which now produces 52 percent of U.S. coal, to be the
choice over deep mining-figure 3 shows the dramatic growth of coal
production by surface mining in the last half century. Deep mining
has significant adverse environmental impacts-acid mine drainage
and land subsidence over mine cavities to name two-and the deep
mine techniques used in the United States are far more dangerous to
miners than surface mining." Surface mining, however, has greater
impacts from an environmental perspective, and will result in much
land devastation unless adequate reclamation is carried out.
n Surface mining is less dangerous to workers in terms of fatalities per ton of coal pro-
duced per man hour. In terms of fatalities per man hour, however, surface mine and deep
mine fatalities were about equal in 1974, according to one recent estimate. (See ERDA
Authorization and Transition Period Fossil Fuels Hearings, February 1975, Committee on
Science and Technology of the House of Representatives. p. 40.)
U.S. Coal Trends, 1965-73
(Bituminous Coal and Lignite)
600 Production Number of Mines'
5 400 4,000 -
I o- 4,000 -- \
= c- \ UNDERGROUND
% J ,,.----- E 3,000 .
200 2,000 -
1965 1967 1969 1971 1973 1965 1967 1969 1971 1973
1All coal mines Ihat produced 1,000 tons of coal during the year. Source: U.S. Bureau of Mines, 1974.
A large amount of land in the United States contains coal resources.
Of this, some 458,600 square miles is underlain with coal reserves
thought to be recoverable.12 By far the greatest amount of coal would
have to be recovered through deep mining techniques. however. Of the
433 billion short tons of coal included in the coal reserve base, the
Bureau of Mines classifies about 137 billion tons as potentially recov-
erable strippable reserves. About 110 billion tons are classified as
recoverable through existing surface mining technologies, but only
55 billion tons are considered to be economically recoverable at this
time. Thus, between only a seventh and an eighth of the coal reserve
base is thought to be economically recoverable through surface mining
under present methods.
As a measure of scale, however, the 55 billion tons is 200 times the
1974 total for surface miniled (coal and 10 times the (cullnulative pro-
duction of surface mined coal in this country since the 1920's. The U.S.
Geological Survey cautions against using thliese comparisons for esti-
mating the life expectancy of strippable coal reserves, since, on the
one hand, coal production is likely to increase greatly in the coming
years, and, on the other land, technology chlianges which could in-
crease the size of the strippable reserves are also likely.13
"U.S G.S. Coal Resources of the United States, Jan. 1, 1974. Geological Survey Bulletin
1412. 1975. p. 33.
u Ibid., p. 56.
Despite the difficulties involved in estimating the life expectancy of
strippable reserves, the Interior Department apparently made such an
estimate of surface mining coal reserves in 1974. According to testi-
mony heard by the Senate Interior Committee,14 a Departmental task
force on coal extraction estimated that if surface mining of western
coal grows to an annual production rate of about 1.4 billion tons by
1985, and continues at that level thereafter, all current surface mine
reserves in the West would be exhausted by 1996. The task force also
found, according to the testimony, that if eastern surface mining grew
from 250 million tons in 1972 to 380 million tons in 1985, and continued
at that level, 67 percent of current strippable reported reserves in the
east would be depleted by the year 2000.
Three Federal surveys of surface mined land in the United States
have been conducted since 1965. The most recent survey, by the Soil
Conservation Service, estimated that 4.4 million acres had been strip
mined for all purposes as of January 1, 1974. Of this, about 958,000
acres had been surfaced mined for coal. Only 337,000 acres of this coal
stripped land was legally required to be reclaimed.15
While the actual amount of land strip mined to date is in itself quite
small, the amount of land adversely affected by surface mining opera-
tions is significant. The Environmental Protection Agency estimated
in 1973 that surface mining for all purposes presently affects 13 mil-
lion acres of land, and that, by the year 2000, 20 million acres will be
To date, strip mining for coal has largely centered on the Appala-
chian region, and here the environmental impacts have been substan-
tial. A 1972 study on surface mining in West Virginia by the Stan-
ford Research Institute identified a number of environmental prob-
lems created by surface mining. The report found that 248,078 acres
had been disturbed by the mining activities. If return to 75 percent of
the natural vegetative cover was the definition of reclamation, more
than 71 percent of the surface-mined land would be considered unre-
claimed. Sediment yields were found to be 400 to 600 tons per acre per
year in many areas. The study found a continuing danger of landslides
even years after mining and reclamation work had been completed, and
that an additional 400 miles of highwalls, benches, and outslopes
would be created each year if mining continued as previously.17
Although less land is involved than in Appalachia, strip mining in
the Midwest has led to significant conflicts with agriculture. Over
25,000 acres in Iowa, 43,000 acres in Kansas, 70,000 acres in Illinois
and 74,000 acres in Missouri had been surface mined for coal as of
14 According to the testimony of the Environmental Policy Center. the figures cited
appear In a March 1974. report prepared by the Interior Department's Coal Extraction
Task Force entitled Coal Extraction R. & D. Program. The testimony was given during Sen-
ate Interior Committee hearings on greater coal utilization. June 10, 11, 1975. The Interior
Department was unable to provide a copy of this report, but orally confirmed the general
accuracy of the figures.
2 U.S.D.A. Soil Conservation Service. Status of Land Disturbed by Surface Mining as
of Jan. 1, 1974, by States. Mar. 26, 1974. The report notes that some States reported
fewer acres disturbed by surface mining in 1974 than in a similar 1964 survey. The dis-
crepancy was attributed to more accurate surveying methods in 1J74, and SCS said that
the overall national figure did not appear to be affected by these discrepancies.
6 Testimony of the Environmental Protection Agency before the Senate Interior Com-
mittee on Surface Mining Legislation. Mar. 13. 1973.
'1 Stanford Research Institute. A Study of Surface Mining in West Virginia. Prepared
for the West Virginia Legislature. February 1972.
1974. While these figures are small in themselves, continuation of
widescale surface mining in these States could adversely affect future
WESTERN ENERGY DEVELOPMENT AND LAND AND WATER RESOURCES
The growth of surface mining in the West is expected to be dra-
matic, although problems such as water constraints and political op-
position to "the stripping of the West" continue to mount. There have
been few studies on the amount of western land that would be dis-
turbed by achieving given levels of production, however.
A study 18 by a panel of the National Academy of Science on the
potential for reclamation of surface mined western lands estimated
that 140 square miles of the West would be disturbed by 1990, and 300
square miles by the year 2000. The NAS study received a great deal of
publicity in the western press because of its reference to "national
sacrifice areas"-areas which because of their aridity and fragile eco-
logical processes could be only minimally reclaimed once stripped.
The report did not estimate the amount of land that would fall into
Oil shale development programs could also have a substantial im-
pact on western lands. Colorado, Utah and Wyoming have about 90
percent of the identified high quality oil shale reserves in the United
States. (See fig. 4) Some 80 percent of this high grade resource is on
land held by the Federal Government.
Like coal extraction, oil shale extraction could be accomplished by
both surface mining or deep mining. For economic reasons, surface
FIGURE 4.-Distribution of U.S. oil shale resources.
|Deposits on the
Green River for-
all identified high-
% Other deposits
Source: Duncan & Swanson, 1965.
28 National Academy of Sciences. Rehabilitation Potential of Western Coal Lands. A Re-
port to the Energy Policy Project of the Ford Foundation (Ballinger Co.) 1974. 198 p.
mining for oil shale is likely to result in larger and deeper pits than
for coal surface mining. To date, however, the oil shale mining opera-
tions in the United States have been deep mines.
A key issue in the development of oil shale will be whether in situ
processing of shale oil, i.e. mining, processing and retorting in the
ground, will be utilized instead of surface processing. Surface pro-
cessing is thought to have greater environmental impacts, but in situ
processing is still at the experimental stage. Key advantages of in situ
processing include elimination of the need to dispose spent shale and
reduction of air and water pollution problems.
Interior Department estimates of the amount of land that would be
disturbed in achieving given levels of oil shale production over time
are shown in Figure 5. The table indicates that 7,200 acres of land
would need to be disturbed to achieve a level of production of 450,000
bbl of oil per day by 1990; by 2015, this same level of production would
require a cumulative total of 21,000 acres. The projection apparently
assumes that an additional 548 acres must be disturbed each year to
maintain the 450,000 bbl per day production level. These land impacts
do not include acreage devoted to utility corridors or secondary
growth and development that could be expected around such facilities.
Land Impacts, Shale Oil Production, 1980-90
1985 -7- - - : -- ---. ---- -. ------- -
BUSINESS AS USUAL
5.000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000
Cumulative Acres Disturbed
Source: Potential Future Role of Oil Shale: Prospects and Constraints,
Project Independence Report, 1974, page 8.
In its impact statement on its proposed oil shale leasing program,
the Interior Department did estimate the amount of land that would
be affected by new utility corridors and secondary development stem-
ming from an oil shale industry. The statement indicated that to
achieve a one million barrel per day production level-a little more
than twice the. production assumption in Figure 5-about 15,000 to
20,000 acres would be needed for urban development induced by the
oil shale operation, and up to 10,000 acres would be needed for utility
Water is expected to be a significant limiting factor in the size and
scope of western energy development. Whether there is sufficient
water available for intensive energy development, as well as for other
essential land uses has been the subject of a number of recent studies.20
The NAS study on coal surface mining concluded that there would
be sufficient water available for mining and rehabilitation of most
sites, but that "not enough water exists for large scale conversion of
coal to other energy forms-e.g. gasification or steam electric power.21
If this is so, the likelihood of mine-mouth energy constellations in
Western States may be reduced.
While most studies conclude that sufficient water is physically avail-
able for widespread western energy development, there is considerable
concern about the impact of such utilization upon other land uses, and
about impact on water quality. Felix L. Spark, director of the Colo-
rado River Conservation Board has indicated that the Colorado River
could supply 250,000 to 400,000 acre feet of water for an oil shale
industry. However, Spark indicated that there would be a correspond-
ing loss in agricultural production, and that there was no assurance
that large scale oil shale processing could be carried out without sig-
nificant contamination of the Colorado River.22
There have been a number of proposals in the last decade to under-
take interbasin water transfer projects in order to assure an adequate
water supply for the Interior Western States.23 While active imple-
mentation of these proposals is prohibited by law until 1977, the en-
ergy crisis has stimulated new interest in the proposals. Should such
a project go ahead, profound changes in the regional development
pattern of the West are likely.
Purchase of water rights by energy companies has become a major
political issue in the west, although the extent of such purchases is
uncertain. The NAS study noted that it appears that all "available"
water in Montana had been committed through the sale of 10-year
water options to industry-mostly coal related industry-and that all
but 97,000 acre feet of Wyoming Bighorn and Boysen Reservoirs had
been similarly committed.24 A Department of Interior spokesman.
testifying about claims by western newspapers that all available west-
ern water had been bought by energy companies, denied that this was
the case. The spokesman said: "It would be incorrect * to say
U.S. Department of Interior, Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Prototype
Oil Shale Leasing Program. 1973. pp. III-23-25.
20 See U.S. Senate Interior Committee. Water and Energy Self-Sufficiency, Serial 93-
S1 (92-87) for a compilation of some of these studies.
21 The Rehabilitation of Western Coal Lands. op. cit.. p. 6.
2 Felix L. Sparks, Water Prospects for the Emerging Oil Shale Industry, Remarks Before
the 7th Oil Shale Symposium, Colorado School of Mines. Apr. 18. 1974.
2 See Western States Water Council, A Review of Interregional Water Transfer Pro-
posals, June 1969, for a discussion.
24 Rehabilitation Potential of Western Coal Lands, op. cit., p. 102.
that all the available water in either Wyoming, Colorado or Montana
has been bought by utility companies." 25 The spokesman said that the
Department had not developed priorities to favor water for energy
over water for agriculture.
The prospect of widespread western energy development, partic-
ularly constellations of energy facilities located near mining sites,
brings with it the probability of intense urbanization in areas that are
now rural or even primitive. In many cases, this process may result
in the creation of "energy boomtowns"-something that is already
happening in some western areas, and is happening on a dramatic scale
This kind of development occurs at such a pace and intensity that
local communities are unable to plan in advance in order to reduce the
impacts. As a result, there may be severe economic, social and environ-
mental disruptions in the area. These boomtowns may in time become
ghost-towns when the basic energy industry in the area shuts-down.
The NAS study cautioned * when the coal is consumed, perhaps
by the end of the century in some areas, other means must be found to
support the local economy in the affected areas."
ENERGY DEVELOPMENT AND THiE COASTAL ZONE
Unlike the interior Western States, the coastal zone is densely popu-
lated, and already contains a large share of the Nation's energy facili-
ties. Like the West, however, coastal natural systems are especially
vulnerable to environmental degradation. Like the West also, Federal
plans for coping with the energy crisis could result in substantial in-
creases in the number of coastal energy facilities, and stimulate sub-
stantial secondary growth and development.
The prospect for major new energy development in coastal areas
carries with it substantial potential for conflict with other coastal land
uses. Unlike the West, physical availability of space is often a problem
in densely urban coastal areas. Coastal counties account for about
one-third of the present U.S. population, and it has been estimated
that as many as 200 million Americans could live within 50 miles of
the coast by the year 2000.26 Forty percent of the Nation's industrial
development is located on the fifteen percent of the land that make up
the coastal counties.27
Coastal areas are also important for recreation purposes. Consumer
expenditures for ocean-oriented recreation involved an estimated $4.1
billion in 1972, a figure which is expected to grow to $8 to $10 billion
by the year 2000.28
Coastal wetlands-long considered prime sites for industrial devel-
opment-are now recognized to have great economic and environ-
2 Testimony of Jack Horton. Assistant Secretary of Interior, at Hearings on Federal
Coal Leasing before the U.S. House Interior Insular Affairs Committee Subcommittee on
Mines and Mining. Mar. 14. 1975, p. 22.
SReport of the Senate Commerce Committee on S. 586, The Coastal Zone Management
Act Amendments of 1975 (Report No. 94-277), July 11, 1975. p. 4.
2 U.S. Department of Interior. The National Estuarine Pollution Study. Report of the
Secretary of Interior to the U.S. Congress, 91st Congress, 2d session, March 1970, Sen.
Doe. 91-58, p. 28.
28 National Ocean Policy Study, The Economic Value of Ocean Resources to the United
States, December 1974. pp. 85-87.
mental value. Wetlands and estuaries provide an essential habitat for
some stages of the life cycle of most commercially important fish and
shellfish; play a key role in bird migrations; and have a capacity to
assimilate a substantial amount of water pollution and sewage. The
U.S. Interior Department estimated in 1970 that the total economic
value of wetlands to coastal counties was $60 billion.29
THE ONSHORE IMPACTS OF OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF OIL
AND GAS DEVELOPMENT
As part of its plan to achieve greater independence from foreign
oil, the Federal Government has accelerated leasing of Outer Con-
tinental Shelf land for oil and gas development. While the accelerated
program has lagged behind its original schedule, the Interior Depart-
ment's Bureau of Land Management held four lease sales in 1975 and
expects to hold six sales annually thereafter.
Coastal States have expressed concern that the leasing program,
which could have substantial onshore impacts, is being undertaken
without adequate consideration of potential conflicts between the leas-
ing program and State coastal zone management, now being conducted
by all 30 ocean-fronting and Great Lakes States under the Coastal
Zone Management Act of 1972.30 The chief concern is that the devel-
opment of onshore OCS support facilities and secondary development
stemming from the OCS leasing will outpace State and local efforts to
minimize the impact.
The potential impacts of the OCS leasing program are likely to
vary greatly from region to region, depending upon such factors as
whether OCS producing lands are located adjacent to coastal areas
which already have petroleum processing infrastructure like oil re-
fineries; whether the onshore area is urbanized or rural; and whether
adequate planning processes are in place.
Because of uncertainties about the magnitude and location of OCS
reserves, little is known about how many new onshore OCS support
facilities will be needed. The Interior Department's final environmental
impact statement on the accelerated leasing program noted that
neither the number of facilities nor the amount of land needed for
these facilities could be estimated since "these facilities are planned
as the need arises, i.e. on the production estimated from exploratory
drilling results * *," and concluded that an unknown amount of
land in each OCS leasing area would have to be committed to these
The Council on Environmental Quality, in a study of the impacts
of OCS development.32 attempted to estimate the number of new OCS
support facilities that would be needed for eight sample areas, given
certain assumption about OCS productivity.
The report found new facility needs to be highly variable. For ex-
ample the report estimated that if highly productive OCS land was
found off South Carolina and Georgia. three new refineries, two gas
processing plants and two to three petrochemical complexes would
29 National Estuarine Pollution Study, op. cit.
30 Public Law 92-583.
nU.S. Department of Interior. Final Environmental Impact Statement on Proposed In-
crease in Oil and Gas Leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf. FES-75, released July 7,
1975. Vol. 2.
32 OCS Oil and Gas-An Environmental Assessment: A Report to the Preldent, April
71-327 0 76 3
need to be constructed in the region by 1985. By the year 2000, five to
six refineries, eight gas processing plants and seven to eight petro-
chemical complexes would be needed. But, if the same high OCS pro-
duction levels are achieved in Alaska, the likely support area-Wash-
ington's Puget Sound region-would not need any new refineries, gas
processing plants or petrochemical complexes by 1985 and would only
need one or two refineries and three new petrochemical complexes by
the year 2000, because of the existing petroleum processing infra-
Both the pace and intensity of secondary development generated by
OCS development and OCS related activities would also be highly
variable. The report estimated that under high OCS development as-
sumptions, the population of the South Carolina-Georgia OCS area
would nearly double between 1970 and 1985-from 336,000 to 650,000.
Most of the new development would locate near Charleston, S.C.-the
major metropolis in the region-and would be equivalent, the report
says, to building a new city the size of Charleston in a decade.
In some areas, land needed for new on-shore facilities, and to meet
the housing and other land needs of new population attracted to a
region by OCS related activities, could substantially limit non-OCS
development options in the future. For example, the CEQ report found
that OCS development in the heavily urbanized New England study
area could require 9 percent of the total remaining undeveloped land.
and, more significantly, 14 percent of the undeveloped land actually
suitable for general development. This land requirement, the report
noted, "points to potential difficulties of future land use planning for
the entire region * *." 3 The report predicted more troublesome land
impacts in the Washington Puget Sound region, which could be the
processing area of Alaskan OCS oil and gas production. While new
OCS related development would only require 3.5 percent of the regions
remaining undeveloped land, this constitutes 70 percent of all the unde-
veloped land suitable for development, because most of the region is
mountainous, and unsuited for most kinds of development.
CEQ's estimations of the onshore land requirements for OCS de-
velopment are significantly higher than those developed by the In-
terior Department in its regional environmental impact statements on
OCS development. There appear to be a number of reasons for this
discrepancy. CEQ has been criticized by some for overestimating the
number of new refining and petrochemical facilities that. would be
constructed as a consequence of OCS development. The Interior De-
partment impact statements have generally assumed that existing re-
fining capacity could handle a substantial proportion of OCS oil and
gas production, and that, in any case, the refining and petrochemical
facilities needed to meet any shortfall would have to be built regard-
less of whether the oil came from the OCS or were imported. However,
the Interior Department impact statements have generally only con-
sidered land needed for industries that would serve primary OCS de-
velopment, and have given little or no attention to secondary indus-
trial, commercial and residential development that might arise from
SIbid., Vol. 4. p. 3-25.
OTHER ENERGY FACILITIES
A number of other kinds of energy facilities are expected to be con-
structed in coastal areas. Presently pending before the Federal Power
Commission are seven proposals to construct and/or operate liquified
natural gas importation terminals. Many of these proposed facilities
would be located in populous ports like New York and Boston where
a serious accident could be catastrophic. In 1973, Congress passed the
Deepwater Ports Act which, for the first time, established Federal pro-
cedures for licensing offshore ports capable of accommodating super-
tankers. While a number of potential locations for such ports have
been under study by Federal and private agencies for several years,
only two applications to construct these facilities have been made.
Depending on location, these major port facilities could stimulate
considerable new onshore development. Finally, a substantial number
of new nuclear powerplants are expected to be constructed in coastal
areas in the coming years.
ELECTRICAL FACILITIES AND LAND USE
A large amount of land is presently used for electric generating facil-
ities and associated transmission lines. Substantial additional acreage
may be needed in the future, but estimates of future siting needs are
highly conjectural at this time because of uncertainties stemming from
the energy crisis and because of uncertainties about what kind of
electrical facilities will be built in the future.
Prior to the Arab oil embargo in 1973, most forecasters assumed
that electricity consumption would continue at levels near the historic
average annual growth rate of about 7 percent-a doubling every 10
years-that has prevailed throughout most of the century. Figure 6,
compiled from a number of sources, shows several forecasts made in
the early 1970's about electricity consumption for the three decades
between 1970 and 2000. All but one of the forecasts projected that con-
sumption of electricity would increase four to six times over the con-
sumption rates in 1970 'by the year 2000.
ALTERNATIVE FORECASTS OF U.S. ELECTRICITY CONSUMPTION
[Trillion kilowatt hours]
Projection 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 2000
Chapman, Mount, Tyrrell:
ighi...-..--..-.-.-.-.-.................... 1.53 2.14 3.05 ----5.66 9.89
Medium.... ------------------------------1.53 1.98 2.38 ------ 3.01 3.45
Low-----......................... 1.53 1.88 2.07 --- 2.11 2.01
Cornell-National Science Foundation----. -----------1.57 2.15 2.92 3.96 5.38 10.25
Dupree, West..........----------------------------- 1.53 2.13 3.00 4.14 --..-------- 9.01
Federal Power Commission--------------------- 1.53---------- 3.07 .......... 5.83-
Hudson, Jorgenson..-------------------------- 1.53 1.96 2.58 3.35 4.37 6.92
National Petroleum Council-------------------- 1.59 2.29 3.29 4.54 .---..--...---
Sources: Cornell-NSF, FPC, NPC forecasts are given in Chapman Moui.t, Tyrrell (1972) table 1, p. 3. The Chapman.
Mount, Tyrell "low" forecast assumes that the real electricity price double P' by 2000, the "medium" forecast corresponds
to the FPC estimates of a 19 percent real price increase over 1970-90, "high" corresponds to a 24 percent real price decline
over 1970-80 and a 12 percent decline over each of the 1980-90 and 1990-2000 intervals. Energy Facts II.
With higher prices for oil and other fuels in the post embargo
period, and with the sluggish economy, electricity sales slackened, and
utilities cancelled or delayed a significant portion of their planned
capacity expansion in 1974-1975. In 1974 alone utilities cancelled
or delayed construction of 106 nuclear and 129 coal-fired powerplants.
These cancellations, according to Business Week, involved 170,000
MW of the total 360,000 MW of all planned increases in capacity. Be-
cause of the long leadtime in building a new electric facility-up to a
decade from the planning stages to completion-a continuation in this
trend to delay construction of facilities will mean that substantially
less electricity will be available for consumption in the mid to late
1980's than was originally forecast.
A downward trend in utility 10-year forecasts has recently been
noted by the Federal Power Commission. The 10-year forecasts pre-
pared in 1975 show significant declines in anticipated growth rates
when compared to similar 10-year forecasts prepared in 1974. For
example, the 1974 projections anticipated a 7.43 percent annual growth
rate for the decade; the comparable 1975 figure is 6.73 percent.
While uncertainty about demand projections makes estimates of
siting needs for electrical facilities difficult, some of the land-use issues
and requirements for nuclear power, coal-fired powerplants, hydro-
electric power, and solar and geothermal power are discussed below.
NUCLEAR ENERGY FACILITIES
The future of nuclear power is uncertain at this time-a situation
that makes it difficult to estimate future land requirements for nuclear
facilities. The uncertainties stem from both economic and public safety
issues associated with nuclear power production. The escalating costs
of construction of new nuclear plants led to cancelling or delaying
construction of 106 nuclear plants in 1974. Growing opposition to
nuclear power by some public interest and environmental groups
which stems from concern about the operational safety of nuclear
plants; the disposal of nuclear wastes, and possible theft of nuclear
materials for use in terrorist activities, may also be contributing to the
reluctance of utilities to order new nuclear plants. Postponement of
nuclear power until safety issues are resolved will be one proposition
on California's 1976 primary ballot.
Hence, it is unlikely that earlier nuclear industry forecasts of 500 to
1,000 nuclear reactors in operation by the year 2000 will be realized.
Indeed, President Ford, a proponent of nuclear development, set a
national goal of 200 nuclear plants in operation or under construction
by the year 1985-only 74 more than in 1975. Presently, there are only
55 operating nuclear powerplants in the United States. An additional
76 facilities are in various stages of construction. One hundred twenty-
two facilities are in the planning stage.
In addition to nuclear reactors themselves, a number of associated
facilities-enrichment plants, plutonium reprocessing plants, radio-
active waste disposal facilities, and the like-will be required in
order to support the nuclear reactors.
Nuclear power plants are heavily concentrated in coastal areas, and
are usually placed adjacent to major water bodies, where sufficient
water is available to cool nuclear reactors. There could be a great in-
crease in coastal nuclear facilities if floating nuclear powerplants, now
being commercially offered, are widely bought by utilities. These
facilities, which would be moored off coastal shores, would be built
according to standardized design, and presumably would be easier to
site than their land based counterparts.
Other kinds of nuclear facilities, however, may be located in inland
areas. There are a number of land use issues and problems associated
with nuclear facility siting. Among them:
1. URBAN GROWTH IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO A NUCLEAR PLANT
Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulation of nuclear plant siting
requires that the plants, for public health and safety reasons, be
located in low density population areas. There are, however, no Fed-
eral regulations requiring that low density population be maintained
after the plant is sited. In other words, while a nuclear plant cannot be
sited in a populous area. urbanization after the plant is constructed
may bring population to levels beyond those permissable when the
plant was originally sited. This may become a serious problem in the
future as many nuclear plants are anticipated to be placed in the
densely populated coastal areas of the country, where competition for
land is intense. Most States do not have land use regulations in effect
that are designed to limit population growth in areas adjacent to
nuclear powerplants. An exception is California, where the State's
Energy Resource Conservation and Development Act requires utilities
to purchase land adjacent to energy facility sites upon which increased
population density might in the future pose a threat to public health
and safety. If local governments in the area are already practicing
land use controls which would preclude such population densities, the
utility would not need to purchase the land. Any change in the existing
local regulations, however, could be reviewed by the State energy
commission to insure that. safe population densities would be main-
tained. Should other States follow California's example, perhaps tak-
ing the idea one step further by requiring municipalities to zone out
new development around nuclear installations, the inherent conflicts
of plant siting and land use and economic effects. come into sharp focus.
Usually, powerplants are perceived as enhancing economic growth. It
might work out that quite the opposite would be the case.
2. FINDING A PERnMANENT STORAGE SITE FOR NUCLEAR WASTES
One unresolved nuclear safety issue concerns disposal of radioactive
wastes generated by nuclear power-particularly plutonium waste.
Plutonium is a virulent cancer-causing agent, and one of the most
explosive substances known. By Energy Research and Development
Administration standards, plutonium would need to be stored for
nearly 500.000 years before its radioactivity would reach acceptable
standards. Presently, nuclear wastes are beinr stored in underground
storage tanks, but there have been proposals for construction of above
ground storage facilities to accommodate the increasing volume of
nuclear wastes, while ERDA searches for an appropriate permanent
disposal site and methods for disposal.
Such a permanent disposal site would need to be "geologically
secure" for 200,000 to 500,000 years. Even so, however, unforeseen fac-
tors could result in the release of some materials. For example, plans
by the AEC, predecessor of the Energy Research and Development
Administration, to utilize an abandoned salt mine in Kansas to dem-
onstrate a technique for creating a permanent disposal method had to
be abandoned in 1972. It was discovered that drilling above the mine
could have jeopardized the capacity of the site to keep water away
from the wastes. A conclusion that could be drawn from this incident
is that some kind of land-use planning process must be created which
not only deals with geological considerations, but with the capacity of
future governments to prevent human interference with disposal sites
for a time period several hundred times longer than the life of any
previous civilization on the face of the earth.
In fact, temporary storage of wastes underground requires an ex-
traordinary degree of planning and technical skill. Accidents can hap-
pen. In 1973, 115,000 gallons of radioactive wastes from a storage
facility in Hanford, Wash., seeped into the ground from an undetected
leak. While extensive contamination of surrounding areas was
avoided, the leak-and other similar accidents-point out the risks
inherent in storing such products in liquid form and the virtual im-
possibility of using current planning theory to deal with a range of
eventualities impossible to predict.
3. NUCLEAR POWER PARKS VERSUS DISPERSED SITES
Considerable attention has been given in recent months to the nu-
clear power park concept. Such a -park" would include multiple
nuclear reactors and possibly other nuclear facilities involved in the
nuclear fuel cycle. By dispersed-site standards, a nuclear power park
would have enormous generating power and would require enormous
amounts of land as well. A single park could involve 40 to 60 thousand
acres, an area about 1.5 times the size of the District of Columbia.
One benefit, to energy developers is the fewer number of sites that
would be required. Presently, about 200 nuclear sites have been secured
for dispersed facilities. Without nuclear parks, according to a Gen-
eral Electric Company study,34 dispersed siting needs could double
every decade. With nuclear parks, siting needs would be substan-
tially reduced. The assumption is that a nuclear park site would only
have to be approv-ed once. Thereafter, separate approvals of sites
would not need to be made for each new facility built at the park.
A public benefit proposed for nuclear parks is that greater security
against theft of nuclear materials or terrorist attack could be achieved
than at dispersed sites. Since dispersed siting of nuclear facilities re-
quires considerable transportation of nuclear materials between facili-
ties, the chance of hijack or accidents may be greater with dispersed
sites than at a power park which includes most. facilities that service
the nuclear fuel cycle. Also, a larger security force could be provided
at a power park than at a dispersed site.
However, the safeguards issue cuts both ways. The concentration of
facilities at one site could in fact attract terrorist activities, since the
3, Center for Energy System. General Electric Company, Assessment of Energy Parks vs.
Dispersed Electric Power Generating Facilities. Final Report. May 30, 1975.
advantages to be gained would be so much greater. A successful theft
could yield more plutonium at a power park than at a dispersed site.
Also, since a single nuclear park might provide much of the electricity
for an entire region, a successful terrorist attack on major transmis-
sion lines coming out of the park could literally black out a region of
the country for an indefinite period. Again, as in the case of plutonium
waste disposal, planning procedures would be required for which there
is little, if any precedent.
A key land use question pertaining to nuclear power parks would
be its impact on surrounding areas. By its very nature, a power park
would presumably be located in an isolated area. Much more new
population would be attracted to the area than at a dispersed site, and
secondary growth problems could be severe. In the 1940's, for example,
the effort to develop the atomic bomb resulted in three new cities. Oak
Ridge, Los Alamos, and Hanford, Wash. There is presently no Fed-
eral requirement that urban growth be limited around nuclear facili-
ties, even though plants must be located in low density areas. Second-
ary growth around a power park is likely to be a more serious problem
than at a dispersed site because: (1) There are more nuclear facilities
at a power park, and hence a greater chance of an accident: and (2) a
densely populated area adjacent to a facility could make security more
difficult to maintain.
4. DECOMMISSIONING OF NUCLEAR PLANTS
The question of what to do with a nuclear reactor once it has ceased
operations has only recently received much attention, and has gen-
erally not been a consideration in the siting of new plants. It is clear,
however, that the radioactive parts of a reactor structure can not
simply be left unprotected. Possible decommissioning alternatives in-
clude: (1) Cordoning off the site and keeping it permanently secure
in order to prevent public trespass; (2) dismantling of the radioactive
parts of the facility, and subsequent disposal of these parts in a spe-
cially secured nuclear dump-this would of course require reservation
of land somewhere for this disposal purpose; and (3) burial of the
radioactive parts on site, with continued security arrangements.
Any of these three options would have a significant effect on land
use, and would require new constructs for planning decisions that
would have implications so far into the future that they are impossible
A hydroelectric dam and reservoir generally requires more land
than any other kind of electric generating facility. A typical impound-
ment may require 1,000 to 20,000 acres, and some are far larger. How-
ever, since hydroelectric impoundments may be used for many pur-
poses-including flood control, irrigation, and public recreation,
electric power generation is seldom, if ever, the sole purpose of an
impoundment. Furthermore. unlike coal burning or nuclear power-
plants acreage figures for hydroelectric facilities reflect the land cov-
ered with the primary energy resource-the water.
Since hydroelectric resources are renewable-at least until siltation
ends the effective use of the resource-a long-lived hydroelectric fa-
cility may not actually require much more land than a coal powerplant
fed by surface mining over a comparable period.
The total hydroelectric potential of the United States has been
estimated to be 390,000 MWh electric capacity. Engineering con-
straints, however, cut the figure in half. Of this, however, only about
170,000 MWh are considered to be recoverable through present-day
By the end of 1970, total installed hydroelectric capacity was esti-
mated to be 51,900 MWh. (See fig. 7.) While precise figures on the
amount of land presently utilized for hydroelectric purposes are not
available, the area is probably in excess of 10 million acres. The
Federal Energy Administration, in its draft Environmental Impact
Statement on the President's proposed Energy Independence Act.
estimated that up to 20 million acres could be utilized for hydroelec-
tric purposes by 1985.
U.S. Hydroelectric Power by Region, 1973
East North Central
West North Central
East South Central
West South Central
Et DEVELOPED CAPACITY
Total Potential Capacity: 178.6
Developed Capacity: 55.1
I I I I
25 50 75 10O
Source: Federal Power Commission, 1974.
Figure 8 shows major coal and oil fired powerplants in 1971. As a
consequence of decreased reliability of foreign oil supplies, there may
be widespread conversion of existing oil-fired powerplants to coal.
There may also be a substantial increase in the number of new coal
fired plants. President Ford has set as a national goal of 160 new op-
erating coal-fired plants by 1985.
Power Generation Size, MW S
Shaded Area Indicates TVA Power System
SOURCE: Finklot *t0 1974).
FIGURE 8.-Location of major coal- and oil-fired power units, 1971.
An important consideration in the siting of a large number of new
coal-fired powerplants is possible damage to crops, building struc-
tures, and public health because of increased air pollution, not only to
the local area but to distant regions. Long range transport of air pollut-
ants. with subsequent deposition in distant areas-frequently 1,000 or
more kilometers away-has long been recognized to be a severe air
pollution problem in Scandinavia. which receives a substantial portion
of sulfur oxide pollutants from Continental Europe's industrial cen-
ters. These pollutants have fallen out as highly acidic rainfall, and are
reported to have adversely affected aquatic life and forest growth and
to have resulted in corrosion of building structures.
Increased acidity of rainfall has recently been noted in the United
States-see figure 9-primarily the Eastern United States. In much
of the East, the average acidity of rainfall is estimated to be 100 times
greater than it was several decades ago. Since the problem has only
recently been noted, there is little certainty about the effects-but the
problem is potentially great.
FIGURE 9.-Acidity of rainfall in the United States in the period 17-31 Mar. 1973
(ANON 1974). The map is based on a survey conducted by 16,000 high school
s.tule;ts at 1,100 stations, using a method accurate to -0.5 units or letter
Source: National Academy of Sciences.
The impact of air pollutants on crop productivity is becoming in-
creasingly apparent. A 1974 field experiment in Riverside, Calif.. for
example, found that crops exposed to pollution in the area produced
significantly reduced crop yields when compared to the control crops.
For alfalfa, there was a 38 percent decline in production; for black-
eyed beans-32; lettuce-42; sweet corn-72; and radishes-38 per-
cent reduction.35 Similarly, a comparison of annual ring growth in
similarly aged groups of ponderosa pines in the San Bernardino
mountains of California during the relatively unpolluted 30-year
period between 1910 and 1940 and the more polluted years between
1944 and 1974, showed, that, after adjusting for climatic variability,
20 board feet of merchantable wood was produced per tree between
1910 and 1940 whereas only 5 board feet were produced between 1944
A recent review of research on acid rain by the National Academy
of Sciences noted that there is increasing evidence that acid rain may
harm vegetation, aquatic communities and possibly soils. Some of the
-studies in Sweden and northern New England have found
reductions in forest growth to be correlated with acid rain;
SStatement of Dr. CliftoD Taylor. Statewide Air Pollution Research Center. University
of California, at Hearings held by House Committee on Science and Technology, Nov. 12.
-pine and spruce trees in the vicinity of coal-fired powerplants
have shown a number of growth abnormalities that have been
attributed to acid rain.
-laboratory experiments with simulated acid rain has shown
damage to some species of flowering plants; and impeded leaf
tissue development in yellow birch seedlings;
-acidification of lakes has resulted in declines in certain fish
species, and in some cases the disappearance of some species
from the lakes. Furthermore, certain kinds of algae and zoo-
plankton have been eliminated following acidification of Swed-
-acid rain and snow may leach out important ions from the soil.
One Norwegian study indicates that acid rain may remove
calcium, an essential plant nutrient, from the soil.36
While less is known about the effects of acid rain in the United
States than in Scandinavia, another National Academy of Sciences
study prepared for the Senate Public Works Committee estimated that
the annual cost of acid rain in the United States in terms of crop dam-
age, fish damage, and damage to buildings was $500 million. Far
greater costs in terms of human health were also noted.37
Possible crop damage from coal-burning powerplants may be an
important consideration in the construction of new "mine-mouth"
As previously indicated, some utilities are locating coal-burning
plants close to coal mine sites in order to minimize coal transportation
costs, and to avoid stricter air pollution control requirements which
may be in effect in urban areas. Particularly intense siting of power-
plants is expected in the interior western states, which have large quan-
tities of low sulfur coal-this coal is also low grade fuel, with lower
Btu content than eastern coal. Hence, more of the coal needs to be
burned to produce the same amount of electricity. Intensive develop-
ment of western powerplants could result, in transport of SOX to the
Midwestern States-the breadbasket of the world. Figures 10 and 11
show FEA's estimates of increased SOX and particulate pollution
under varying Project Independence scenarios.
SNational Academy of Science, Mineral Resources and the Environment. Washington,
D.C. 1975, pp. 239-240.
37 National Academy of Science, Air Quality and Stationary Source Emission Control,
Prepared for the Senate Public Works Committee. 94th Congress, 1st Session. Serial
No. 94-4. Mar. 1975, p. 624.
BUSINESS AS USUAL
SO[X] AND PARTICULATES
REGIONS EXCEEDING PRIMARY STANDARDS IN
1972 AND INCREASED LOADINGS IN 1985
Source: Project Independence Report.
SO[X] AND PARTICULATES
REGIONS EXCEEDING PRIMARY STANDARDS
IN 1972 AND
s."INCREKASEDU LUADINU IN 1935
fP :., 3;- ,... --.
.... V __ ~ - ._ --4 ", '
",.A- I .-.. ---.. ,.,
t1 ( __.. _ ,-'-- -- "- -' - -- ._ _'
^Ts^ r- "^- -- ---. '
___^s 0 LA)
Source: Project Independence Report.
'aies [rt _
SOLAR, GEOTHERMAL ENERGY
Solar and geothermal energy are two alternative sources of energy
that many feel will become important contributors to the Nation's
energy supply around the year 2000 if not earlier. The Energy Re-
search and Development Administration has projected that solar
energy could provide a moderate contribution in that time period.
Figures 12 and 13 show located geothermal fields and solar energy
potential across the Nation respectively.
FIGURE 12.-Distribution of Geothermal Resources.
Z Hydrothermal Reservoirs
..J Geopressured Brines
Source: Energy Alternatives.
FIGURE 13.-Distribution of U.S. Solar Energy.
Distribution of Solar Energy over theK.,
United States *
*Figures give solar heat in Btu/ft2
Source: Energy Alternatives.
While geothermal energy is often considered a clean energy source,
it does have some adverse environmental impacts on land and land use.
The chief land impact would stem from land subsidence around geo-
thermal wells, with possible increases in seismic activity. While subsid-
ence could be reduced by reinjection of spent waste waters, little is
known about the effects of this waste disposal technique.
Solar energy, could have a greater impact on the land-particularly
in the Southwestern United States where solar potential is greatest.
Project Independence estimated that 10 square miles would be required
to generate 1000 Mwh of electricity, through a solar thermal system
while a photovoltaic solar system would require 40 square miles for an
equivalent amount of electricity. However, not all the land would be
occupied by the solar collecting devices, and some other kinds of land
uses, such as cattle grazing, could continue. Also, solar energy tech-
nologies are expected to improve in the near future, particularly small-
scale and community level applications-which could reduce land
needs to the point of negligibility and quite possible increase land use
SOME OTHER FACILITIES-MORE LAND USE PROBLEMS
In addition to the land-use impacts discussed thus far, there are
some important impacts associated with some other kinds of energy
facilities which are expected to be constructed in the coming years.
Some of the most illustrative examples include facilities for the im-
portation of liquified natural gas; new oil refineries; deep-water ports;
coal slurry pipelines; and synthetic fuel plants.
LIQUIFIED NATURAL GAS (LNG) IMPORTATION FACILITIES
About seven proposals to construct and/or operate liquified natural
gas importation terminals are now pending before Federal agencies.
The facilities are designed to store the enormous increases in LNG
importation which was projected for the 1973-80 period by the Federal
Power Commission. Some of these facilities would be located in densely
populated port areas such as New York City and Boston. Significant
questions have been raised about possible dangers to public safety if
these facilities are sited in urban areas. LNG accidents, in the past,
have resulted in major loss of life, and have significantly disrupted
FEA's Project Independence Report noted:
The major environmental concerns with LNG are the
human health and safety impacts of an LNG spill or fire.
There have been two major fires to date in LNG facilities.
The first occurred in Cleveland in 1944. where over 100 people
were killed and severe damage was done to the city sewer sys-
tem. as gas exploded inside the pipes. A fire in an empty
Staten Island storage tank in February 1973 killed about 40
3 Project Independence Report, op. cit., p. 213. Interestingly enough, the technical
appendix to Project Independence on energy facilities takes a rather sanguine attitude
towards LNG. The appendix notes: that "LNG possesses no peculiarities-other than cold-
ness-which make it more hazardous to store or handle than other hydrocarbons." The
technical appendix makes no mention of the accidents cited in the main report.
A Federal Power Commission environmental impact statement on
a proposed LNG terminal for Staten Island analyzed possible risks to
inhabitants of the New York region. The study found that 807,000
people live in a "risk corridor" adjacent to the barge path which
would be used in transporting LNG to the facility. While the study did
not estimate fatalities in the event of a major accident, presumably
thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people could be killed or
maimed, since a major LNG release could result in a several square
mile vapor cloud, and since population densities of up to 100,000 people
per square mile characterize parts of the risk corridor.
Enactment of the Deepwater Ports Act of 1974, which establishes
Federal procedures for licensing deepwater ports on the Outer Conti-
nental Shelf, is expected to result in at least some deepwater ports
being constructed in the next decade or so. These ports are designed to
accommodate super-tankers, which presently cannot be docked in
American harbors. The chief impact of these ports in terms of land
use will be on shore facilities needed to service the ports, and secondary
growth and development. As with Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas
development, the magnitude of the impacts will depend largely upon
existing onshore facilities, population base, and planning capacities of
State and local governments in the area.
There are presently 247 refineries in the United States. with a capa-
city of 14.2 million barrels per day. Presently, 9 new refineries are
under construction, and about 36 existing refineries are either being
expanded or rehabilitated. Twenty-five new oil refineries are in the
planning stage. A major siting consideration in the construction of
oil refineries is impact on air quality. FEA estimates that a 200,000
barrels per day refinery would exceed ambient air quality standards
for hydrocarbons 10 to 20 percent of the time. in the immediate vicinity
of the plant-even if no other hydrocarbons are emitted in the area.
FEA noted that even 6 miles from the refinery, the ambient air quality
standards would be exceeded 5 percent of the time.39
SYNTHETIC FUEL PLANTS
Conversion of coal to synthetic fuel on a major scale has been pro-
posed as a means to achieve greater utility of coal resources. Presently,
about 10 synthetic fuel facilities are in thle planning stage. Such facili-
ties could adversely affect air quality, and, if placed in the Western
States, could reduce water supplies in some river systems. As with any
major facility, a synthetic fuel facility could stimulate substantial
COAL SLURRY PIPELINES
Transportation of coal from the mine site to powerplants hlias tradi-
tionally been done by railroads. In recent years, however, coal slurry
9 Project Independence Report. op. cit. p. 204.
pipelines, used to transport pulverized coal in water, have been pro-
posed in some areas of the country. In Arizona, a 270-mile coal slurry
pipeline is presently being used to transport coal from a Black Mesa
mine to a powerplant. Other coal slurry pipelines, including a 1,000
mile line that would carry coal from Wyoming to Arkansas, have been
The direct impact of a coal slurry pipeline on land resources is gen-
erally considered minimal: the line is buried, and the only surface
facility required is a pumping station every few miles. The indirect
impacts could be great, however. For one thing, slurry pipelines re-
quire considerable quantities of water. Removal of such water from
Western States, where water is scarce, could affect othlier land uses
such as agriculture, and future regional development patterns. Fur-
thermore, coal slurry pipelines could adversely affect railroads and
other industrial uses that are dependent upon railroads.
CHAPTER III.-LAND AND ENERGY PLANNING
AT THE STATE LEVEL*
Several States have developed land use planning, coastal zone man-
agement, and energy facility siting programs in the last half decade.
While these new State programs only partially integrate land and
energy decisionmaking, the administrative machinery they have set in
place provides a good foundation for more fully integrated planning
in the future.
The following discussion is divided into two parts. Part I sum-
marizes State-level planning efforts in terms of statewide planning,
and energy facility siting. Part II provides detailed analysis of energy
facility planning legislation from four States, California, Montana.
Maryland, and Minnesota.
COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT
Because of the enactment of the Coastal Zone Management Act in
1972,1 the opportunity for coordinating and integrating land and
energy decisionmaking is presently greatest in coastal areas. This act
provides a framework for resolving conflicts among local. State and
Federal interests under the framework of State coastal zone manage-
ment programs. Since it is also a comprehensive planning program, it
provides a vehicle for integrating energy facility siting decisions with
overall State coastal zone planning priorities.
All 30 coastal and Great Lakes States are developing coastal zone
programs under the act's grant provisions. Once these programs are
approved by the Secretary of Commerce. the administrator of the act.
Federal agency activities have to be consistent with the approved pro-
gram to the extent feasible, except when the Secretary determines that
national security requires otherwise. Many observers think that this
so-called "Federal consistency" provision-unique in Federal law-
will eventually give State governments major new powers over the
activities of Federal agencies. It is presently untested, however, since
no State program has yet been approved.
If the act will indeed give States new leverage over Federal activi-
ties, it also provides some assurance to Federal agencies that "national
interests" will be reflected in State programs. For one thing, as
already mentioned, the "Federal consistency" provision is subject to
override in those cases which the Secretary of Commerce determines
the national security so requires. Furthermore. State management,
programs must provide for "adequate consideration of the national
*This chapter was prepared hy W. Wendell Fletcher, Analyst In Environment and Nat-
ural Resources Policy. Congressional Research Service. Sections in this chapter pprtainine
to State legislation concerning siting are drawn from W. Wendell Fletcher, Energy Facili-
ties Siting. a CRS Multilith. 1975.
I Public Law 92-583.
71-327 0 76 4
interest in the siting of facilities necessary to meet requirements that
are other than local in nature." Given the reluctance of some localities
to approve new energy facilities, this provision is felt by some to be a
step toward giving the Federal Government a kind of de facto over-
ride of local and State siting decisions. Interestingly enough, upon the
preliminary submittal of two State coastal zone programs to the Com-
merce Department for approval, both FEA and ERDA found the
programs inadequate from an energy development perspective. For
example, FEA indicated that the State plans should specifically desig-
nate areas for energy development.2 Neither energy agency has veto
powers over the State programs, however.
With the increasing recognition of the importance of the coastal
zone in energy decisionmaking, amendments to the 1972 act have been
proposed3 to provide greater emphasis upon energy facility planning,
and to develop closer cooperation between State and Federal agencies
in energy matters which affect the coastal zone. A major reason for the
legislation is the conflict over the Federal Government's acceleration
of leasing of Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas lands. Most coastal
States have argued that the leasing program should be postponed until
State coastal programs are approved by the Commerce Department, or
at least delayed until the States have time to develop measures to
ameliorate onshore impacts of the leasing program.
There seems little doubt that energy facility development has be-
come the major political issue in coastal zone management at this time.
Conflicts about coastal energy facilities have been persistent. Some
examples: Delaware's legislature, in 1971, banned new heavy indus-
trial development from the coastal zone following proposals to con-
struct a major new oil refinery and an artificial coal storage island.
Durham, N.H., citizens rejected a proposal to construct an oil refinery
at a 1973 town meeting. A subsequent attempt to override the local
decision in the State legislature failed. In 1975, California's legislature
passed a law prohibiting new pipelines from entering State waters
through 1978, or until the State's coastal zone program is approved by
the Secretary of Commerce.
Several States, including Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, Florida. Oregon,
and Nevada, have recently developed statewide land use planning
processes. Although each State program is different, all of the pro-
grams involve a partial reassertion by the State of land use regulatory
authority traditionally delegated to local governments. Nearly all of
the State programs authorize State involvement in major land use
decisions-those decisions that are considered to be of more than local
concern. Some of the State programs also authorize State involvement
in planning and regulating areas of critical State concern-land that.
because of environmental factors, natural hazards or other reasons,
needs to be developed in an especially careful manner.
2 See "Enirgy and the Coastal Zone: Pulling ;ndil nauling Aniomng the Feds." by Luther
G. Carter, Scieice, June 27. 1975, for a discussion.
3 See S. 586. which was passed by the Senate on July 17, 1975, and H.R. 3981, a some-
what similar house bill. Over 50 bills pertaining to OCS development and the coastal zone
have been introduced in the 94th Congress.
In many cases, the siting of energy facilities is not included in State
land use programs if the State already has an energy facility siting
program. Many States have energy facility siting laws-which often
apply only to powerplants and transmission lines-that are designed
to expedite the siting of energy facilities. Because siting programs
generally involve single purpose planning, there is considerable chance
for conflict with comprehensive planning under the State land use law.
Unlike the coastal zone, where administrative machinery is being
developed to handle conflicts between the States and the Federal Gov-
ernment over energy development, there are no adequate procedures
for integrating and coordinating State and Federal decisions relating
to energy development and land use. Since Federal energy decisions
about energy resources on Federal lands could have major adverse
affects on surrounding regions, there is a likelihood of an increasing
number of conflicts between the States and the Federal Government
unless such procedures are developed soon.
Two land use bills introduced in the 94th Congress-S. 984 and
H.R. 3510-propose to provide such procedures. The overall philos-
ophy of the two bills is similar to that of the Coastal Zone Manage-
S. 984, The Land Resource Planning Assistance Act, would estab-
lish a voluntary system of Federal grants, to be administered by the
Department of Interior, to assist States in developing and implement-
ing land resource programs, and would also encourage States to de-
velop energy siting programs compatible with their land and water
S. 984 requires States seeking grants five years after enactment to
have an operating energy facility planning program as a part of their
land use program. (H.R. 3510 has less detailed requirements for en-
ergy facility planning.) The Senate bill envisions the establishment of
an office of Land Resource Planning Assistance in the Department of
the Interior to administer a $800 million, eight year, land resource
planning grant program. The grants would be used by the States to
develop land resource and energy facility planning programs which
include the establishment of a State land use planning agency, inven-
tory and data collection programs, methods to induce public participa-
tion, and authority to implement the program. A State choosing to
participate in the grant program would be required to develop a pro-
gram to regulate land sales and development projects in predominantly
rural areas and to (1) control development and guide land use in areas
of critical State concern, (2) guide land use in areas impacted by key
facilities, (3) control large-scale development, (4) influence location
of new communities, and (5) promote continued use of food and fiber
The energy facility planning provisions of S. 984 require States
participating in the grant program to develop coordinated review and
approval processes at the State level for new energy facilities. The
energy planning program is to be compatible with State land and
water resource planning. The Federal Energy Administration, not the
Interior Department, is given responsibility to review and approve the
energy planning element of the State land resource program.
Similar in many respects to S. 984. H.R. 3510 requires participating
States to develop land use programs which include a statement of
policies defining the State's role in land use decisions and procedures
for planning or regulating key facilities, large scale subdivisions,
developments of regional impact and areas of critical State concern.
The State program is also to include policies and procedures to pro-
mote continued use and productivity of prime food and fiber produc-
ing lands, and policies and procedures to encourage land use patterns
designed to conserve energy. H.R. 3510 also requires Federal public
land agencies to develop and maintain land use plans for areas under
Both bills would require Federal agency activities significantly
affecting non-Federal land to be consistent with State land use
STATE ENERGY FACILITY SITING LAWS
About eighteen States have recently developed energy facility siting
programs. The jurisdiction of the programs seldom extends beyond
electric powerplants and transmission lines, although two or three of
the most recent programs may include other kinds of energy facilities
such as coal gassification plants. With two or three exceptions, the
primary purpose of the State programs is to expedite the siting of
powerplants. To accomplish this end, most of the programs authorize
override of environmental standards, and local decisionmaking to in-
sure the siting of facilities deemed necessary by the State siting agency.
In general, the siting programs are not concerned with the secondary
growth that major energy facilities tend to stimulate. Some of the
basic characteristics of the State siting programs are described below.
CONSOLIDATED REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF NEW FACILITIES
Streamlining of State review and approval of proposals to con-
struct new powerplants is a key feature of all of the new State siting
laws. In States that do not have siting programs, literally dozens of
permits, licenses or other approvals by separate State agencies must
be secured before a new facility can be constructed. This multiple
approval process has been characterized by the utility industry as
needlessly time consuming; expensive; and in some cases duplicative.
All of the recent State powerplant siting acts consolidate at least some
approval requirements. In some States, "one-stop-shopping," giving
the State siting agency sole authority to approve or disapprove pro-
posed projects, has replaced multiple approvals. In most cases the sit-
ing authority is also authorized to override environmental standards
and other requirements if the agency determines that such an action
is necessary to site a facility considered needed by the agency.
STATE OVERRIDE OF LOCAL ZONING
Most of the new State powerplant siting laws suspend local zoning
regulations and other local requirements in so far as they apply to
powerplants or transmission lines. The Nation's traditional land-use
regulatory authority tends to have only an advisory role on power-
plant siting decisions.
FORECASTING OF ELECTRICITY NEEDS AND SITING NEEDS
All of the State programs require utilities to make long-termn fore-
casts of energy demand and new site needs, but the method involved
varies substantially. Some of the more comprehensive State laws re-
quire independent State projections of energy siting needs; a prelimi-
nary State inventory of acceptable sites; and, in one instance. State
acquisition and reservation of sites for future facilities.
CONSIDERATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND LAND USE FACTORS
There is a great deal of variation among the State programs about
environmental requirements. In all instances, minimization of adverse
environmental impacts is a stated objective of the law. However, some
States permit loosening of environmental regulations if necessary to
expedite. siting of needed facilities, while other States require air
and water pollution requirements to be met in full. All of the new
State programs require consideration of alternative sites for new fa-
cilities, with an analysis of relative environmental costs of each site.
The degree to which coordination and conformity of energy facility
planning with other land use planning is required also varies from
State to State.
ENERGY SITING PRO;RAMIS INx FouR STATES
Despite the high incidence of state siting legislation, only a few
states have developed relatively comprehensive energy siting programs.
These programs include requirements for energy planning by the state
and the utilities. Perhaps the chief distinction between these programs
and the other state energy facility siting laws is the degree to which
the state itself participates in the advanced planning of facility siting.
Four of the most comprehensive State energy siting programs are
Enacted in May 1974, the California Energy Resource Conserva-
tion and Development Act4 is probably the most. comprehensive state
energy facility planning act. A major purpose of the Act is to factor
energy conservation into the energy development equation, and to pro-
vide the institutional means for implementation of energy planning.
The law was preceded by a major report on California's energy
situation, prepared under contract by the Rand Corporation for the
California legislature, the General Assembly. The report, published in
September 1972, had an important influence on the scope and nature
of the legislation.
The assessment recommended, among other things, that the state
itself "formulate and employ measures to slow the growth in the de-
mand for electricity." Recognizing the inevitability of an increased
demand for electricity, the report suggested that. even if the state's
eight percent annual growth in electricity demand could be reduced to
4 Cal. Pub. Res. Code. if 25000 et seq. (West Supp. 1975)
a level of three percent per year, there would still be a substantial need
for new sites for electric facilities in the next three decades.
The report recommended, therefore, a greater state role in siting of
facilities to be coupled with long range planning to reduce the growth
of demand, and to minimize adverse impacts. State oversight would be
(1) The establishment of a state agency with the power to
prevent arbitrary delay in siting needed facilities by state and
local agencies; the capacity to verify the need for new facili-
ties; and the power to coordinate or manage planning.
(2) Overall state guidance in planning the siting of new
facilities. The report envisioned an "interactive planning
process" involving the state, the utilities and the public; state
selection of sites at least four years in advance of construc-
tion, preceded by three years of site evaluation; early and
continuous public participation in the planning process; and
an interim strategy to deal with the transition period in which
some applications for facility siting would already be in the
process of consideration under the previous system.
The report found a need for energy facility planning to be integrated
into a 'broader planning perspective than that likely to be provided by
a siting program alone. In addition to comprehensive energy planning,
the report foresaw a need for a greater state role in land use planning:
There is a need for a statewide land-use policy (and an en-
tity to manage and regulate it). Decisions on powerplant sit-
ing are closely related to questions of equitable land use. In
the absence of a comprehensive policy, it will probably be
necessary to prepare interim state criteria for those aspects of
land use that directly affect siting, in order to provide a basis
for resolving conflicts with local zoning authorities.5
As enacted, the California statute establishes a five member, guber-
natorially appointed and state Senate-confirmed Energy Resources
Conservation and Development Commission. (ERCDC). In addition
to the public members, the Secretary of the State Resources Agency
and the President of the Public Utility Commission serve as non-
voting, ex officio members of the Commission.
Conflict of interest provisions are specified in the Act; no persons
receiving a substantial portion of their income two years prior to ap-
pointment from an electric utility or a manufacturing firm supplying a
utility would be eligible to serve on the commission, and appointed
members of the commission cannot be emnloved by a utility or related
manufacturing industry until two years after they leave the commis-
sion. Similarly, commission members and employees are prohibited
from participating in proceedings pertaining to firms with which they
were previously affiliated. Violation of the conflict of interest provi-
sions is a felony, with possible penalties of a $10.000 fine or imprison-
ment for two years, and commission members are required to post a
$25.000 bond conditioned upon faithful execution of duties.
While the regulatory provisions of the Act apply primarily to elec-
trical facility siting and certification, the Act also calls for develop-
5 Ibid., p. xlii.
ment of an energy resources conservation program and the formulation
of an energy research and development program. These two programs
follow closely the Rand Corporation's recommendation that siting of
electric facilities should be carried out within the context of a broader
energy policy context providing for consideration of other forms of
energy, and facilitating interaction and integration of energy policy
with state policies on land use, environmental quality, transportation,
and urban planning.6
The energy conservation program 7 established by the Act, will in-
clude regulation of lighting, insulation, climate control systems, build-
ing design and construction in order to increase the efficient use of
These regulations are to be implemented through local subdivision
Under the conservation program, standards are to be developed spe-
cifying minimum levels of operating efficiency for appliances that con-
sume a significant amount of electricity.
For electric utilities specifically, the Act requires compliance with
minimum standards of efficiency for new facilities and new sites; and
calls for recommendations to the Governor and Legislature on possible
changes in rate structures, advertising and other promotional activities
which could result in more efficient use of electricity.
Finally, measures which would minimize wasteful, inefficient, and
unnecessary consumption of energy are to be included in environmental
impact statements required for local projects under the California En-
vironmental Policy Act.8 This Act, similar to the National Environ-
mental Policy Act,9 requires environmental impact statements to be
filed on significant actions affecting the environment.
The Act also charges the ERCDC with responsibility for developing
and coordinating a research and development program10 pertaining to
energy supply, consumption, and conservation, in addition to facility
siting R & D. The R & D program is to include such elements as the
following: Development of methods for energy conservation required
by the acts energy conservation program; energy facility design modi-
fication to insure greater efficiency; exploration and development of
geofthermal, solar and other alternative forms of energy; electrical fa-
cility design modification for increased protection from seismic
activity; and improved methods for energy demand forecasting.
In order to anticipate future energy options and their impact, and
to "influence Federal research and development priorities," the
ERCDC is to carry out technical assessments on a variety of topics
pertaining to nuclear energy, coastal and offshore siting of facilities,
cooling, power transmission, efficiency improvement, transportation
mode shifts, recycling, and utilization of waste heat.
Beginning in 1977, the ERCDC is to submit a biennial report11 on
overall energy needs, development, policies, and practices to the Gov-
ernor and the Legislature. This comprehensive report, supported by
extensive information and analysis by utilities, State and local
6 Power Plant Siting in California. op. cit.. xin.
I Cal. Pub. Res. Code 1 25400-25405 (West Supp. 1975).
$Cal. Pub. Res. Code 25400-25405 (West Supp. 1975).
9 42 U.S.C. 1 4321 et seq. (1970).
2 Cal. Pub. Res. Code If 25600-25601 (West Supp. 1975).
11 Cal. Pub. Res. Code 25309 (West Supp. 197.5).
agencies and public hearings and comment is to provide a basis for
State policy and actions relating to approval of new sites and facilities,
their capacity and their potential capacity. Projections of overall
siting needs, based on ERCDC demand forecasts, are to be made for a
ten year period. A list is also to be made of possible sites to meet this
ten year need, with characterization of kind and magnitude of the
facility at each site.
A long range, 20 year projection of the likely environmental, eco-
nomic and social impacts of continuing present trends must be made,
and recommendations on demand reducing policies, energy conserva-
tion and development of potential energy sources are also to be made.
The planning and forecasting requirements of the act include these
Five-, Ten-, Twenty-Year Forecasts.-These forecasts, to be up-
dated every two years, must be prepared by utilities according to a
"common methodology" developed by the ERCDC. Alternative
methodologies, if utilized, must be justified by the utility. The fore-
casts must state the basis for projections of greater demand; estimate
savings that could be achieved through greater efficiency; specify
alternative ways to meet increases in demand; indicate siting needs;
and assess potential increases in capacity at existing sites.
Four Month Public Comment Period.-The forecast is to be for-
warded to the Legislature, relevant State and Federal agencies, and
local governments affected. It is to be available for public inspection
in each county, and may be purchased at cost by the public. In addi-
tion, the State Public Utilities Commission is to submit an independ-
ent evaluation of the forecast to the ERCDC. Public comments and
agency reviews may be submitted to the ERCDC during this four
ERCDC Evaluation and Preliminary Report.-After evaluating
comments by agencies, local governments and the public, the Commis-
sion is to issue a preliminary statewide report on the forecasts made by
all utilities. This report, to be published six months after filing of the
initial forecasts by the utilities, is to assess the accuracy and accept-
ability of the forecasts. It is to contain an assessment of the environ-
mental, economic, safety and health impacts of the facilities proposed:
alternative methods for achieving electricity demand; assessment of
the demand projections; identification of required facilities on a state-
wide and service area basis; and an evaluation of measures by which
demand growth for electricity could be reduced, and the possible effect
of such reduced demand growth on critical environmental and other
resources of the State. The report is to be made available for agency
and public review.
Three months after distribution of the preliminary report, a public
hearing is to be held in Sacramento. Within one year of filing of the
forecasts, the ERCDC is to submit an overall analysis of the accuracy
of the forecasts to the Legislature and the Governor as a part of the
Commission's biennial report discussed above.
The Act gives the ERCDC exclusive authority to certify all sites
and energy facilities in the State.,3 with the important exception of the
permit area covered by the California Coastal Zone Conservation
2 Cal. Pub. Res. Code 1 25-00-25309 (West Supp. 1975).
23 Cal. Pub. Res. Code 11 25500-25542 (West. 1975).
Act.14 In this instance, an additional permit must be applied for and
received from the State coastal commission before construction can
commence. In other cases, the certification process is in lieu of any
other approval required by a State agency and supersedes any State
or local law, ordinance or regulation.
The certification process involves the following major steps:
Notice of Intention of Filing an Application.-This preliminary
application by the utility is designed primarily to assess the suitability
of locating a facility on a proposed site. The utility must specify three
alternative sites for location of the facility and at least one of the
alternative sites may not be located in the coastal zone. After a public
hearing in the counties affected, the Commission must issue a prelimi-
nary report on the notice. The report is to indicate the degree of con-
formity of each alternative site and facility with Commission fore-
oasts, and with applicable State and local laws. Four months after
distribution of the preliminary report for comment, the Commission is
to publish a final report indicating conformity of the alternative sites
and related facilities. After an additional public hearing on the re-
port, the Commission is to rule on the preliminary notice. The notice
may not normally be approved unless the Commission approves two
of the alternative sites. In certain circumstances, the Commission may
approve a notice with only one acceptable site, or, at the request of the
applicant, designate an acceptable site from a State list.
Certification of Site and Facility.-This second stage in the project
review process is to be initiated by an application at least 18 months
prior to the planned construction date. The final application for cer-
tification is concerned with exact specifications, design and other fac-
tors. After a period of agency review, public comment and public
hearings, the Commission is to issue a written decision on the appli-
cation, specifying requirements for certification; degree of conformity
with State and local laws and measures to maximize conformity; pro-
visions for site restoration; and consistency of the project with the
10-year forecast. Projects which do not conform with State or local
regulations may be approved only when there is no prudent or feasible
Of significance to land-use considerations, the act gives special at-
tention to coastal areas, historic preservation districts and estuaries.
Impact on such areas must be considered in projections of siting needs,
and the regulatory process requires special caution when such areas
would be affected. As already mentioned, sites may not be certified
in areas under the regulatory authority of the California Coastal Zone
Conservation Commission except with the prior approval of the
Parks. wilderness, and recreation areas, relatively undeveloped estu-
aries wildlife habitat and historic preservation districts may not be
chosen for site certification unless the ERCDC finds that the facility
would be consistent with the special values of the land area; that
14Cal. Pub. Res. Code 27000 (West. 1975). The California Coastal Zone Conservation
Act was placed on the ballot of the 1972 general election by citizen initiative. It established
seven regional coastal zone commissions, overseen by a state level coastal zone conserva-
tion commission. Charged with the responsibility of developing an overall coastal zone land
use and water use plan for the consideration of the General Assembly 1976. the commis-
sions were given interim powers to regulate essentially any major development proposed
to be placed within 1.000 yards of the mean high tide mark during the planning period.
The planning jurisdiction of the coastal commissions, however. is substantially larger.
there would not be a substantial adverse environmental impact, and
that the public agency in charge of the land approves. The act also
requires special consideration to be given to land under consideration
for designation as a State or Federal wilderness, wildlife or game
In the event that a facility would be located in a coastal or scenic
area, the utility would be required to purchase land for public recrea-
tion. Facilities proposed to be located close to a major water body
would be required to be set back from the shore in order to permit
public use, and to protect scenic and aesthetic values.
Moreover, the act authorizes the ERCDC to require utilities to pur-
chase land adjacent to energy facility sites upon which increased popu-
lation density might in the future be a threat, to public health and
safety. In the event that a local government already practices land use
controls that would preclude such a population density, purchase
would not be necessary. Any change in the existing local ordinance,
however, would be reviewed by ERCDC to insure that the safe popu-
lation density would not be exceeded.
The act authorizes the ERCDC to participate as a party in any
application before a Federal agency, and is authorized to correspond.
confer and cooperate with any Federal agency. Utility forecasts, and
the ERCDC reports are also to be sent for possible comment by rele-
vant Federal agencies. In the certification process, the notice of intent,
the preliminary report, the report on notice of intent, and the appli-
cation for certification must be submitted to relevant Federal agencies
for review. In addition, the application for certification must specify
the Federal agencies which must approve the application; the status
of the Federal review; and the schedule for Federal completion of
Montana has substantial reserves of potentially strippable coal. As
a consequence of the energy crisis and development of new energy tech-
nologies there -are plans for construction of major energy production,
conversion and transmission facilities in the State. For example, major
expansion of strip mining in Montana could lead to construction of
coal-gasification plants near the mine sites, with associated gas pipe-
lines to transport the gas to distant markets.
In anticipation of an energy boom, Montana enacted three laws in
1973 which were designed to reduce the impacts of such development.
including a strip-mining law, and a resource indemnity trust act,
which established a tax on the mine-mouth or wellhead value of non-
renewable resources in order to assist Montana's communities in coping
with adverse environmental, economic and social impacts of energy
In the same year, the Montana legislature enacted the Utility Siting
Act.15 Unlike most State siting acts. which apply only to powerplants
and transmission lines, the Montana act also applies to gasification
and liquefaction plants, pipelines related to these facilities, and geo-
thermal energy facilities, in addition to major powerplants and elec-
trical transmission lines.
Is Mont. Rev. Codes Ann. 70-801 to 70-S123 (Supp. 1974).
The act is administered by the Department of Natural Resources
and Conservation, and the Board of Natural Resources and Conserva-
tion. The Board, a seven member body appointed by the Governor, is
the decisionmaking body for certification of new facilities, and ap-
proval of long range plans. The Department coordinates review of
energy facility proposals by other agencies, evaluates projects and
plans, and does most of the staff work pertaining to the act.
The act is financed through a tax levied on energy industries. A
separate fee to cover the cost of reviewing applications for certifica-
tion of projects is charged.
The act requires each utility to submit an annually updated ten year
plan to the Department of Natural Resources. The plan is to specify
the anticipated location, size and type of facilities to be constructed
during the time period; coordination efforts with other utilities to
meet regional energy needs; and is to contain a description of efforts
to involve environmental and land use planning agencies in the. plan
development, as well as efforts to identify and minimize environmental
problems at the earliest possible stage in the planning process. The
plan is also to include projections of demand for the service, the basis
for such projections, and the extent to which the proposed facilities
will meet those projections. Each utility's long range plan is to be
available for public inspection, and is also to be filed with appropriate
For its part, the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
must conduct a preliminary evaluation of facilities which the utility
expects to construct within the next five years. Information gathered
from this evaluation may be used in the certification proceedings. There
is no advanced certification of these sites however.
Evaluation of long term plans, five year site reviews, and certifica-
tion is to be guided by a number of statutory criteria stated in the. act.
These criteria, too numerous to be cited, pertain to energy needs, land
use impacts, and water resource, air quality, solid waste, radiation, and
noise impacts, in addition to monitoring.
The act establishes a certification process for major energy facilities,
financed by an application fee based on the estimated size of the pro-
posed project. Since the evaluation of the application is detailed, the
filing fee may lbe substantial: in one. instance, the fee amounted to $1.2
million.16 An application for certification must be filed at least two
years before construction of the facility, with the exception of trans-
mission lines, for which application only needs to be filed nine months
prior to construction.
The application must include a description of the proposed site and
facility; a summary of environmental impact studies: a statement of
need for the facility; a description of possible alternative locations for
the facility, and a statement. of the reasons why the proposed site was
chosen. Proof of service of the application to thle local governments in-
volved. including localities that would be affected by the alternative
sites, and to the state agencies with environmental and land use plan-
ning responsibilities in the area must be provided to the Department.
The application must also be available for public inspection.
'sSee William Chri.tianspn. Thp Enerv ('runeh. Stnta ,ovpnrnmrint. Autumn. 1i. 74. p.
207. This application fee was for a 1,400 MW power facility with 450 mile. of related
Upon receipt of the application, the Department of Natural Re-
sources and Conservation is to conduct a six month study on the pro-
posed project. In addition, the Departments of Health and Environ-
mental Science, Highways, Intergovernmental Relations, Fish and
Game and Public Services are also to assess the project in terms of
their own expertise.
The studies are to be forwarded to the Board of Natural Resources
and Conservation, which is to hold a certification proceeding within
two months of their receipt. Parties to the certification include the
applicant, each municipality involved, any resident of such a munici-
pality, non-profit organizations representing environmental health.
historic preservation, consumer or commercial or industrial groups.
and the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
The Board may either approve, conditionally approve or deny the
application. If the board certifies the project, with or without modifi-
cation, it must state in writing the 'basis for the need of the project; its
probable environmental impact; the measures taken to reduce environ-
mental impacts, given the economic feasibility of existing technology;
and the conformity of the project with applicable State and local laws.
However, the Board is specifically authorized to refuse to apply a local
law or regulation it deems unreasonably restrictive.
The Board must find that the proposed facility will not violate State
or Federal air and water quality standards and implementation plans.
The judgment of State and Federal air and water quality agencies are
to be considered conclusive in this matter.
Except for this deferral in judgment to the State air and water
quality agency, no other State or local agency may require a consent or
other approval for construction, operation or maintenance of a facility
defined in the act.
Maryland's Power Plant Siting and Research Act 1" was originally
passed in 1971, but it was amended in 1974. It differs from most State
power plant legislation because it authorizes advanced State acquisi-
tion of sites for new facilities, and establishes an environmental trust
fund, based on a surcharge on electricity generation, to establish a re-
search program to minimize the impacts of powerplants.
The law is administered primarily by the Department of Natural
Resources (DRN), which is authorized to classify sites proposed in a
utility's ten year plan as suitable or unsuitable, administer the environ-
mental trust fund and the power plant environmental research pro-
gram, and is responsible for acquiring a state inventory of potential
sites. The state Public Service Commission, which is responsible for
issuing certificates of public convenience and necessity, and the state
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Economic and Com-
munity Development also have responsibilities under the act.
The act requires the utilities of the state to prepare on an annual
basis, and the Public Service Commission to compile and evaluate, ten
year plans specifying proposed and potential sites for new facilities.
including related transmission lines.
Md. Nat. Res. Code 3-301 to 3-307 (1974).
The Departnit of Natural Resources must conduct a preliminary
environmental assessment of sites proposed in the ten year plan of the
utility within six months of transmittal of the plan from the Public
The environmental impact statement is to specify adverse environ-
mental effects, possible alternative sites, irreversible or irretrievable
commitment, of resources if the site is chosen, and a plan for monitoring
the environmental effects of the project, if approved, with provisions
for remedial action.
If the Department determines on the basis of this evaluation that a
proposed site is unsuitable, the Public Service Commission must delete
it from the ten year plan. The utility is given the opportunity to contest
the deletion of a site, by offering substantial contrary evidence to the
Department of Natural Resources. A 1972 opinion by the State Attor-
ney General indicated that a site which would result, in a violation of
Federal or state environmental standards must be declared unsuitable.
If the. preliminary evaluation suggests that the site is suitable, the
DNR is to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the site. A final en-
vironmental impact statement on the site is to be published at least two
years prior to the proposed date of construction. If the preponderance
of evidence suggests that the preliminary determination of suitability
was faulty, the DNR may request the Public Service Commission to
delete the site from the ten year plan.
Under the Maryland law, actual certification of a proposed facility
is made by the Public Service Commission. not the DNR. The DNR's
responsibility rests primarily in the site evaluation. However, the DNR
is a party to the hearing on certification.
The act establishes an environmental trust fund for the purpose of
minimizing environmental impacts of new energy facilities. This fund
was initially financed by a surcharge on electricity consumption
throughout the state, but was modified in 1974 to a surcharge on elec-
tricity generated so that out of state customers would indirectly con-
tribute to the fund through the surtax by the utility. Money from the
fund is to be used for a continuing research program for evaluation of
powerplant. siting and related environmental and land use factors.
The fund can be used for reimbursement of utilities for environ-
mental research necessary to meet state, local and federal requirements.
and also to finance independent state evaluation of propl),ed projects.
Such evaluations mTay cost $..00,000 to $1,000,000.
The act also authorizes the state itself to acquire plant sites. either
through condemnnation or agreement. The cost of acquisition may be
paid for by tlhe environment, trust, fund.
The rationale behind the acquisition programs is to have a :sufficient
supply of suitable sites available for energy facilities. if a site proposed
by a utility is deemed unsuitable, but the facility itself is considered
necessary within the time period planned by the utility. In the event
that the utility 1)bvys or rents sili, a site from the Stat(e, local zoning or
)thei' ,"gulation- are not applicable to thie site. 'lihe State inventory of
;,quired sites is to consist of four to eight sites at. any given time.
Minnesota's 1973 Powerplant Siting Act 18 requires the State to
develop an inventory of tentatively suitable sites for powerplants and
corridors for transmission lines. This inventory is to form the basis
for designation of future sites for powerplants and transmission lines.
If a utility chooses a site that is not on the State inventory, the site
must be consistent with the criteria and standards employed in devel-
oping the inventory. In most other State powerplant siting acts, the
State evaluates sites proposed by a utility, but does not require pre-
identification of potentially acceptable sites. The Minnesota approach
theoretically gives the State much greater control over the location of
new facilities since it substantially limits potentially available sites;
it may also give the State some control over timing of new facilities
in a given area since sites can be selectively added or substracted from
the inventory. Finally, it may maximize the opportunity for integra-
tion of energy facility planning with other kinds of planning.
The act is administered by the State Environmental Quality Coun-
cil, composed of five directors of State agencies with major environ-
mental responsibilities or impacts, and four members of the citizen's
advisory committee on environmental quality. This advisory com-
mittee, representative of all congressional districts in the State, is a
gubernatorially appointed and State Senate approved body designed
to be a "vehicle for citizen participation in the activities of the
The multidepartmental representation of the Environmental Qual-
ity Council grew out of a recognition that environmental problems
encompassed the responsibilities of several agencies. In addition to its
powerplant siting responsibilities, the legislature gave the council the
authority to coordinate interdepartmental administration of pro-
grams that impact. the environment, and to resolve conflicts between
agencies in a manner consistent with State environmental policy.
Pursuant to the Powerplant Siting Act, the Environmental Quality
Council (EQC) is to establish a "public planning process" to develop
criteria and standards for conducting an inventory of potential facil-
ity sites and transmission line corridors on a statewide basis. The
inventory itself is a map of potentially acceptable sites and transmis-
sion corridors which utilities may use in planning new facilities. The
inventory is to be evaluated, revised and published on a continuous
Utilities planning construction of a new facility within a 5-year
period must submit a plan specifying the general size and type of
facility, and the location of th. utility's ,referred :ite for the facility
plus one alternative -ite. The -itm rmay either be included in the inven-
tory, or may be a site of the utility's own choosing-in which case the
utility must state its reasons for selecting this site in lieu of a site
on the State inventory, and must evaluate the site in terms of the EQC
site inventory criteria.
After publication of the State inventory and submission of the
utilities 5-year plan, the utility may apply to the EQC for designa-
tion of a specific site or corridor for a specific size and type of facility.
8 Minn. Stat. Ann. 116n.51-116C.69 (Supp. 1974).
The lime for the EQC ruling on the application is 1 year for des-
ignations of a site and 6 monthlis for designation of a transmission line,
but the time period may be extended an additional 6 months.
The act lists ten statutory criteria which the EQC is to consider in
(1) Evaluation of research and investigations relating to the
effects on land, water and air resources of large electric power
generating plants and high voltage transmission line corridors
and routes and the effects of water and air discharges from such
plants on public health and welfare, vegetation, animals, mate-
rials and aesthetic values, including base line studies, predictive
modeling, and monitoring of the water and air mass at proposed
sites and sites of operating large electric power generating plants,
evaluation of new or improved methods for minimizing adverse
impacts of water and air discharges and other matters pertain-
ing to the effects of powerplants on the water and air environment;
(2) Environmental evaluation of large electric power generat-
ing plant sites and high voltage transmission line corridors and
routes proposed for future development and expansion and their
relationship to the land, water, air and human resources of the
(3) Evaluation of the effects of new electric power generation
*and transmission technologies and systems related to powerplants
designed to minimize adverse environmental effects;
(4) Evaluation of the potential for beneficial uses of waste
energy from proposed large electric power generating plants;
(5) Analysis of the direct and indirect economic impact of
proposed large electric power generating plants and high voltage
(6) Evaluation of adverse direct and indirect environmental
effects which cannot be avoided should the proposed site and
transmission line corridor or route be accepted;
(7) Evaluation of alternatives to the proposed site and trans-
mission line corridors and routes;
(8) Evaluation of irreversible and irretrievable commitments
of resources should the proposed site and transmission line corri-
dor or route be approved;
(9) Where appropriate, considerations of problems raised by
other State and Federal agencies and local entities;
(10) Where rules and regulations of the council as set forth-
are substantially similar to existing rules and regulations of a
Federal agency to which the utility in the State is subject, the
Federal riiules and regulations shall Ihe applied by the council.2
If the Council approves a site or corridor, it is to issue a certificate
of environmental compatibility.
The certificate of environmental compatibility supersedes any local
requirements for site approval. No certificate of site compatibility may
be issued, however, that would violate State agency regulations. Utili-
ties must apply for permits required by other State agencies pertaining
to the construction and operation of a facility, but the EQC decision
pertaining to site approval is binding upon the other agencies.
20Minn. Star. Ann. 116C.51-116C.69 (Supp. 1974).
The Minnesota law requires the council to adopt "broad spectrum
public participation as a principle of operation." While the act re-
quires advisory committees to be established and public hearings to be
held, it indicates that public participation shall not be limited to these
two devices. As a part of its rulemaking authority, the EQC is required
to establish "minimum guidelines for public participation in the de-
velopment, revision and evaluation and enforcement of any regulation,
plan or program established by the council." All meetings and hear-
ings of the council are lto be open to the public, and the records and
correslo)ondence of the council are to be available for public inspection.
CHAPTER IV.-LAND AND ENERGY CONSIDERATIONS
IN FEDERAL AGENCY PROGRAMS*
Perceptions of the need to integrate land use and energy considera-
tions are beginning to emerge to some degree in those agencies and
departments of the Federal Government which deal with either land
or energy, or both. As an official of the U.S. Geological Survey put it,
"It's hard to do anything in energy without impacting the hell out of
land use." And -a Federal Energy Administration planner said in an
interview, "There's nothing you can do in energy that doesn't impact.
heavily in other areas-there's better and there's worse impacts. And
we're after the better."
While there is near universal recognition in the Federal agencies
contacted for this report of the close interrelationship between energy
programs and land use, the actual responses among these agencies are
various. This chapter is an attempt to list the Federal programs and
activities which integrate land use and energy considerations. The
information presented here was gathered from Federal agencies and
departments which, by their mission, would normally deal with the
interactions of land and energy. This compilation is based on both
written documentation and personal interviews with agency staff
The findings are set forth on an 'agency-by-agency basis, making
interagency comparisons awkward. A more important constraint on
comprehensive analysis is that most of the agency programs are of
quite recent vintage. In fact, many of the research programs reported
here are still underway, with completion dates ranging from 1976 to
3 years hence.
Furthermore, only a few of the studies reported here deal with land
and energy interrelationships as their central focus.
Despite these caveats, there are some general observations that may
be made. For example, among officials interviewed there was a perva-
sive feeling of unease over the extent to which land-and-energy con-
siderations would ultimately be woven into overall agency programs
and policies. The FEA spokesman complained that whereas there was
functional planning for transportation, housing, and other aspects of
the physical infrastructure, functional energy planning had been ab-
sent in comprehensive planning at the State. regional, and local level.
In his view, this was upsetting since, "coordination of functional
planning is land-use planning, and the energy component has been
lacking." Though many planners might argue with this definition of
how comprehensive planning works, it is nevertheless true thlint. only
*This chapter was prepared by Susan R. Abbasi, Analyst In Environment and Natural
Resources Policy, Congressional Research Service.
71-327 0- 76 5
a few States (notably California and Minnesota) and localities have
woven energy considerations into the comprehensive planning fabric.
Evidencing a slightly different perspective, a member of the land
use staff of the Council on Environmental Quality felt that though a
large number of studies and research efforts were devoted to energy
production, very little was being done on the impacts to the com-
munity. With this, the FEA planner agreed "No one in the Federal
Government has leadership in a well defined way for this," he
Both the lack of leadership and the pervasiveness of land use and
energy concerns is emphasized by the large number of interagency
efforts among the Federal programs which attempt to integrate the
two issues. In fact, the most meaningful of the integrative projects are,
insofar as their meaningfulness can be predicted at this time, inter-
agency efforts. As one FEA study has stated, to discuss land use activi-
ties and energy activities together is to discuss virtually the entire
range of human activities.
There is a third concern which may be adduced from the interviews.
Some are concerned that even though many research projects are
interagency efforts and even though they may reveal significant new
ways to handle the essential conflict between land use and energy
development, that in the end such integrative efforts will lack clout.
Most of the officials interviewed were, generally speaking, not en-
thusiastic over the degree to which land-use/energy considerations
were being taking into the account in the actual decisionmaking
process. Thus, although the amount of research is increasing, there is
no definite indication yet that increasing attention will be paid to
land and energy interactions at the level of policy determination. The
relatively low level of priority given to these efforts was revealed by
general dissatisfaction expressed by agency officials over the low level
of staffing for land-and-energy planning. Commented the FEA plan-
ner, "there is essentially no planning function in FEA per se" related
to land use. "We are overwhelmed-we really can't handle it," he said,
referring to his office's workload in the land use/energy area.
Similarly, an Environmental Protection Agency spokesman ex-
pressed dismay over the effect of the day-to-day pressures on the need
to conduct coordinated research with other agencies. Complaining that
it was difficult for the EPA staff to get the attention of the counter-
part staff at the Energy Research and Development Administration
to cooperate in an up-coming energy facility siting conference, he had
to admit, "They're as overworked as we are-there isn't time to do
the work in your own agency and attend all the interagency meetings,
Another characteristic of the issues ii the land/energy interaction
is that Government agencies dealing with land use and energy have
little opportunity to deal forthrightly with national policy. Therefore,
most of the land use-energy programs are directed outward, to be uti-
lized by States and localities. This is particularly true of those studies,
reports, and computer models whose purpose is to predict on-the-
ground land use and energy interactions. The logic in this technical
assistance approach is that use decisions per force dictate many energy
consequences, and land use policy is still almost entirely within the
domain of State and local governments. Computer modelling by the
FEA and ERDA, and handbooks developed by the Department of
Housing and Urban Development and by the National Science Foun-
dation, described in this chapter, are all designed to provide guidance
to local governments on coordinating land use and energy planning.
Following from the present locus of land use policy within State
and local jurisdictions is a further generalization which can be made
about the programs reported here. It appears that the programs which
most successfully focus on the interconnection of land and energy are
most often those of agencies whose mandate has to do with energy,
rather than those which have had to do with land use. This is in part
due to the fact that the Federal Government's role in energy matters
is more substantial than its limited role in land use concerns. The De-
partment of Housing and Urban Development and the Department
of Transportation both have programs which profoundly influence
land uses or involve the direct use of land, and which in turn can have
an important effect on policies dealing with energy use and develop-
ment. Yet these agencies have been somewhat slower to integrate land
and energy considerations than have the new energy agencies such as
the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, and the Federal Energy Adinistration. This
difference is perhaps attributable to the probability that a new agency
has a better chance to introduce new kinds of programs, unimpeded by
the preoccupation with ongoing programs that an established agency
may have. Nevertheless, the fact remains that to the extent that there
is leadership in integrating energy and land use concerns, it tends to be
exercised by those agencies whose mandate has to do with energy
policy rather than by those more traditionally connected with land
This phenomenon is one which should be kept in mind as the pro-
gram descriptions are read. To the extent that the leadership in de-
termining the policy interconnections between land use and energy
comes from energy agencies, it may be well to ask whether their pro-
grams are, or are likely to be, truly integrative. It is quite possible,
and understandable, that land use considerations would be seen as a
subset of energy policy objectives by an agency whose primary pur-
pose is to implement energy policy.
Another important question is whether the studies and programs
described here will find their way into policy considerations and
higher-level decisionmaking. The manpower problems described by
agency staff members, the fragmented leadership, and the possible
lack of influence of programs which make a sincere effort at policy
integration of land use and energy concerns may only produce docu-
ments that gather dust on the shelves, or planning and technical
services that are unused.
The most fundamental question to be kept in mind, from the per-
spective of this report, is whether or not the programs described are
conceived and designed in a wav that will facilitate a national policy
synthesis for land and energy. The very number of these integrative
programs suggest an issue recognized by virtually all the agencies
studied. And while it is often beyond their mandates to integrate
policy at the national level between land use and energy, their current
activities may yet provide insights needed for this process.
ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION (ERDA)
The Energy Research and Development Administration has a rela-
tively new and very broad mandate to carry out research and develop-
miient programs on a wide range of energy production systems and tech-
nologies. The land use ramifications of the energy systems being
explored and developed by ERDA are significant. However, the land
use consequences of the ERDA programs are not a central focus of
their research, since it is centered on the technologies themselves. Even
though these consequences are being looked at directly in one of the
ERDA administrations, whose programs are discussed below, it is
unclear to what extent land use considerations are in fact being inte-
grated into ERDA's over-all decision-making process on priorities
for energy system development.
The ERDA was established by the Energy Reorganization Act of
1974. However, it is not, strictly speaking a new organizational entity,
1)ecIause it inherited the facilities and programs of the Atomic Energy
Commission, which was abolished by the act. Only the licensing and
regulatory functions of AEC were transferred elsewhere, located now
min the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, also established by the act. In
addition to the nuclear energy power generation and weapons research
programs of the AEC, the new ERDA was also given the responsibility
for resea rchli and development programs on nonnuclea r energy develop-
minent in all forms.
There are six program administrations in ERDA: Fossil Energy;
Nuclear Energy; Solar, Geothermal and Advanced Energy Systems;
Environment and Safety; Conservation; and National Security
(weapons and safeguards). Although all six ERDA administrations
have land use implications, it is in the Environment and Safety Ad-
ministration that land use is most directly taken into consideration.
This Administration inherited programs on ecology and land use
modeling that had been initiated under the Atomic Energy Commis-
sion. In addition, it is generally responsible for environmental effects
of ERDA programs, and thus has a broad mandate which could cer-
tainly include future land use studies, as well.
Under the Administration's Division of Biomedical and Environ-
mental Research, the Regional Studies Project involves land use.'
energy computer modeling programs at the national laboratories at
Los Alamos, Livermore, Argonne, Brookhaven, and Oak Ridge. The
program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory began about 5 years ago
under the AEC and is said by ERDA spokesmen to have the most
fully developed land use model. It is being used as a basis for the
regional models at the other labs. The applications are for regional
systems analysis, and so the data base differs from one laboratory to
Much of the input data come from other agencies: ERTS satellite
data are used, as are Geological Survey data on coal, minerals, water,
and topographic data; the Bureau of the Census contributes data on
distribution of population; the Agriculture Department is the source
of information on ground cover; and the Bureau of Business Eco-
nomics is a contributor of socio-economic data.
The Oak Ridge program is geared toward the Appalachian region,
and is designed to provide specific analysis of particular problems,
such as strip mining in a particular area. Other laboratories utilize
applications of computer systems which emphasize different areas of
concern. At Livermore, for example, there is an emphasis on geo-
thermal energy effects: ERDA is working on putting in place a $2
million baseline information program on geothermal/land use con-
cerns, for evaluating such problems as subsidences, saline water dis-
posal, and health impacts connected with geothermal energy develop-
ment in the Imperial Valley.
At Argonne National Laboratory, reclamation of strip-mined areas
is the major emphasis. Moreover, Great Lakes water use data for the
region including North Dakota. South Dakota, Wyoming and Mon-
tana are also available there.
At Brookhaven, the emphasis is on health and on urban impacts.
The Reference Energy System at Brookhaven has been used in studies
for the Federal Energy Administration and other contract studies.
and is designed to give energy consequences of various land use plan-
ning decisions. (Under the discussion of the Federal Energy Adminis-
tration one application of the Brookhaven system is described in more
The Environment and Safety Administration also has underway a
10-volume study providing an analysis of each of the technologies in
ERDA's programs from resource recovery to end use. with assess-
ments of environmental and health impacts, including land impact
Another effort related to land use in the Biomedical and Environ-
mental Research Division is the "environmental research parks." The
AEC acquired large chunks of land in its early days in order to have
available buffer zones around potential nuclear installations. Although
some half of these lands have been disposed of to local governments or
for other public uses. ERDA now possesses lands located in most ma-
jor ecosystem types in the U.S., with parcels averaging 2.000 acres
each. The "parks" have been used as environmental research areas
over the years, sometimes to trace radionucleides through ecosystems.
sometimes for purposes unrelated to the AEC programs. Results of
studies in these areas have been made available to the AEC, but not
always used by them. Some of these areas are now being proposed for
official designation for these purposes.
FEDERAL ENERGY ADMINISTRATION (FEA)
Since its creation in December of 1973, the Federal Energy Admin-
istration has occupied a central role in the roster of Federal energy
agencies. Established first by Executive order as the Federal Energy
Office, and given statutory authority as an independent agency in
May of 1974, its initial focus was on meeting the severe energy short-
age problems of 1973 and the following months. It was designed pri-
marily to deal with energy demand and supply problems through pos-
sible rationing(r and allocation plans and related programs. Includled in
the agency's funcmtions are a number of planning and evaluation activi-
ties. It is through these planning, research, and evaluation fundtions
that FEA deals directly with land use and enerirv relationships. There
are six administrations within FEA : Policy and Analysis; Regulatory
Programs; Manaement and Adninnistration: I;nternational l.Fnerry
71-327 0 76 6
Affairs; Conservation and Environment; and Energy Resource
Insofar as it is clear that all energy -activities will have some im-
pact on land use, it is obvious that all of the six FEA administrations
will have land use consequences to some degree involved in their activi-
ties. However, it is in the Energy Resources Development Adminis-
tration and the Conservation 'and Environment Administration that
land use factors are most directly taken into account.
In the Conservation and Environment Administration, for example,
the Office of Analysis, Evaluation, and Systems Studies has contracted
for several studies which directly involve land use considerations. The
emphasis in this office is on the conservation of energy, and how this
can be achieved through land use planning and better information
One study is a comprehensive analysis of the interactions between
land use and energy utilization. Entitled, "An Overview and Critical
Evaluation of the Relationship Between Land Use and Energy Con-
servation," the report includes historical evolution of these relation-
ships, the legal and governmental framework which shapes land use/
energy interactions, and other factors. It includes a discussion of the
Federal, State and local programs which deal with energy conserva-
tion and hland use. The objective of the study is to assist in the identifi-
cation of energy research priorities.
Another study, for which an interim report was issued in October,
1975, is titled "Land Use and Energy Utilization," contracted by the
Brookhaven National Laboratory and State University of New York.
Based on the Brookhaven Reference Energy System, the contract is
for development of a land use/energy/environment model, designed
for use by local planners. Using Nassau and Suffolk counties for its
initial application, the model is for a computerized system through
which planners could get an evaluation of the gross energy impacts
of a given planning concept. For example, the planner could specify
an area such as low density housing, and get back the consequences of
this use of land for transportation, jobs, commercial areas, and other
needs, including the associated energy demands.
In two separate studies, specific issues related to energy conservation
as it can be achieved through land use are being examined. These
issues include energy conservation in new communities-how best to
plan for conservation, and what kinds of planning are underway now
to achieve it; how land use policy is promulgated at all governmental
levels and how FEA could interject energy planning into land use
issues; the consequences of regional energy optimization (if energy
utilization is optimized on a regional basis, what happens on the na-
tional level to land uses, energy conservation, and other effects) ; im-
pacts of new technologies such as solar and others on land; and social
impacts-if energy usage is minimized through conservation, espe-
cially land use techniques. what are the social consequences?
Through the Office of Analysis, Evaluation, and Systems Studies,
the FEA is also participating in the interagency follow-up effort on
The Co.x.. of Sprin,1 report, issued in 1974 by the Council on En-
vironmental Quality in cooperation with EPA and HUD. This report
deals with economic considerations; the new FEA component is to
show how metropolitan governments can identify energy costs in-
volved in various forms of development.
Another part of the Conservation and Environment Administration,
the industrial group, is involved in questions of facility siting and the
feasibility of energy parks; an environmental regulations group is
examining the problems of "boom towns" associated with energy
In the Energy Resources Development Administration, the other
major part of FEA dealing with land use, resources planners in the
Office of Facility Development and Siting are involved in providing
information and assistance to companies and Government officials in
understanding Government procedures and requirements, and to help
local and State governments recognize energy problems. In several
areas, this involves land use considerations as they are connected to
energy facility development. The Facility Development and Siting
Office has completed, through its adl hoc energy facilities task force,
a comprehensive inventory of future powerplants, based on earlier
research on the Federal Power Commission. The FEA inventory is
designed to provide "a common facility inventory data base to monitor
the changes which have and will occur with time. . ." Although land
use and environmental factors were not included in thle inventory, the
listing can serve as a guide to the locations where future plants a:ire to
The Facility Development and Siting Office also is the screening
unit in FEA for Federal surplus property evaluations: its function is
to determine whether surplus property which is available for disposal
would be useful as an energy facility site. FEA does not assume any
custody of the property, but merely makes a recommendation to the
General Services Administration, which is the agency that carries out
the disposal. Whether a site is eligible for energy use comes into ques-
tion according to a planner in the office, when "some [utility or energy]
company is interested in it."
When this is the case, criteria such as whether water supply is ade-
quate, whether air quality standards would be a problem, and others.
are applied by FEA. and a recommendation is made.
The office is also involved, as staff to the Energy Resources Council,
in providing background information for mineral leasing questions.
FEA. as staff to the ERC, provides the demand assessment for policy
deliberations on the need to lease lands in the West for coal, and on the
Outer Continental Shelf for oil.
Another function involved in this office's role. in expediting energy
development is related to ameliorating secondary impacts of energy de-
velopment. In this connection. FEA funded an Arizona study entitled
the "Energy. Environment and Growthli Plan." The office is also tech-
nical liaison with planning and efforts under the Coastal Zone Manage-
ment Act. Instructions are given to the regional offices in coastal states
on how to integrate considerations of energy needs into state coastal
planning. There is a possibility that FEA may begin participating as
intervenors in site-specific issues, and they have worked specifically on
expediting energy facility development, such as the Pittston refinery
FEA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development re-
cently signed a memorandum of agreement that HUD will encourage
the inclusion of energy factors in its "701" area-wide planning pro-
grams. In some cases, energy plans for areas can be done with grants
from the 701 program.
The Energy Resource Development Administration was primarily
responsible for the "Project Independence" report, which detailed the
consequences of several alternative future energy supply scenarios.
Land use consequences were directly discussed in only a small portion
of that report. Since then, a greater effort has been made to integrate
land-use considerations in updating the report, although the emphasis,
naturally enough, is on energy development and conservation as the
FEDERAL POWER COMMISSION (FPC)
The FPC is an independent regulatory agency functioning pri-
marily as regulator of interstate natural gas rates. It also licenses
non-Federal hydroelectric power generating facilities, keeps an inven-
tory of hydroelectric facilities, regulates various aspects of rates
charged by electric power utilities, and maintains the National Power
Survey and the National Gas Survey which analyze the related issues,
alternatives, and availability of electric power generation and all
phases of natural gas production.
FPC licensing of hydroelectric facilities entails direct land-use de-
cisions in connection with energy production. In its other activities,
however, land use considerations are not factors in the decisionmaking
process, although rate determinations which affect distribution of elec-
tric power and natural gas can have significant land use consequences.
The Power Survey and the Gas Survey are both important working
documents in the assessment of energy needs and production capacity,
but these also do not contain land use components to any significant
Thus the FPC, although an important energy agency in the Federal
Government, is directly concerned in energy activities which may
have land use effects, but it is not among the agencies focusing on the
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (NRC)
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) was established in
October 1974, by the Energy Reorganization Act. The Atomic Energy
Commission was abolished in that act and the. NRC inherited the
former AEC's responsibilities for licensing and providing permit ap-
proval for nuclear power generating facilities.
Obviously, the decision to build a nuclear power plant is an impor-
tant land use decision, since it affects future land uses in the adjacent
areas, and has many secondary development effects as well. Neverthe-
less, in the NRC. the major focus is currently confined to plant safety.
According to NRC spokesmen, land use considerations are most, left
to the State and local officials in the area of the proposed plant. The
NRC considers land questions in the permit approval process only
insofar as there might be questions of safety or feasibility connected
to them, such as earthquake hazard, or water availability.
However, section 207 of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974
gave the NRC a direct land use mandate-to conduct a Nuclear Energy
Center Site Survey, with a report to Congress by October of 1975 on
the location and identification of possible sites for nuclear energy
centers, together with conclusions on the feasibility and practicality
of the concept itself. Such centers are locations where several nuclear
generating stations may be grouped, combined in some cases with fuel
conversion facilities and waste disposal capacity.
The report was delayed until January 1976. Its recommendations of
feasibility have significant land use implications. According to an
NRC summary of the reports' contents, the site survey contains cri-
teria for the selection of suitable locations for such facilities, and
identifies and tabulates Federal land, and other areas of sufficient size,
suitable for siting nuclear energy centers. Criteria and the method-
ology were developed for exclusion of land areas not suited for siting
nuclear energy centers because of population, geologic, seismic, atmos-
pheric, flooding or other considerations, including landuse and legal
constraints. Criteria for appropriate sites include land requirements,
electric power demand data, transmission projections, heat dissipa-
tion capacity of areas, and water availability.
This survey represents an important land use/energy function of
the NRC, and undoubtedly will be a working tool in the land use/
energy policy area.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA)
The Environmental Protection Agency, as the independent regula-
tory agency charged with enforcing a wide range of pollution control
laws, is a focal point in the environmental/energy confrontation which
has developed in the past few years. In addition to its pollution con-
trol enforcement responsibilities, the EPA also carries out research
and development on a wide range of pollution abatement techniques
and strategies. In both the enforcement and research functions in
EPA, land use factors are important, since regulation of pollution can
involve land use strategies for pollution abatement. Moreover, EPA
studies the effects of pollution from the point of view of their land use
The EPA is a participant in a number of intera.gency land use
studies and energy studies, and is directly involved in a number of
ways in the energy/land use interrelationships.
In the office of the Assistant Administrator for Research and De-
velopment. the Office of Energy, Minerals and Industry deals most
directly with the energy/land use issues. Additionally, the Office of
Air. Land and Water Use has some overall planning functions which
deal secondarily with energy impacts.
The Enery,, Minerals, and Industry Office is charged with assess-
ment of the socioeconomic impacts of enerTrv and mineral resource ex-
traction, processing, conversion, and utilization systems. It is also
directed to develop and demonstrate methods of control and manage-
ment of the environmental impacts of such operations, and the identifi-
cation and evaluation of alternatives. These responsibilities have re-
sulted in various studies being contracted by this office, addressing
energy development and its land use and environmental impacts.
The Office has an overall "Integrated Assessment Program" which
is designed to examine energy-related issues that cut across the air,
land, and water environmental boundaries.
Among the studies underway in this program is "A Technology As-
sessminent of Western Energy Resource Development" which is designed
to detail the impacts in the West of all types and all phases of energy
development. This would include coal. oil shale, geothermal, solar, and
othe-r types of energy resources, and would cover mining (both under-
ground and strip mining), transmission, and conversion facilities.
The study, begun early in 1975, is likely to take 3 years. Environmental
effects will be the major focus of the study; a section on land use effects
will include. secondary impacts such as the support facilities, boom-
towns, and other growth associated with energy development. A sepa-
rate assessment is also underway on the electric utility industry, again
focusing on environmental effects and including land use considera-
Another effort of the Energy, Minerals and Industry Office is the
cosponsorship of a conference on energy facility siting, along with the
Energy Research and Development Administration. This is one of an
annual series of conferences at Batelle Institute in which current is-
sues in energy and environment are discussed with participants from
government, academia and public-interest organizations and industry.
The major goal of this conference is to improve data utilization, and
to gain a better understanding of the. data needed for proper energy
siting in order to avoid adverse environmental effects. An associated
effort is an assessment of surface mining reclamation techniques with
the objective of identifying methods to effect full restoration. Part
of this assessment involves premining planning techniques to minimize
Another study, with a regional forum, deals with the effects of en-
ergy development in the Lower Ohio Valley, including land use con-
sequences of energy activities.
The Office of Air, Land, and Water Use has more general land-use
and research planning functions. A reorganization of the Adminis-
tration, however, has specifically excluded from this office's functions
studies of the management of pollutant discharges or waste disposal
that are related to energy, mineral, or industrial processes. Neverthe-
less. the office does undertake studies related to metropolitan trans-
portation planning. These activities involve some land use planning
designed to reduce auto traffic for the purpose of reducing emissions
of air pollutants, which involve the concomitant effect of reducing fuel
usawe as well.
Under the Assistant Administratior for Air and Waste, the inter-
relationships among air quality regulations, energy activities and land
use are dealt with directly. This office deals with the regulations to pre-
vent significant deterioration of air quality. In cooperation with FET,
the office contracted a study titled "An Analysis of the Impact on the
Electric Utility Industry of Alternative Approaches to Significant
Deterioration," which was completed in October 1975. The present
regulations on significant deterioration of air quality involve three
classifications of areas in which powerplants are planned: those in
which no deterioration would be permitted, those in which minimal
deterioration would be permitted and where new facilities could be lo-
cated but with the most stringent pollution control devices available,
and the third classification in which deterioration of air quality to the
level of national standards would be permitted. In the implementation
of these standards, the siting of powerplants and other energy facil-
ities could be affected; the study of the electric utilities' air impacts
considered the effects of mandatory classification I for sensitive areas
and the effects of class II designation on location of power plants now
scheduled to go on line between now and 1985. With the inclusion of
best available technology, it was concluded that very few of the util-
ities looked at would be significantly affected.
In other air quality regulation, the air quality maintenance require-
ments proposed by EPA include the necessity for an air quality main-
tenance plan in areas where standards for ambient air quality can-
not be met by the statutory deadlines. There is a land use component in
these plans, aiming to reduce reliance on automobile transportation,
with consequent reduction in fuel utilization, as well.
Another issue relating to air quality is the mandatory conversion to
coal required under the Energy Supply and Conservation Act. In this
process, the FEA determines which power generating facilities should
be required to convert to coal utilization by prohibiting them from
using oil or natural gas, and EPA examined these orders to determine
whether such conversion would cause violations of air quality regula-
tions. Conversion to coal has some secondary land use impacts includ-
ing increased demand for coal-bearing land, and the problems of waste
disposal of resulting ash discharges.
In EPA there is also an overall Office of Land Use Coordination in
the Administrator's Office. Its mission is to track and coordinate the
functions of EPA that have land-use consequences. However, this
office has not been much involved in energy-related programs except
insofar as it may become involved in the energy and land use questions
that the other offices described here are dealing with.
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (NSF)
The NSF is charged with directing the capabilities and knowledge
of the scientific community into development of useful knowledge and
technology applied to the needs of society. An independent agency,
established in the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, it has
authority to fund research in many areas of concern. It awards grants,
contracts, and enters into cooperative agreements with universities,
nonprofit and other research organizations.
As a result of the energy crisis which developed in the early 1970's,
the number of NSF-funded studies and reports on energy problems
greatlyy increased. However, with the establishment of the Energy
Research and Development Administration (ERDA), NSF is re-
linquishing some of the energy subject areas in which it had been
There are several offices in NSF which are concerned with energy
or land use; however, spokesmen for these offices generally felt that
the interconnection between the two was not the direct focus of atten-
tion in their studies, with just a few exceptions.
The Office of Energy Research and Development Policy provides
direct staff support in the energy area to the Director of NSF in his
role as Presidential Science Adviser. The office does not fund research,
but is concerned with policy analysis. Almost any area of energy tech-
nology and energy needs in relation to scientific capability and re-
search potential could be the subject of this office.
In the Research Applied to National Needs (RANN) program there
are three divisions of relevance to energy or land use: the land use and
growth program, the Energy Division, and the Environmental
Environmental effects of energy development of various types have
been the subject of the Environment Division studies, but a spokesman
indicated land use effects had not been directly considered; in the
Energy Division, to date, basic research on technology for energy pro-
duction or utilization has been the focus, with little to report concern-
ing land use.
In the Land Use program, a study entitled "Land Use, Energy Flow,
and Policy Making in Society" has been completed on contract with
the University of California, Davis. A model named "SPECU-
LATER" was developed, the acronym representing "Simulation Pro-
gram Examining the Causalities Underlying Land, Agriculture,
Transportation and Energy Relationships." One. basic hypothesis re-
ported is that as oil imports increase, agricultural exports will increase
to offset the trade balance. Numerous predictions have emerged, such
as the end of urban sprawl by 1985, a dramatic drop in energy con-
sumption, nearly doubled mass transit utilization by 2000, urban popu-
lation densities of about a third higher in 2000 than now, and others.
In an interoffice NSF project, handbooks for local and State officials
are being prepared on energy conservation. Contracted by the Envi-
ronmental Law Institute, one handbook in the series is on land use as
it relates to energy conservation strategies. Techniques that can be
employed by State and local governments, largely legal maneuvers
such as tax incentives, zoning potential, and model legislation, are
presented in the handbooks.
COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY (CEQ)
The Council on Environmental Quality, located in the Executive
Office of the President, is the Nation's "watchdog" over environmental
affairs. Established by the National Environmental Policy Act of
1969, it consists of three members and a relatively small staff. Among
its duties are reporting annually to the President and Congress on the
state of the environment, and formulating and recommending na-
tional policies to promote environmental improvement. The CEQ per-
forms continuing analyses of changes or trends in the Nation's envi-
ronment, and of activities which have impacts on the environment.
As the relationship between energy and environmental quality has
become, increasingly clear, the CEQ has been involved more and more
heavily in energy projects. Its studies op energy have generally in-
volved land use components.
The Council was the lead agency for development of a data base on
energy development that includes land-use effects. This effort has had
three principal products to date. An initial study, prepared by Hitt-
man Associates in 1974 under contract to CEQ and EPA, (entitled
"Environmental Impacts, Efficiency, and Cost of Energy Supply and
Land Use") produced a large amount of data, largely in tabular form,
which detailed energy-related environmental impacts on land, water,
air and solid waste.
The next stage was the development of MERES-Matrix of Envi-
ronmental Residuals for Energy Systems-to provide an analytical
system for the raw data. This has produced a computerized data base
specifying the water pollution, air pollution, solid waste, land use and
occupational health effects of present and future energy systems. The
data are stored in the Brookhaven National Laboratory computer sys-
tem and incorporated into its energy models data base system.
The. third stage in utilization of these data was issued in May 1975,
as an interagency effort spearheaded by CEQ and also sponsored by
the Energy Research and Development Administration, Environment-
al Protection Agency, Federal Energy Administration, Federal Power
Commission, Bureau of Land Management, Interior Department's
Office of Research and Development, and the National Science Founda-
tion. Entitled "Energy Alternatives: A Comparative Analysis," the
report gives a narrative summary of a wide range of variables and
consequences associated with each of the major energy resource systems
now in use or under active consideration. Included is a consideration of
land use impacts involved in each of these energy resources.
Another CEQ effort, cosponsored by the Federal Energy Adminis-
tration, is the "Western Regional Energy Development Study," con-
tracted to the Radian Corp. The first phase, issued in August 1975,
contains a section on land use impacts of various types of energy de-
velopment scenarios in a chapter on environmental impacts. The final
phase of the study is designed to deal with secondary impacts, and is
expected to describe the land use consequences arising from support
industries, increased urbanization, and other effects of energy
The extension of the Costs of Sprawl report, which includes the en-
ergy effects of various land use configurations, is another interagency
effort in which CEQ is a leading participant.
Past studies sponsored by CEQ relating land use to energy develop-
ment include a multivolume report on development of oil and gas
resources on the outer continental shelf (OCS), of which one volume
deals with onshore land consequences; a study of deepwater ports and
their onshore environmental and land-use impacts; offshore siting of
nuclear powerplants and attendant environmental hazards; and a
study of the siting and safety of liquid natural gas facilities.
In general, CEQ has a broad mandate which permits consideration
of a wide range of energy/land use relationships. It has both an energy
programs and a land use programs staff, both of which have been active
in the programs listed above, and which may become involved in a
wide range of additional topics related to land use and energy.
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE: NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC
Management of Coastal Zone Planning efforts under the Coastal
Zone Management Act of 1972 is the direct responsibility of the Na-
tional Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It is there-
fore a key Federal land-use agency with planning-related activities in
the coastal states, where impacts of energy facility development are
The NOAA was established in reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970,
which brought together a large number of research, information and
weather facilities into one agency, and placed it in the Commerce
Department. However, a large number of ocean-related programs re-
main outside NOAA, among them the mineral leasing functions for
outer continental shelf (OCS) energy resources.
In the Coastal Zone Management Act, NOAA is made the Federal
agency responsible for awarding grants for planning coastal zone
land use management and providing guidelines for participating
States. NOAA also awards grants not only for coastal zone planning
generally, but also for specially designated planning efforts aimed at
ameliorating the onshore effects of OCS energy development and the
construction of related facilities. The latter grants are given on a
two-thirds Federal, one-third State matching basis, and are related to
population size of the coastal counties concerned and the location of
leases for OCS development. However, the guidelines for state plan-
ning under these grants specify only the planning processes that must
be carried out-boundaries defined, facilities identified, etc. They do
not dictate specific land use/energy relationships, or provide policy
guidance. The program requires only that the interrelationships should
be taken into account by the grant recipient.
NOAA also participates through its Office of Coastal Zone Manage-
ment in contracting studies related to land use impacts of energy de-
velopment. It is sponsoring a study of energy facility siting criteria
for coastal areas, and it is a participant with the National Science
Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management in a broad study of
onshore impacts of OCS development.
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD)
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has several
areas of concern which deal quite directly with both energy and land
use activities and which are increasingly addressing the interaction
between them. HUD administers planning grants under section 701
of the Housing Act, which provide funds to local governments for
areawide planning, a process which includes the consideration of
energy and environmental impacts. HUD also carries out research and
demonstration projects for urban technologies which aim to enhance
design and resource use capabilities, and it deals with building code
standards to increase conservation of energy.
Within the past year, there has been an upsurge within HTTUD of pro-
grams in these areas, particularly in the efforts to increase inclusion
of energy considerations in areawide planning.
Under the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and De-
velopment, in the Office of Planning and Management Assistance,
several efforts are underway to integrate energy planning in local func-
tional and land use planning. An interagency memorandum of under-
standing between the FEA and HUD was signed in mid-1975, which
lists several areas of cooperation between the agencies. These include
sharing of information between the agencies and among their clients.
and integrating of energy planning in "701" planning, and in making
"701" planning money available for formulation of community energy
In implementing the agreement, HUD sent a letter to each Gover-
nor, indicating that energy planning can be done with the use of sec-
tion 701 funds; and a number of training efforts for local planners
were set up for joint participation by FEA and HUD to introduce
methods of inclusion of energy considerations into planning for growth
needs and land uses.
A handbook for use in such training sessions has been developed by
HUD, focusing on planning for energy needs and for accommodating
impacts associated with energy resource development. This is the first
handbook in a series of such guides which will address different plan-
Several demonstration projects dealing with energy in planning
have been undertaken by HUD. A Mid-Atlantic Governor's Resources
Coordinating Council was convened under HUD and FEA auspices to
consider the off-shore development of energy resources and how to deal
with onshore impacts associated with it in New York, Delaware, New
Jersey, Pennsylv-ania, and Virginia. A separate effort for California
was undertaken with the same objectives. In Utah, a series of meetings
on the planning needs associated with actual and potential strip min-
ing in that State were held. In all of these sessions, the discussion
centered on planning to ameliorate these impacts, and the use of Fed-
eral and other funds to achieve the needed planning and to carry out
actual programs. A land use/energy workshop for State and local
agencies was planned to deal further with these questions.
Another category of energy-related activities is underway in HUD
in the Office of Policy, Development and Research, to foster develop-
ment of urban technologies which can provide for more efficient re-
source use, reduce the need for energy, and supply energy more
Several efforts are related to these objectives: a residential energy
consumption study in cooperation with the National Science Founda-
tion, and the Environmental Protection Agency to assess various
methods of reducing energy consumption; a system analysis con-
tracted through the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to evaluate ways
of using thermal energy from powerplants in urban heating systems;
and examination of total energy systems for on-site power generation
in residential developments, jointly developed with the National
Bureau of Standards.
The modular integrated utility system (MIUS) program, underway
for over 2 years, is another interagency effort with important implica-
tions for land uses related to energy production and utilization. The
MIUS is a utility system which combines processing plants that gener-
ate electricity, use residual and recycled energy for heating, air con-
ditioning, and hot water, water treatment, and process solid and liquid
wastes. It can be located near appropriate users to minimize the
utility service distribution infrastructure. A number of demonstra-
tions of MIUS are underway. Federal participants are HUD, the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Bureau of
Standards, Atomic Energy Commission (now the Energy Research
and Development Administration) and the Environmental Protection
All of these efforts, although not directed specifically toward their
land use consequences, would have significant implications for the
interaction of energy production or utilization and land use patterns
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR : BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT (BLM)
The BLM is a central Federal land agency and a key energy resource
agency. It is responsible for overall management of some 470 million
acres in the public domain; it also manages the energy resources of all
the federally owned lands, including the National Forests, acquired
lands, and the outer continental shelf (OCS). The federally owned
lands in the West and Alaska, together with the OCS, contain vast
quantities of the Nation's coal and oil resources. The BLM is charged
with making the decisions on which tracts of land in these areas are
to be leased by the Federal Government for the private exploration
and development of the energy resources they may contain. These
are both important energy decisions and critical land-use decisions.
A BLM planning system has 1)een devised to provide the framework
for these decisions, using multiple-resource-use objectives. The system
has been in use since 1969, and by 1974 some half of the public lands
under BLM management were included in the first-generation plans.
Called management framework p1 :ins (MFP's) they include policy
guidance components which provide national objectives for each
resource activity; information components which include resource
inventories for each planning unit; general social and economic data
detailing numerous factors and problems and trends affecting the na-
tional resource lands; and applied social and economic data, including
analysis of national and regional energy requirements and alternative
From this information emerges a plan detailing the interactions and
consequences of policymaking decisions in each of these resource areas.
Manuals are prepared by the Washington Office of BLM for guidance
to the regional offices in preparing the MFP and in the application
The Bureau has devised, for example, the energy minerals activity
recommendation system (EMARS) to work within the land use plan-
ning and programming systems to determine the location, size, timing,
and rehabilitation factors of possible Federal coal leasing areas. The
system operates through a multiple resource evaluation at the field
office level. The field office. examines and evaluates data on: rehabilita-
tion potential of a proposed area following lease and coal production
activities; the resource base, including other resources such as range,
wildlife, forestry, et cetera; surface and mineral ownership; socio-
economic impacts of coal development on the surrounding area; state
and local government requirements; national, regional and local de-
mand for Federal coal. Using these considerations, areas of resolved
conflicts and high coal development potential are derived, and this
information is available for utilization in coal leasing decisions.
In the Office of Economic Analysis, the Program and Policy Analy-
sis Division has instituted a Socioeconomic Studies Program, which is
developing the methodology permitting inclusion of variables in en-
vironmental impact statements for each lease sale by BLM. A section
on land use impacts and requirements is expected to be included in
this methodology. Also under this program, on-shore impacts of off-
shore energy development related to OCS lease sales are studied. The
BLM is a participant in a study under the National Science Founda-
tion and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to
develop methods of estimating the on-shore impacts with some degree
of reliability. Another study of on-shore impacts in a specific area
was undertaken by the University of Alaska for areas in Alaska, using
BLM funds, to estimate the land use requirements associated with
Alaska energy development.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR: U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY (USGS)
Since its origins in 1879, the Geological Survey has been a key land
and resource agency of the Federal Government. It is currently carry-
ing out a greatly expanded version of its original mandate to examine
"the geological structure, mineral resources, and products of the na-
tional domain." It conducts geological surveys, develops the data and
knowledge for evaluating water and mineral resources, and classifies
the Federal lands as to their value in terms of leasable minerals. The
USGS also regulates private leases for oil and gas operations on Fed-
eral lands, including the outer continental shelf, acquired lands,
Indian lands, and others. It grants permits for release exploration
and postlease drilling operations in the OCS, and carries out inspec-
tions to insure compliance. Its over-all objectives in carrying out this
regulation are to ensure maximum utilization and prevent waste of
mineral resources, to limit environmental damage during the extrac-
tion phase, and to protect public health and safety.
In connection with these duties, the USGS operates a broad energy/
land use program for information and data. Under the land and re-
:OIITIrce analysis procrpm there is an interaurencv effort called Resource
and Land Investigntions (RALI). This effort has the mission of im-
proving the resources and land information base for use in policy-
making, planning, and decisionmaking. Begun in 1972, the program is
carried out by all the agencies of the Interior Department, with UTSGS
as the lead unit. Its objectives are to coordinate, acquire, and array
topographic, geologic, hydrologic, biologic, geographic, and other data
in order to provide comprehensive information for decisionmaking.
RALI places emphasis on critical areas, and according to one planner
in the program, over half of its work relates to energy.
R.ALI products are geared toward use by the resource and land
planner at the State and local levels. The major publication is a series
of guidebooks in specific subject areas describing the state of the art in
planning and integration of various factors for the chosen activities.
tilizing major input by various Interior Department agencies
and some contracted studies, several guidebooks on land use and energy
questions have been produced, dealing with:
-Siting of energy transmission corridors, prepared under the
supervision of the Bureau of Land Management. This guidebook
covers transmission lines, pipelines, and all the major factors
involved, including physical economic and social variables to be
-A critical environmental areas study, prepared by the USGS
Office of Land and Water Resources Planning. This guidebook
is to facilitate state level land use planning in ecologically
-State land inventory and data handling. This guidebook will
identify the needs for data and information in state planning.
-On-shore impacts of outer continental shelf development, pre-
pared by the New England River Basins Commission. This
effort is designed to provide guidelines for planning to accom-
modate, the on-shore impacts of offshore energy resource devel-
opment, identifying the factors to be considered.
An annotated study, in addition to the guidebook efforts, has been
contracted to the Mitre Corp., titled "An Approach to Environmental
Assessment with Application to Western Coal Development." A
primer on the status and progress of all State mined-area reclamation
efforts, and a study on the relationship of local planning to State
reclamation efforts are other BLM efforts.
The Land and Resource Analysis Division has another program in
UTSGS which is designed to provide for USGS the kind of coordina-
tion of the same objectives that RALI provides for the entire Interior
Department. This program is geared more toward the urban areas,
according to a planner in the program, and toward assessing the re-
sources that are part of them. Energy is not a very significant aspect
of this effort, although its role is growing to some extent. The Puget
Sound area, for example, is being studied to identify actual or poten-
tial on-shore impacts from energy development. However, the em-
phasis is on the earth-science aspects only, assessing the geologicM dan-
gers of locating refineries, or other energy-related development in
Other ITSGS divisions have programs in energy which deal with
the interconnection w-ith land resources, such as the energy lands pro-
gram in the Geologic Division which is assessing the environmental
constraints on energy development. The Water Resources Division is
doing a project on the interaction of coal mining and oil shale develop-
ment with water needs in the Yampa River Basin in Colorado. using
baseline data collection and simulation modeling. In the Geothermal
program. environmental impacts are being assessed. The ITSGS Com-
puterized Resources Information Bank (CRIB) is designed to include
both domestic and international entries on minerals and material re-
sources, information that could be widely applied in energy and land
In addition to the agencies already described, there are others which
deal occasionally with the energy/land use interconnection as a pe-
ripheral concern to their main functions. Some of these have major
land use or energy functions, but they are not among those which
have dealt explicitly to a significant degree with the interactions
between land use and energy.
Among such agencies are the following:
Department of Agriculture.-Policies for the uses of agricultural
lands are often interconnected with availability of energy resources
for use in operating farm machinery and for use in fertilizers. The
Department also houses the Forest Service, a major land use manage-
ment agency. In July of 1975 the Forest Service published "National
Forest Landscape Management: Utilities." This was volume 2, chapter
2 of a series of handbooks for dealing with specific functions or areas
of concern to the Forest Service in its resource management activities.
It dealt with ways to plan utility system routes and facilities so as to
minimize disruptions of the lands under its jurisdiction.
Energy Resour.ce Council.-The Council was established in the
Energy Reorganization Act of 1974. It is composed of the heads of
most major Federal departments and agencies and charged with the
consideration of energy policy at the highest level. In this role the
council will often consider the many policy areas in which land use
and energy interact or conflict.
Department of Transportation.-A list of the many ways the DOT
carries out its functions in ways that impact on energy and land use
would be very extensive. However, the Department itself has not been
considering these two concerns-as they interact-to any great extent
in current activities. Energy-saving mass transit systems are a major
concern in the Department; but this is not being discussed in the con-
text of influencing land use patterns at the present time.
Tennessee Valley Authority.-The TVA does some kinds of plan-
ning for the areas under its jurisdiction and assists planning efforts
by local governments. Since TVA is a major producer of electricity in
the area, it has several functions which do integrate energy and land
use considerations. However, it has not emerged as a major contributor
to efforts concerning general energy/land use policies for areas beyond
its own jurisdiction.
CHAPTER V.-VECTORS FOR POLICY INTEGRATION*
A conclusion that. may be. drawn at this point is this: Not only is it
necessary to integrate energy planning with land use planning in the
United States, but in tentative, often crude ways, integration is begin-
ning to happen through state legislation and through Federal agency
programs. There are for governmental policyvmakers, existing "vec-
tors" for integration already in place. Chief among them are transpor-
tation, water resource planning, and environmental controls. By
manipulating transportation policy, for example, one can save both
energy and land. Mass transit, in metropolitan as well as interurban
terms, can produce energy-and-land-efficient settlement. In contrast,
continued emphasis on automobiles and limited access highways in
transportation policy would simply continue the sprawl-causing,
energy-wasteful settlement pattern that exists today.
Water resource allocation policy, too, is a vector for governmental
interv-ention in land and eiiergy de(.isionmaking. A policy tipped too
far in behalf of water-demanding energy development can reduce
agriculturnal production, a critical issue in thbeN days of world food
crisis. Further, a water policy inducing urban or industrial land useo-
lbromlght about by a commitment to energy facility siting in agricul-
tural areas-lias caused concern among agricultural eNxp)erts about
the effects of pollution.' E. A. Schuck believes that many crops, though
not always showing it, "suffer up to 50 percent reduction in growth
rate and yields" because of pollution.
T. W. Edminster told a House committee that-"air pollutants cause
an estimated $500 million annual loss to agriculture." Walter W. Heck
of the U.S. Department of Agriculture states: "The potential effect
of an increase in oxidant and, or sulfur dioxide concentration is diffi-
cult to forecast. At some level the genetic resistallice within ;i specie-
is not sufficient to cope with a pollution insult."
Water, so necessary to energy development, to agriculture, and to
urban development, is a means by which policymakers can balance the
need for energy and the need for environmental quality especially in
high-productivity agricultural areas.
A third vector is statutory environmental controls. These controls.
primarily air and water pollution laws together with the XEPA en-
vironmental impact statement process, can be used to create a balanced
land and energy development and conservation policy. Air and water
pollution standards can control the location of facilities-including
*This chapter was prepared by Connie A. Musgrove. Howard A. Brown, and W. Wendell
Fletcher whose contributions are noted throughout the text. The Introduction is by
Charles E. Little.
1 See Biniek. .TJoseph P. in Potential Efferts of Aprillenation of Air and Water Qnlity
Standards in Aericulture and Rurani Development. T.S. RSenntp Committee on A2,rlclilturp
and Forestry. U.S. Govt. Print. Off. Waghington. 1975. pp. 15-19. The quotes are from
papers collected by Mr. Biniek and cited In his introduction.
71-327 0- 76 7
energy facilities-and in not-so-subtle ways control the primary uses
of land as well, leading to energy conservation.
This chapter of the report describes how these three vectors for land
and energy policy integration work. The point on describing them is
that these mechanisms are already in place at the Federal level and
in many states as well. The three vectors, among others, are a means
by which Federal and State Governments can create land and energy
policy right now, without further statutory authority. And yet this
approach should not imply that no new legislation is called for. Neces-
sarily, the manipulation of land and energy policy by means of "vec-
tors" is fragmented, difficult to coordinate, and ultimately may not
produce a result wholly in accord with national sentiment on the
thorny issues of growth.
The fact is that energy development and land development go hand
in hand, as do land conservation and energy conservation. Though, the
American consensus on development versus conservation is anybody's
guess in these changing times, some day the Congress may be able to
express a means to achieve consensus in legislation requiring compre-
hensive planning for land and energy. Meanwhile, the Federal Gov-
ernment and other governments, can, by using the vectors for policy
integration effectively, at least avoid the infinitely worse alternative
of abrogating land-and-energy decisions to those whose concern for
the public interest may be quite narrowly construed.
The search for footholds from which to formulate a coordinated
national energy and land development program has lead to the ex-
amination of various program planning interfaces. Because of both
the amount of energy it commands and the direct influence it has on
the shape of land development, Federal transportation policy emerges
as a prime candidate. What is even more significant about the use of
transportation as a policy vector for energy/land use coordination is
that, historically, the Federal role more than any other factor in U.S.
transportation planning has determined the shape of the country's
transportation network. Thus, Federal policy has been the major
determinant of the energy consumption and land settlement patterns
characteristic of the present system.
In order to assess the degree to which transportation would be a
successful policy vehicle for addressing the energy/land conservation
issue, it is necessary to examine the existing relationships among
transportation, energy consumption and land use; to analyze the capa-
bility of present national transportation policy to respond to national
needs; and to determine the extent to which transportation research
and development plans are sufficiently innovative and flexible to be
part of a comprehensive proposal for future energy/land conserva-
tion and development.
*This section of Chapter Five was prepared by Connie A. Musgrove. Analyst In Environ-
ment and Natural Resources Policy, Congressional Research Service.
THE RELATIONSHIP: ENERGY
Transportation consumes 25 percent of the total energy used in this
country. Since 1950, the average annual growth rate in transportation
energy consumption has been approximately 3.23 percent, with a sud-
den upsurge to 4.5 percent between 1965 and 1972.2 Within the trans-
portation sector-both inter- and intra-city freight and passenger-
automobiles use 55 percent of all energy, trucks 21 percent, aircraft
7.5 percent, and rails approximately 3.3 percent of transportation
energy consumption.3 The growth rate within each of these sectors
varies considerably favoring the less energy efficient modes. Tables
I-III illustrate their relative shift over time.
Coupled with the increased growth rates of the more energy con-
sumptive modes has been the dramatic decline in transit ridership
during the last thirty years. In 1950, transit ridership reached more
than 17 billion passengers carried. This figure fell to nearly 6.5 billion
in 1972 with only a very slight increase between 1972-74.4
In the mid-1970's, the transportation sector by some estimates uses
about 55 percent of the petroleum consumed in the United States.
Before the Arab oil embargo and the sudden national attention to-
wards energy conservation, government projections placed the per-
centage of petroleum supply used in transportation at 72.3 by the year
2000.5 Since the Arab oil embargo, projections for future energy con-
sumption and growth rates have been revised. Discrepancies among
various government, industry and other research projections illustrate
the confusion existing over what our actual future energy situation
will be in 1985 or 2000 based upon any of the proposed energy use
TABLE 1.-INTERCITY PASSENGER TRAFFIC AND ENERGY CONSUMPTION I
passenger- Percent of total passenger-miles Total (Btu/
miles energy 3 passenger-
Year (109) Automobile Airplane Bus Railroad (1012 Btu) miles)
1950------------ ........... 510 86.1 2.0 5.2 6.4 2,040 4,030
1955------------. 720 89.5 3.2 3.6 4.0 3,000 4,210
1960------------............ 780 90.1 4.3 2.5 2.8 3,390 4,340
1965------------. 920 88.8 6.3 2.6 1.9 4,100 4,470
1970--....----------..... 1,180 87.0 9.7 2.1 .9 5,510 4,690
1980 -....... 1,710 85.0 13.0 1.5 .5 8,370 4,890
1990........ 2,240 84.0 15.0 1.0 ------------ 11,280 5,040
2000 ........ 2,770 83.0 17.0 ----------------------- 14,340 5,180
1 Data from Statistical Abstract (1970) and from Transportation Facts and Trends (1971).
2 Data from Rice (1970) as approximate values for mid-1960's.
Source: Hirst, Eric. "Energy Consumption for Transportation in the U.S.," ORNL-NSF-EP-15, Oak Ridge. Tenn., March
1972. 34 pp.
2 Ford Foundation. Energy Policy Project. Final Report. A Time to Choose: America's
Energy Future. Cambridge. Mass., 1974. 511 pages.
3 Hirst, Eric. Energy Consumption for Transportation in the U.S. ORNLr-NSF-EP-15.
Oak Ridge, Tenn.. March 1972, 34 pages.
SAmerican Public Transit Association. Transit Fact Book. 1974-1975 Edition. Wash-
ington. D.C. March 1975. 31 pages.
s U.S. Department of Interior. Bureau of Mines News Release, March 9, 1971 and circular
8384. 1968. As quoted In "Energy Consumption for Transportation in the U.S. Eric Hirst.
ORNL-NSF-EP-15, 1972, page 3.
TABLE [I.-ENERGY REQUIREMENTS OF PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION MODES I
Miles per gallon of fuel or
Passengers Vehicle Passenger
Heavy rail transit (subway) car, peak load. -.------------------------ 135.0 4.00 540
Intercity passenger train ..------------------------------------------ 540-720.0 .50 270-360
Transit bus, peakload4 ..---------------------------------------. 75.0 4.10 307
Intercity buss..--------------------------------------- ---.. -.. 47.0 6.00 282
Commuter rail car diesel powered 2.......---------------------------------- 125.0 2.00 250
Heavy rail transit (subway) car, offpeakload2.------------------------ 35.0 4.00 140
Transit bus, offpeak load 4.----------------------------------------- 30.0 4.10 123
Rail turbine train 3..------------------------------------------------ 320.0 .33 110
Standard size automobile intercity maximum load-.....-------------.----- 6.0 18.00 108
Standard size automobile urban, maximum load .----------------------- 6.0 14.40 86
Wide-body commercial jet aircraft, 1,000 miles flight 71................. 256-385.0 .14-.22 54-60
Twin jet commercial aircraft, 500 mile flight 7 ...............----------.. --... 68-106.0 .44-.54 37-47
Average commuter automobile 2----------.... --------.........-.. ............---.-.-- 1.4 13.5 19
1 Transit Fact Book, 1974-75 edition, American Public Transit Association, Washington, D.C., March 1975, 31 pp.
2 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation.
S National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak).
4 Cleveland Transit System.
SU.S Department of Transportation, Transportation System Center.
I U.S Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.
7 National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
TABLE 111.-ENERGY-EFFICIENCY OF VARIOUS AIRCRAFT
(Btu/seat- Speed (miles
Type of aircraft and year mile) per hour)
DC-3,1940's ------------------------------------------------------- 2,630 150
DC-6, 1950's------------ -----...--------------------- ----------------- 3, 130 270
DC-7, late 1950's--------------.------...------..--------------------------. 3,030 330
Electra, 1960's..--------.-. ----------.......---..-----.----------------------- 3,330 400
DC-8, 1960's and after ----------------------------------------------------- 4,000 525
B-747, 1970 and after---. ----- --------------------------------------2,700 575
SST, proposed......---.---. ---------------------- ----------------------- 6,250 1,200
1 Data from historical perspective in transport system development (1970) as reported in energy consumption for trans-
portation in the United States (Hirst, 1972).
Much of the discrepancy is concerned with predicted increases in
miles per gallon of autos, the percentage of compact or subcompact
size vehicles, alternative public transport available, and the develop-
ment of alternate fuels technology, et cetera. Thus, recent events have
made the forecasting of the long-term level of transportation fuel
THE RELATIONSHIP: LAND USE
The relationship of transportation to land use is threefold. First,
present transportation systems, by nature, require space. Highways,
local streets, parking lots, et cetera account for 25 percent or more of
land uses in urban areas. In 1968, there were over 31 million miles of
roads and streets in the nation supporting nearly 2.8 billion daily ve-
hicle miles of travel. Approximately 350,000 million miles and 45
percent of vehicle miles traveled were in urbanized areas of over
50,000 population. To accommodate the projected doubling of vehicle
miles traveled between 1970 and 1990, the U.S. Department of Trans-
portation estimates that the mileage of urban arterials and collectors,
for example, will increase by close to 90 percent with local street sys-
tems increasing 75 percent given the 50-percent increase expected in
The second relationship stems from the development patterns aris-
ing from the transportation corridors. One of the serious concerns of
land conservationists is strip development--the tendency for uncon-
trolled commercial, industrial, as well as residential growth to spring
up along highways and freeway interchanges, aggravating the prob-
lem of urban sprawl. In hearings on the future highway program
conducted by the Senate Committee on Public Works, the National
Resources Defense Council testified that Federal transportation money
has been spent in a way that encourages low-density land use, with
metropolitan areas spreading out to cover huge land areas. From 1950
to 1970, this sprawl grew from 18 million to 35 million acres. If present
trends continue, it is estimated that this sprawl will triple in size from
1970 to the year 2020.7
This predominantly low-density development (ieahracterizes the in-
terrelationship of transportation, land use, and energy consumption
and gives rise to the third interface. As development has caused differ-
ent activities to be separated from each other an(l more and longer
auto trips are made because low density development does not usually
generate sufficient demand for transit service, this sprawl pattern con-
sumes a greater amount of energy for transportation purposes. The
"Costs of Sprawl", a cost analysis study of land development prepared
for the President's Council on Environmental Quality, examined the
travel characteristics of different, community prototypes. The findings
indicate that with regard to gasoline consumption related only to
transportation within the model communities of 10,000 dwelling units,
the low density unplanned pattern consumed approximately 855
barrels per day of petroleum as compared with 695 barrels per day for
low density clustered developments, a savings of 19 percent.8
NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION POLICY: CURRENT LEGISLATION
The pressing constraints of energy, land use and environmental
quality are requiring that present and future transportation develop-
ment and planning must expand its goals beyond the movement of
people and goods safely, efficiently, and with the greatest freedom of
mobility. While the need for multidisciplinary planning wnas foreseen
early in the. Nation's transportation history, it has never been thor-
oughly established in the planning process. Much of tlhe problem lies
in the lack of any coherent national transportation policy and a co-
ordinated framework with which to carry it out.
Federal involvement in transportation has traditionally consisted
of a conglomerate of unrelated transportation programs clh racterized
by intensive support, of highway construction. It was the 1962 Federal-
Aid Highway Act that, legislated wliat up until that point had been
6 U.S. Department of Transportation. Federal Hichway Administration. 1972 National
Highway Needs Report. March 1972. Washington, D.C. p. 4.
T Regional Plan Association. Implementlne Replonal PlanninL in the Tri-State Ne'w Ynrk
Region. fApril 1975.p. 10 a n quoted lby National Retources Defense Council before
the U.S. Senate Commltte, on Public Works. Subcommittee on Trannsportntion. Iearinus
July 1975. Future of the Hichway Program. Washington. D.C. U.S. GPO 1S50 p
8 Real Estate Research Corporation. The Costs of Sprawl. Prepared for the Council
on Environmental Quality. TJ.S. Department of Hoiisinc. and U'rlian D)evlopment. and
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. April 1974. U.S. O.P.O.
rhetoric and voluntary action-comprehensive planning. Section 134
of Title 23 reads * *
After July 1, 1965, the Secretary of Transportation shall
not approve.., any program of projects in any urban area
of more than 50,000 population unless he finds that such
projects are based on a continuing comprehensive transporta-
tion planning process carried out cooperatively by the states
and local communities...
This has come to be known as the "3C" or "134" planning process.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Urban
Mass Transportation Administration provide funds to finance regional
planning agencies. By 1973, in half of the urbanized areas, the 3C
planning agencies and the transit planning agencies were under the
same roof; but in the other half, they were separate organizations,
thus limiting the possibility for proper coordination.
The 1973 Federal Aid Highway Act made two contributions in the
area of urban transportation planning. It provided that one-half per-
cent of the funds authorized to be appropriated for the Federal-aid
systems shall be available to carry out the "134 planning process." In
addition, it said these funds, apportioned to the States, shall be made
available to the "metropolitan planning organization designated by
the states." Thus, the 1973 amendment provided the basis for the Sec-
retary of Transportation to direct the Governors to designate a single
planning agency in all urbanized areas that would be recipients of
highway and mass transit planning funds. It took 11 years since the
original provision in 1962 was enacted to bring highway, transit, and
land use planners together.
The 3C transportation planning as currently carried out is viewed
by many to be inadequate because it fails to recognize the comprehen-
sive nature of urban systems and, in particular, the interdependence
of land use, transportation-including all modes of travel-as well as
environmental factors. In addition, this mechanism, in its present
state, has limited ability for integrating energy consciousness into the
system without initiating energy conservation goals and implementing
them through mass transit development-an objective not yet totally
embraced in national transportation legislation.
Up until the time of the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1974, States
were left with little choice but to choose the 90 percent Federal assist-
ance for the building of interstate links to meet their needs for expand-
ing transportation facilities. It was only after long, drawn out, and
highly emotional debate, that the door of the highway trust fund was
opened to divert funds to public transit assistance as well as to substi-
tute certain proposed urban interstate links with public transportation
projects. Ironically, the arguments supporting such legislation were
all based on the needed flexibility to integrate transportation planning
with other national and regional objectives-a principle supposedly
already written into law.
NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION POLICY: PROPOSALS
It is in this atmosphere of Federal recalcitrance that one examines
three recent national studies for their analysis of the transportation/
energy/land use interface and their proposals for effectuating a com-
prehensive national plan. "The 1975 National Transportation Policy
Report", the Rockefeller Task Force Report, "The Use of Laid," and
the Energy Research and Development Administration's National
Plan for Energy Research, Development and Demonstration represent
three approaches to addressing the stated interrelationships. First,
from the standpoint of transportation policy; next, from that of na-
tional energy development and conservation; and, finally, from the
viewpoint of land development and conservation.
The National Transportation Policy Report was published in Sep-
tember 1975 by the U.S. Department of Transportation. It is the first
attempt by the Federal Government to define the needs in national
transportation planning and to establish guidelines for a national
policy. Admittedly, it is a preliminary document. However, certain
basic premises are clear: (a) the automobile will remain the primary
source of transportation for most Americans for the foreseeable
future; (b) completion of the Interstate Highway System will have
the highest priority; and (c) private capital and the market place
should be the principal mechanisms for providing the development
and maintenance of the Nation's transportation systems.
Energy conservation is a key issue throughout the report. Five near
and midterm options are outlined and directed primarily at the
-a national 55 mile per hour speed limit
-automobile fuel economy improvement (40 percent improve-
ment in new car mileage by 1980)
-carpooling promotional and information programs
-improved urban traffic management and transit service as a
condition of urban highway and mass transit funding; and
-a seven point Federal aviation jet fuel conservation program
(this category mainly emphasized ground and taxiing control,
optimum cruising speeds, and altitudes and air traffic flow pro-
cedures, rather than the development of more fuel efficient
The program options arc largely geared toward voluntary or good
faith efforts based on general energy conservation guidelines consistent
with Project Independence's 1985 deadline. They are not nor do they
appear intended to be a long range aggressive Federal effort toward
altering transportation patterns or attitudes to meet an eventual
world petroleum shortage or depletion.
The report seriously neglects the land use question. One statement
summed up the objective-"Our continuing policy will be to provide
increased flexibility to local officials in the use of Federal-aid urban
transportation funds, enabling these funds to be used for either high-
way or transit needs as best. services local transportation and land use
objectives."10 No attempt. was made to emplihasize the connection be-
tween transportation trends and the resultant sprawl development or
to link transportation energy consumption with land use development
patterns. While the Department will continue to integrate its trans-
'A Statement of Nntlnnnl Trnnsportntion Policy by the Seertnry of Trnnsportntion.
U.S. Govt. Print Off. Wnshalnton, D.C. p. 39.
'0Ibid.. p. 38.
portation planning into overall land use planning, a questionable
activity based on its previous track record, it considers the institutional
barriers to be primarily local ones.
The Rockefeller Task Force Report, "The Use of Land," 1 is an ex-
amination of opportunities for improvements in urban growth and
development and in protecting the country's natural, cultural and
aesthetic resources. The study was undertaken and written before the
1973 Arab oil embargo dramatized the seriousness of the energy situa-
tion and launched the nation into an energy conservation conscious-
ness. Thus, the energy leg of the transportation/energy/land use
conservation equation is only briefly referred to in terms of a need for
further incentives to develop more dense, self-contained communities.
The study's attention to the interface between transportation and
land use conservation and development is not extensive. Consideration
is limited primarily to discussion of transport needs for low-density
developmentt. The report does recognize that new transportation
arteries afford government the opportunity to channel development
forces. This opportunity is contingent, however, upon government
entities with powers of eminent domain, and authority to override
local land use regulations and to control public utilities, etc. These
authorities are recommended by the report.
A larger role could have been assigned the impact of transportation
on various types of land use planning. The report, in only super-
ficially treating this area, neglects the full consideration necessary for
the truly comprehensive and integrated land use planning it advocates.
The purpose of the ERDA study 12 is to devise a comprehensive
national energy research, development and demonstration plan to deal
effectively with the present and future energy problems of this coun-
try. Near term, mid-term, and long range energy needs are identified
together with options and implementation plans for meeting these
ERDA has properly identified transportation as one sector of the
economy requiring energy conservation strategies and new tech-
nological developments. The three objectives are to (a) by 1985,
develop options to reduce petroleum consumption in autos, trucks,
and buses; (b) by 2000, to eliminate the dependence on petroleum as
the primary energy source for all elements of transportation; and (c)
after the year 2000, to improve energy conversion efficiencies and sup-
port new technologies which use non-exhaustible, domestically avail-
able energy resources.
The ERDT)A proposal has major shortcomings. It is geared towards
maintaining the same automobile and highway dominated transporta-
tion network. Strategies are tied solely to technolocry-improvements
in fuel economy, propulsion systems, and fuel sources. There are no
initiatives or programs for improving energy conservation through
changing the concept of one man one car. through devising new con-
cepts in energrv efficient travel patterns for either established settle-
ments or for future land development, or through developing inno-
The Rockefeller Brothers Flind. The TTse of TLand : A Cltizens' Politey Guide to Urban
r,.-,wth. A Tnck Pnrep R'port. fPd. by William K. Reilly. New York. 197,1. 318 p.
12TT.S. Enerv Research nrnd Depvelopment Administration. A Nntlonnl Plan for Enerry
RTe.enreh. Development and Demonstrntlon: Creatinc Enerev Cholces for the Future.
ERDA-48. TT.S. Government Office. Wnshlngton, D.C. June 1975.
vative transportation collector systems. In brief, the three way con-
nection of transportation/energy/land use is not addressed or recog-
nized. The two way relationship of transportation/energy is consid-
ered only in terms of what energy technologies are needed to continue
our existing transportation system.
Though these studies are only three out of literally hundreds of
official and quasi-official reports comprehensive enough to deal with
the transportation/energy/land use interrelationship, they are per-
haps representative. As such, it would appear that the Federal Estab-
lishment has not yet grasped the opportunities that transportation
policy presents to achieve an integration of energy and land use con-
servation and development. Possibly the new generation of studies,
now being readied as discussed in chapter four, will be able to bring
these policy elements closer together.
WATER RESOURCES POLICY*
Limited water supplies have been and continue to be a problem for
western fossil fuel development. Similarly, water availability is a
primary land use determinant in the West. Thus, in the Western States
water resources are the sine qua non of both energy development and
The Colorado and Upper Missouri River Basins, in which most of
the energy resources are located are both water scarce areas with
regional economies presently based upon irrigation agriculture. In the
northern Great Plains alone there is an estimated 1.5 trillion tons of
coal, some 40 percent of U.S. coal reserves-the entire West has
nearly 60 percent-most of this coal is low sulfur and much of it can
be easily stripmined. Twenty-seven billion tons of western coal could
be surfaced mined by current methods, enough to match current na-
tional coal production for 45 years. High grade oil slhales in the Upper
Colorado River Basin alone contain the equivalent of 600 billion bar-
rels of oil, which is roughly equivalent to known reserves of oil for the
Thus, water resources policy will play an impressive role in
determining land use patterns for much of the western United States.
And because these western areas contain such a large percentage of
energy resources, water policy will determine the nature and the scope
of energy development for the entire UTnited States.
United States water resources policy is composed of a complex inter-
action of State water rights law, federally reserved water rights, and
various Federal programs for navigation, flood control, irrirntion, hy-
droelectric production, recreation, and other purposes. But the most
important elements of U.S. water policy are thousands of individual
water resource development projects I)v various Federal and State
While this complex array of water projects suiiests a lack of central
policy, there. are, however, two Federal water resource programs of
major importance to- water supply problems relating to energy
development. First. the industrialN water marl-eting program of the
Bureau of Reclamation is directly pertinent to efforts to obtain water
*This section of Chapter Five was prepared by Howard A. Prown. Analyst In Environ-
ment and Natural Resources Policy. C'nngTpres.Innl Re.sfarch Service.
supplies for planned energy facilities. The Bureau of Reclamation
controls most of the major reservoirs in the West and through its
industrial marketing program has sought to provide the water neces-
sary to exploit Western fossil fuels.
The second, the water resources planning program overseen by the
Water Resources Council, provides a vehicle for coordinating water
for energy projects with general water resource planning efforts which
essentially relate to land use.
In addition to these two Federal programs, there are also several
facets of water law through which Federal policies could have very
substantial influence on energy and land-use decisionmaking.
These three areas of potential policy integration of land use and
energy considerations are described below.
INDUSTRIAL WATER MARKETING
The Bureau of Reclamation in the Department of Interior is one of
the principal Federal water resource development agencies. Operating
chiefly within the 17 continental Western States, the reclamation pro-
gram was established in 1902 in order to encourage development of the
West by the provision of irrigation water for agriculture. Over the
years additional purposes such as hydroelectric power production,
flood control, recreation, and municipal water supply were added to the
reclamation program since they could be provided easily in conjunc-
tion with irrigation projects and particularly with hydroelectric
development, help pay for the irrigation works.
In recent years, it has been increasingly difficult to find new irriga-
tion projects economically feasible or to get funding for them. The
Bureau has already built numerous large reservoirs throughout the
West to provide streamflow regulation and storage, to be utilized for
anticipated projects. With the expectation that many of these future
irrigation projects will not be built and with strong interest in the
development of western fossil fuel resources, there has been consider-
able attention paid to making the water in these reservoirs available
for energy development. To what extent this is the result of pressure
put upon the Bureau by the energy companies or to what extent it is
the result of strong sales effort by the Bureau in order to maintain a
mission, is a matter of conjecture, but major efforts have been made
toward that end.
Specifically, through the industrial water marketing program, the
Bureau has granted or received application for water service contracts
for substantial volumes of water for use in development of western
fossil fuels. This is in keeping with the strong commitment to energy
independence efforts by the Department of the Interior, of which the
Bureau is part.
In an alliance which, until recently, would have been considered a
case of strange bedfellows, environmental and agricultural interests
have joined forces in attacking planned western energy developments
and their use of water. The industrial marketing program is a primary
target of this opposition. A pending court case, Enironmental De-
fense Fund et al. v. Morton et aL. (U.S.D.C., D. Mont., Civil No. 1220),
is a focal point of this opposition.
Starting in 1967, the Bureau of Reclamation let option contracts for
industrial water service totaling 623,000 acre-feet of water per year
from Bighorn Lake-Yellowtail Dam-in Montana and Wyoming
plus 35,000 acre-feet pe.r year from Boysen Reservoir in Wyoming to
energy companies interested in development of northern Great Plains
coal reserves. Applications were received for an additional 381,000
acre-feet per year.
The Environmental Defense Fund suit on Boysen-Yellowtail, filed
in October 1973, seeks to halt water contracts from these two reser-
voirs. In addition to the Environmental Defense Fund, the plaintiffs
include other environmental interests, irrigation and livestock com-
panies, and various agricultural interests. The State of Montana was
granted intervenor status. On the defendants' side in addition to rep-
resentatives of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of the
Interior, 12 major energy companies joined as intervenors. The case
was argued December 11, 1975. Allegations of the case include: viola-
tion of requirements of each of the three general authorities for indus-
trial marketing (43 U.S.C. 521, 43 U.S.C. 485 hi (c), and 42 U.S.C.
3906(b) acts of 1920, 1939, and 1958); violation of the National En-
vironmental Policy Act, The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act and
the Yellowstone River Basin Compact; and adverse effects on down-
stream agricultural water users. An allegation which aims directly at
the authority for the industrial water marketing program is that in-
dustrial water supply was not a purpose of the reservoirs as authorized
by the 1944 Flood Cntrol Act-the two reservoirs are components of
the Pick-Sloan Missouri River Basin Program authorized by that
Act-although the Bureau of Reclamation has written other induls-
trial water contracts, the Boysen-Yellowtail contracts may have been
among the first to cite a general authority (43 U.S.C. 485 h (c)) rather
than specific project authority.
Also under the Pick-Sloan Missouri basin program and to serve
northern Great Plains coal deposits, the industrial water marketing
program is the subject of considerable controversy in regard to the
reservoirs on the main stein of the Missouri River-Gavins ]Point, Fort
Randall, Big Bend, -Oahe, Garrison and Fort Peck Dains-these
reservoirs were built by the Corps of Engineers but water from them
was to be usable for irrigation projects of the Bureau of Reclamation.
In February 1975, the Secretaries of the Army and the Interior
entered into a memorandum of understanding on industrial water
marketing from the main stem reservoirs "in order to expedite the
use of water for energy development." This action drew considerable
criticism including concern for exclusion of States from the decision
process, Indian water rights, irrigation needs, and downstream navi-
gation and hydroelectric power generation.
The Senate Interior Committee held oversight hearings on Missouri
River Basin Industrial Water Marketing in Washington, D.C. in July
1975 and an additional day of hearings in Montana. At the hearings in
Washington, the State of South Dakota expressed extreme reserva-
tions about the memorandum of understanding.
Since the 1960's, the industrial water marketing program has played
a major role in the Southwest as well. In 1964, twenty-three western
power companies formed a consortium known as Western Energy and
Supply Transmission Associates for joint-venture planning and con-
struction of electrical generating facilities in the Southwest. There are
six major coal fired steamplants associated with the consortium-
Four Corners and San Juan in New Mexico, Navajo in Arizona, Hunt-
ington Canyon and Kaiparowits in Utah, and Mojave in Nevada. All
but Kaiparowits are in operation or under construction and all but
Four Corners get water service by industrial contract with the Bureau
of Reclamation. Water for the Mojave plant comes from the Boulder
Canyon Project; water for all the others comes from the Colorado
River Storage Project or the associated Navajo Reservoir Project in
Upper Colorado River Basin. The authorizations for these projects
specifically include industrial water marketing as a project purpose.
In addition to the steam electric generating plants there are two
proposed coal gasification plants for the Four Corners area: WESCO
and El Paso. Both would be ne ,r Farmington, N. Mex. and both would
use Navajo Reservoir water. The authorizing legislation for the Nava-
jo Reservoir (Public Law 87-483) stipulated that no long-term con-
tracts for water supply from the reservoir could be made unless ap-
proved by Congress on the basis of determination by the Secretary of
the Interior tlit. sufficient water would be available for use in the
State of New Mexico under the terms of the Upper Colorado River
Basin Compact-New Mexico is the one Upper Colorado Basin State
which ,has already committed all or nearly all of its entitled water
under the Upper Basin Compact.
Three contracts were recommended by the Secretary of the Interior
and approved by Congress in 1968. One serves the Navajo steam-
electric plant which will provide power for the Bureau's controversial
Central Arizona Project. Another contract, with Utah Construction
and Mining was planned for additional units at the Four Corners
Plant. Instead the contract was recently renewed and amended, so as
to be usable for the proposed WESCO gasification plant. The El Paso
plant would require a new contract and congressional approval. The
Department of the Interior had expressed willingness to recommend
the contract but El Paso has asked that its Federal Power Commission
license application be held in abeyance, partially because of the diffi-
culties in obtaining their water supply. Serious questions have been
raised about approving additional contracts from Navajo Reservoir.
They include concern for the legality of New Mexico utilizing more
than its entitlement, effect on Indian water rights, and the accuracy
of calculations of how much water is available.
WATER RESOURCES PLANNING
The Water Resources Planning Act of 1965 (Public Law 89-80) en-
deavored to promote comprehensive and coordinated planning for
State and Federal water resource development programs in order to
encourage, the conservation, development, and utilization of the Na-
tion's water and related land resources. The water resources planning
program is the best example of a nationwide resource planning effort
in the United States. The original national land use planning bills
were based on expansion of the Water Resources Planning Act.
The 1965 Act provided for creation of joint Federal-State river
basin commissions to produce general plans for guiding water resource
development within the river basins. In the absence of a formal river
basin commission, planning functions are to be undertaken by coordi-
nating committees of Federal water resource agencies-. Planning is
being carried out in the form of broad framework studies for the
entire basin (level A) and more in depth plans for cub-regions within
the basin (level B). For purposes of the planning program, the coun-
try has been divided into twenty regions. Seven river basin commis-
sions have been formed and fourteen framework studies initiated.
The Water Resources Council, which consists of representatives of
each of the Federal departments dealing with water resources, was
established by the Water Resources Planning Act and ,riven the fol-
lowing charges: (1) review of river basin plans prepared under the
Act, (2) administration of a program of grants to the States for water
resources planning. (3) establishing principles, standards, and proce-
dures for comprehensive river basin and water resource development
planning, and (4) assessment of the Nation's water supplies and needs
and the role of Federal agencies in meeting those needs.
The Water ]Resources Council published its first assessment of the
Nation's water resources in 1968 and has begun work on a second.
Based on 1975 data, it is scheduled for completion in 1977 or 1978 and
will place major emphasis on the water-energy relationship.
The Council has established a task forc-e on energy self-sutfficiency
but following submission of reports to the Federal Energy Adminis-
tration's Project Independence Blueprint and to the Council itself.
the task force was phased out and responsibiliity for the water-for-
energy investigation placed with the national asse-ssment effort.
A new Energy Developments and Implications Committee has been
established to handle responsibilities placed on the Water Resources
Council by the Non-nuclear Energy Research and Development Act
and it may take on additional roles in water for energy planning:
(Sec. 13 of Public Law 93-577, the organic act for the Energy Re-
search and Development Authority, provided that: (1) ERDA could
request the Water Resource Council to assess water requirements for
non-nuclear energy technologies; (2) for demonstration projects under
the act which might significantly affect water resources. ERDA must
prepare or have prepared an assessment of that impact; and (3) for
financial assistance to commercial energy developments under the act.
the Water Resources Council must prepare an assessment of water
availability for the development. Section 13 also directed the Council
to include water availability for energy in its national water resource
The most vigorous investigation of water for energy, however, has
been by the Department of the Interior. The October 1971 "North
Central Power Study" investigated the feasibility of a network of
mine-mouth powerplants in the northern Great Plains. The effort of
a coordinating committee of electric utility representatives and munici-
palities, it was nevertheless undertaken at the initiative of the Depart-
ment of the Interior. The Bureau of Reclamation was the. principal
participant. This report was followed in April 1972 by a Bureau of
Reclamation "Appraisal Report on Montana-Wyoming Aqueducts."
which investigated possibilities for supplying water for development
of northern Great Plains coal resources. These studies indicated a
strong advocacy for developing the northern Great Plains coal re-
sources and seemed an extension of the industrial water marketing
effort. Similar investigations are in progress on supplying water for
oil shale development in the Upper Colorado River Basin.
The Department of the Interior has also established a water-for-
energy management team which has thus far produced "Report on
Water for Energy in the Upper Colorado River Basin," July 1974,
and "Report on Water for Energy in the Northern Great Plains Area
with Emphasis on the Yellowstone River Basin," January 1975. These
reports discuss the water supply and possible water demands for
energy development and other uses in these two most critical regions.
Although water law is largely the domain of the States, there are
several areas where Federal policies predominate and thereby could
have great effect on the water-for-energy- situation. One proposed
energy development which has received considerable Congressional
attention (because of proposed legislation permitting eminent domain
to l)be. used to secure a right-of-way) is a planned coal slurry pipeline
from Wyoming to Arkansas. The planned water supply for the pipe-
line (an industrial water contract from the main stem Missouri has
also been applied for) is deep ground water from a large aquifer
known as the Madison Formation. The Madison Formation underlies
South Dakota and Montana as well as Wyoming, however, and South
Dakota is seeking action against the drilling. There is virtually no
Federal law to cover interstate ground water situations.
Although water rights are controlled by State law, water rights are
reserved for Federal lands and Indian reservations and these rights
generally take precedence over water rights under State laws. Indian
water rights are known as Winters doctrine rights. Basically the
Winters doctrine says that each creation of an Indian reservation had
to carry with it enough water to irrigate the irrigable lands of the
reservation. The amounts of water could be quite substantial and could
have great impact on the availability of water in regions where energy
developments are under consideration. The Indians are concerned that
if water is given to capital intensive energy operations, even if the
water is later proven to rightfully belong to the Indians, they will
never get it back. Although the Winters case was decided in 1908, very
few Indian water rights have been adjudicated thus far. Based on
Arizona v. California in 1963 there are similar water rights for Fed-
eral lands such as national parks and forests which were created by
withdrawal from entry. This could also have a substantial effect on
the water supply situation :n many Western areas and consequently
the availability of water for irrigation or energy resource exploitation.
Though water rights are generally the domain of the States in some
States it can be relatively difficult to transfer water rights. (This dis-
cussion applies to Western States with "appropriation doctrine" water
rights. In the East, the States generally use riparian rights and water
rights are. not separable from property rights.) The National Water
Commission (Water Policies for the Future, June 1973, pp. 260-270)
set forth thirteen recommendations which it felt would facilitate the
transfer of water rights. Since energy developments could generally
afford to pay considerably more for water than existing uses-
principally irrigation-such action would facilitate the procurement
of water for energy.
One of the most volatile water rights issues is the diversion of water
from one river basin to another. In passing the Colorado River Basin
Project Act-Central Arizona Project Act-Congress placed a mora-
torium on the study of water importation into the Colorado River
Basin-the moratorium will expire in September 1978. Because water
is generally very inexpensive it is not usually economically feasible to
transfer it great distances. For large scale energy development in the
arid West, however, trans-basin diversions might be economically
Major questions of State versus Federal authority would be raised
by any interstate interbasin water diversion proposal; there is vir-
tually no law to cover the situation. The National Water Commission
also proposed a scheme for the consideration of interbasin transfers.
Development of Western fossil fuels will likely be a major part of
the energy-land use interface in coming years and water supply will
be a critical factor affecting the magnitude and shape of that develop-
ment. Much of Federal involvement will be through specific individual
projects. There are, however, policies and programs of direct
The industrial water marketing program of the Bureau of Recla-
mation is of critical importance to western fossil fuel exploitation;
nearly all major proposed western energy developments plan to obtain
water from the program. But with a major court decision pending, the
mandate for the program is not entirely clear.
Since water land use, and energy are all such fundamental, all-
pervasive resources, planning for any one must inherently involve the
other two. Consequently, the water resources planning program is a
major vehicle for possible coordination with land use and energy plan-
ning efforts, especially in the West.
Several aspects of Federal water law of major importance to energy
and land use planning remain to be resolved: these include: interstate
ground water law, reserved water rights of Federal and Indian lands,
transfer of water rights and trans-basin diversion.
Three specific statutes are treated here (although there are others)
as having potential to integrate energy and land use considerations:
The Clean Air Act, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amend-
ments of 1972, and the National Environmental Policy Act.
THE CLEAN AIR ACT
The Clean Air Act of 1970 (Public Law 91-604) establishes admin-
istrative machinery that could have far reaching implications for
*This section of chapter 5 was prepared by W. Wendell Fletcher, Analyst In Environ-
mental Policy, Congressional Research Service.
both energy and land use decisionmaking. The implementation of the
act by the Environmental Protection Agency has been guided by two
court decisions that. could have profound effects on the pattern of
future urban development, and on the amount of new energy develop-
ment permitted in areas that presently have clean air. One of these
decisions 13 requires control of the siting of indirect sources of air
pollution-major facilities which, while nonpolluting, would attract
such a large number of automobiles that a violation of air quality
standards could occur. The other decision 14 requires EPA to insure
that State air quality programs prevent the significant deterioration
of air quality that is already superior to minimum national standards.
If fully implemented, the first decision could result in less sprawl type
development, increased use of mass transit, and less energy use and air
pollution in developing areas. The second decision, if fully imple-
mented, could mean that fewer new air polluting energy facilities
will be allowed in rural areas than some energy planners feel are neces-
sary. In addition, implementation of the act is resulting in trans-
portation planning and air quality maintenance planning in urban
regions. Both could significantly affect land use and energy consump-
tion patterns in the future.
The court decisions have aroused a great deal of controversy from
both environmental and industrial interests. Some environmental
groups maintain that EPA is not adequately implementing the court
decisions. Some industrial groups and developers, on the other hand,
maintain that the Clean Air Act decisions amount to a de facto na-
tional no-growth policy.
Implementation of the "no significant deterioration" and the in-
direct source decisions has not yet really begun, and there are many
uncertainties about the eventual outcome. Partially because of the
difficulties EPA has encountered in implementing the court decisions,
amendments to the Clean Air Act before both the House and Senate
are expected to deal with both issues.15
The Clean Air Act is likely to be at the forefront in the political
struggle now occurring between Federal energy planners and west-
ern State governments over possible adverse, impacts of Federal en-
ergy plans on western States. Several western States have supported
the "no significant deterioration" ruling.16 Federal energy planners,
on the other hand, tend to see the ruling as a threat to greater energy
Overall, the Clean Air Act requires EPA to establish national am-
bient air quality standards for five categories of pollutants.7 The
standards include primary standards, that is, ambient air quality
sufficient to safeguard the public health; and secondary standards,
that is, ambient air quality sufficient to protect such aspects of the
public welfare ais property, animals and vegetation. In addition, the
act requires EPA to establish new-source standards of performance,
which specify the maximum amount of a specific pollutant that may
3" National Resources Defense Council v. EPA, 475 F. 2d 968. D.C. Circuit, 1973.
Ruckelshaus v. Sierra Club, No. 72-804 (U.S. Supreme Court, 1973).
15 See S. 3219 and H.R. 10498.
1 Twenty two states filed amicus curiae briefs In support of affirmance of a "no sig-
nificant deterioration" ruling. Arizona and Utah filed amicus curiae briefs against affirm-
ances. See Ruckelshaus v. Sierra Club, op. cit.
Pollutants covered include particulates. sulfur dioxides (SOx), carbon monoxide (CO),
nitrogen oxides (NOx), and hydrocarbons (HC).