Establishing a National Energy Policy

Number: 1975-02


WHEREAS, the use of energy in the United States has outstripped the Nation’s capability to produce it under current conditions of use, resulting in unfavorable international trade imbalances; and

WHEREAS, these circumstances have provoked efforts to meet demands with supplies of energy from all sources, many of which can be exploited only with great hazard to the natural environment; and

WHEREAS, high demands result in considerable part from wasteful uses of energy; and

WHEREAS, sufficient energy is vital to the continued vitality and well-being of our society; and

WHEREAS, recent events have illustrated the lack of and critical need for a national energy policy; and

WHEREAS, the type of energy policy adopted by the Nation will have a profound effect on the public interest in general and the natural environment in particular for centuries to come;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Wildlife Federation, in annual convention assembled March 14-16, 1975, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, hereby expresses its conviction that the United States must adopt a coordinated and comprehensive national energy policy along these basic lines if the public interest is to be served and the natural environment protected, insofar as possible, from unnecessary harm:

  • That industries, businesses, institutions, agencies of government, and individual citizens must adopt and carry out strict practices of energy conservation designed not only to reduce waste but encourage the maximum in efficiency in uses of energy;
  • That the policy provide specific goals and direction for the next two decades, at a minimum, and be sufficiently specific to provide goals and direction yet be accompanied by a mechanism to ensure periodic public re-examination and flexibility to allow adjustment to technological advances and changing conditions;
  • That short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals be identified within the overall objective of reducing the nation’s annual energy growth rate to the lowest practicable level, hopefully in the range of two percent (2%) annually, coordinating the policy in such a way that all segments work together to meet that goal;
  • That high priority be given to providing the funding and other support necessary to mounting a massive research and development effort toward securing economical sources of safe, clean, and environmentally acceptable sources of power as quickly as possible, thereby conserving valuable non-renewable fossil resources for other beneficial purposes;
  • That the Nation’s dependence be shifted as quickly as possible from nonrenewable to renewable (excluding hydro) energy sources;
  • That priority attention be given to identifying and implementing changes which might be necessary to ensure that energy conservation practices be encouraged and the use of energy in inefficient or socially less important uses be discouraged;
  • That costs of energy production be internalized to prevent energy producers from shifting part of the cost of energy production onto society as social, economic or environmental costs, thereby artificially influencing energy production and use.
  • That attention is given to considerations of the total social, economic, and environmental costs and impacts of energy production, including transportation and use, and that environmental quality is not being degraded except in circumstances of absolute necessity;
  • That this organization express its deep concern about the potential hazards involved with nuclear power generation and disposal of atomic wastes; and
  • That the process of formulating the national energy policy be conducted in full public view and with public participation.