Public Administration ETDs

Publication Date



The United States and the world is faced with a shortage of energy that is severe and is daily growing more critical. The reserves of fossil fuels are being rapidly depleted and will be economically non-existant for conversion to thermal energy within the foreseeable future. The producible domestic supply of both oil and gas have not met demand and foreign resources are required, but these, too, are finite in quantity and are being rapidly depleted. Because the industrial countries have developed a dependence on fossil fuels and are not making a sufficient effort to develop alternatives, the demand is outstripping supply and heavy dependence is being placed on the producing countries. Because of the instability of supply, continued dependence on foreign sources of oil and gas is unacceptable. Three of the major industries using fossil fuels as primary input are transportation, petrochemicals and electric power generation. The one industry that presently has proven alternatives which could be utilized instead of fossil fuels is electric power generation. The three alternatives that seem to be the more practical, at least for the present, are solar, geothermal and nuclear. Present thinking indicates that solar and geothermal, although pollution-free, are of somewhat limited use, they should be utilized where practical but nuclear fuel will probably be the most widely used for electricity generation. Nuclear energy, in the form of uranium fissioning has been demonstrated to be a useable thermal energy source for the generation of electric power in all of the presently developed countries of the world. However, several different problem areas exist concerning nuclear power that will require astute decisions on the part of leaders in such areas as energy policy, economics of commitment and utilization. Within the problem area of utilization are environmental concerns, jurisdictional disputes and economic impacts which have a commonality, with respect to siting. It is within this particular problem area that this study is framed and the address to the placement of the ultimate decision-making is its purpose. The overall energy area is highly volatile and changes are occurring daily. An example of this change is the replacement by Congress of the Atomic Energy Commission with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Energy Research and Development Administration. It must be assumed that the reader will realize that several changes which will affect the subject of this study will occur during its drafting, but that existing conditions must be held static for obvious reasons. I wish to acknowledge the untiring encouragement and constructive aid given by Professors Albert H. Rosenthal, Donald W. Smithburg and Gerald J. Boyle of the University of New Mexico.

Degree Name

Public Administration

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Public Administration

First Committee Member (Chair)

Albert H. Rosenthal

Second Committee Member

Donald Winston Smithburg

Third Committee Member

Gerald Joseph Boyle



Document Type