Coal Development and Government Regulation in the Northern Great Plains: A Preliminary Report.

by Richard Nehring, Benjamin Zycher, J. Wharton


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Providing a basic framework for understanding the interaction between major energy supply innovations and government regulation, this report describes the characteristics and development of the Northern Great Plains coal resource, the adverse effects of coal development and existing federal and state regulation affecting them, and possible state and federal regulatory roles in coal development of this area. The description is based on deposit-by-deposit analysis of the 91 known strippable coal resources in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming, including their potential as energy sources, their heat and sulfur contents, their spatial dimensions, and other special features. Adverse effects, including socioeconomic effects, in three phases of the coal fuel cycle--extraction, transportation, and conversion--are examined assuming an absence of regulation. As to the division of regulatory roles between federal and state government, the authors recommend a policy pattern of dual responsibility.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.