The Energy Department's Office of Environment Does Not Have a Large Role in Decision-Making

Gao ID: EMD-80-50 January 29, 1980

The Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Environment (OE) has had problems influencing DOE decisions to select and develop energy technologies.

OE does not have a large role in decisions to select and develop energy programs and projects. However, OE has developed several processes which have made program officials more aware of the need to comply with environmental regulations as well as the need to incorporate environmental concerns into developing energy technologies. In addition, it was found that OE played a large role in influencing the DOE position on the Environmental Protection Agency's New Source Performance Standards for sulfur dioxide emissions. Although OE has taken steps to establish a good relationship with other Government agencies, agencies and environmental groups at the local level feel that it is difficult to make their views known. OE has been concentrating its efforts on assessing DOE actions to determine its compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, reviewing environmental impact statements, and identifying environmental concerns which need to be integrated into the planning and development of energy programs and projects. Thus, because of a lack of good program planning, OE efforts have not been fully incorporated into the decisions program offices make in developing technologies. OE has proposed that it be given a more positive role in the decision making process.


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