National Energy Planning II

EMD-80-43: Published: Dec 28, 1979. Publicly Released: Dec 28, 1979.

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The President must submit a National Energy Plan (NEP) to Congress every 2 years. The plan must consider national security and national and regional economic and environmental requirements. The last NEP was presented to Congress on May 7, 1979. GAO examined the Administration's energy planning process with particular emphasis on the NEP II.

The NEP II did not adequately treat national security considerations either in terms of the ability of the United States to respond to supply interruptions, or in the evaluation of efforts to build domestic oil reserves for use in the event of supply interruptions. The national security implications of the vulnerability of major oil supplies and supply routes to intervention should be assessed more carefully in NEP III. Problems in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Program have been reported by GAO. NEP II relied heavily on this program as insurance against import interruption. Alternatives to this reliance should be considered in NEP III. State and local government representatives claimed they had little opportunity for active participation in the development of NEP II. Regional planning needs should be treated more fully than has been the case. Environmental protection goals did not receive adequate consideration on NEP II. Also, an environmental impact statement was not prepared. GAO felt that Congress intended environmental concerns to be considered an integral part of the planning process and a major element in the energy policy formulation. An impact statement should be prepared and released for future energy plans.

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