Better Planning Needed To Deal with Shifting Regional Energy Demand

EMD-78-35: Published: Feb 22, 1978. Publicly Released: Feb 22, 1978.

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Since 1970 there has been a distinct movement of people and economic activity from the northeast and north-central regions to the southeast and southwest--sometimes referred to as the Sunbelt--and to the Rocky Mountain area. Such population and industry shifts alter the energy requirements of the regions affected.

To be dealt with effectively, the energy implications associated with disparate regional growth require detailed analysis. The nature and magnitude of related energy problems can be defined, and the potential significance of energy-saving strategies can be assessed. However, the Federal, State, and private sectors have not fully assessed the energy implications of regional population and industry shifts. Coordinated efforts are required by the three sectors to: develop State-level forecasts of energy consumption which accurately reflect the differences in regional and State growth patterns, analyze the energy implications of population shifts and develop plans and strategies for managing affected areas, and implement plans for dealing with energy implications in existing and future programs.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should: identify and continuously assess the nature and extent of national and regional energy implications of population and economic shifts; consider the energy implications in carrying out existing and future programs designed to assist States in dealing with their energy problems; and revamp petroleum allocation procedures to give timely consideration to shifting energy demand to ensure that, during severe energy shortages, all regions and States receive an equitable share of available supplies. He should also encourage each State to take the initiative to: assess the energy implications of population and industry shifts, monitor the expansion of the energy distribution system within each State, and implement effective mechanisms for encouraging the use of conservation methods.

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