Federal Agency Involvement in Western Renewable Energy Resource Decisions: Assessing the Views of Colorado County Commissioners
Colorado State University, Fort Collins
March 31, 2010
This research addresses a key aspect of federal-local relationships in American federalism. How do Colorado county commissioners react in terms of supporting or restricting the development of renewable energy resource decisions under the control of federal agencies? Do they support the removal of legal obstacles to the construction of renewable energy facilities on federal lands under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)? And to what extent to they favor the prospective use of eminent domain authority by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to site interstate transmission lines across county boundaries? The results presented here suggest that commissioners are less likely to support the exercise of eminent domain authority if they are favorably predisposed toward clean coal or nuclear power and prefer a more gradual transition to the use of renewable energy resources. Commissioner resistance to the development of renewable energy facilities on federal lands was more likely to occur in counties with a greater percentage of BLM or Forest Service lands and with higher PILT payments from natural resource uses.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 16
Date posted: March 31, 2010
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