Report on the Jurisdictional Authorities of State and Local Government related to Centralized and Decentralized Alternative Energy Systems


The principal findings of this paper may be instructive: Firstly; It is important to recognize that the statutory authority for powerplant siting can be traced to the federal Constitution, and except to the extent to which specific authorities have been reserved by the Congress for federal jurisdiction, or recently assumed by state regulatory agencies, the authority for powerplant siting is generally vested in the electric utility industry. Secondly; The electric utility industry is generally subject to both state regulation which was developed in relation to the public needs and jurisdictional boundaries of state and local governments, and federal regulations which have frequently been inconsistent or in direct conflict with state regulatory interests. Thirdly; Changes in the technology of electric generation, transmission and distribution have resulted in the expansion of the electric utility industry to the point where the service areas determined by corporate interests may supercede the political jurisdictions and geographic boundaries of state and local governments. Fourthly; Decentralized energy options provide planning alternatives to state and local governments which may affect zoning, land-use planning, economic growth, and taxation, in comparison with proposed electric energy centers. Fifthly; While decentralized energy options may involve as many institutional problems as energy centers, unlike electric energy centers in general and nuclear energy centers in particular, they are inherently compatible with the jurisdictional authorities of state and local government.


31 pages; available for download at the link below.


power plants, powerplant siting, environmental policy