Establishment of operational guidelines for Texas coastal zone management. Final report on example application I: Implications of alternative public policy decisions concerning growth and environment on coastal electric utilities.




Moseley, J.C., II.

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University of Texas at Austin


The principal objective of this project was to develop a methodology for assessing the implications of alternative public policies concerning growth and environmental control in electric power production, including a feasibility demonstration on a real-world problem. Public policies, rather than specific regulatory aspects were stressed because there is a crying need to carefully examine alternative policies for possible adverse impacts. This would be greatly preferable to heated confrontations over specific regulatory decisions, although the author realizes that the latter approach presently prevails. This effort simultaneously examined three alternative growth policies and three alternative cooling policies in the Corpus Christi area; this results in nine alternative futures. The growth policies ranged from zero population growth to an extrapolation of past trends. Various cooling techniques were applied to meet environmental criteria, which ranged from continuation of present practice to zero-discharge, while satisfying electrical demand for the three growth levels. The implications of these alternative futures upon natural resource requirements, costs, and possible socio-economic impacts were carefully displayed and assessed. All work was done emphasizing existing techniques and real-world date. For example, the Region Seven Texas Input-Output Model proved invaluable, as did the cooperation and assistance of many influential public and private officials. Several interesting, and timely, findings were produced. (1) It is possible to develop, mostly from existing techniques and date, a methodology for examining the implications of alternative public policy decisions. (2) Application to a real-world problem, in cooperation with leaders from the public and private sectors, revealed that (a) such an analytical method can be applied to real-world problems and the results achieve respect and consideration by decision-makers; (b) natural resource availability may override dollar costs in selecting a cooling system; and (c) the socio- economic implications of very stringent environmental protection policies can be substantial--in this case the zero-discharge policy, applied to power plants only, would annually cost the typical family one month's rent. (3) Quantitative evidence is produced to substantiate the need for carefully assessing the long-term, often pervasive, implications of public policy decisions. This project is only one component of a NSH-RANN and Governor's Office sponsored project, the goal of the development and evaluation of a methodology for...the establishment of operational guidelines for Texas coastal zone management... Besides being a stand-alone endeavor, this effort served as a cutting-edge for alternative policy evaluation procedures used in a subsequent report.


218 p.


power plants, coastal zone, coastal zone management, models