Power Policy

July 15, 1953

Report Outline
Emergence of New Federal Power Policy
Evolution of Government Power Policies
Disputes Over Public Vs. Private Projects
Reconsideration of Atomic Energy Policy

Emergence of New Federal Power Policy

Administration's Emphasis on Partnership Approach

Federal policy on the development of electric power from the nation's water resources has been undergoing a change of direction since the Eisenhower administration took office. The full extent of the change remains to be determined, but it is plain that the administration wants to put brakes on the trend which for more than two decades has been taking the federal government increasingly into the field of hydroelectric power production and distribution. Nothing so drastic as turning over existing projects to private interests, or closing the door entirely on additional public projects, is contemplated. However, the President and his advisers appear resolved to hold federal power activities to a minimum. Instead of championing public power operations as a yardstick for private operations, they favor a cooperative approach that will enlist the support of private companies and encourage private power development.

Speaking of the vital importance of water and other natural resources, President Eisenhower declared in his State of the Union message on Feb. 2, 1953, that “We must more than match the substantial achievements in the half-century since President Theodore Roosevelt awakened the nation to the problem of conservation.”

This calls for a strong federal program in the field of resource development. … The best natural resources program for America will not result from exclusive dependence on federal bureaucracy. It will involve a partnership of the states and local communities, private citizens, and the federal government, all working together. This combined effort will advance the development of the great river valleys of our nation and the power that they can generate.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Public Utilities and Electricity
Feb. 19, 2010  Modernizing the Grid
Jan. 14, 2000  Utility Deregulation
Jan. 17, 1997  Restructuring the Electric Industry
Nov. 20, 1987  Deregulating Electric Power
Aug. 23, 1985  Electricity Supply: Surplus or Shortage?
Mar. 14, 1975  Future of Utilities
Dec. 17, 1969  Electric Power Problems
Jul. 15, 1953  Power Policy
Aug. 04, 1948  Power Shortage
Aug. 04, 1930  Publicly-Owned Power Plants
Jun. 28, 1928  Public Utilities' Propaganda in the Schools
Nov. 12, 1927  Power and Public Utility Issues
Aug. 30, 1926  Rural Electrification in the United States
Jan. 09, 1926  Public Regulation of Electrical Utilities
Energy Policy
Privatization of Government Functions