This paper addresses characteristics of Rocky Mountain regional energy development and focuses upon the policy positions taken by affected states in handling social and economic impact. The standardizing influence of the National Environmental Protection Act has eliminated many regional differences in the way companies deal with the environmental aspect of their energy development planning. However, within the general environmental impact category, social and economic impacts have not been adequately dealt with in the past. This is true for two reasons: first, past. This is true for two reasons: first, the precedent or body of knowledge associated with impact assessment of social and economic changes has been poorly developed; and second, the required economic theory needed to approach the problems has not been applied. In a sense, with regard to the theory of regional development economics when applied to western energy areas, we are dealing with the same or similar problem that underdeveloped countries face during periods of rapid development. In order to get an economic sense of the problem and to introduce the corrective or mitigating measures taken, this paper will cover the problem background, the development process, problem background, the development process, rapid regional growth process, impact analysis, impact control and, finally, a potential state planning role.
The central thesis is that, without planning, the region will probably reach planning, the region will probably reach economic equilibrium with severe local economic dislocations. However, with appropriate planning, even to the point of managing the state's economy, national energy expectations from the Rocky Mountains can be achieved and the region can prosper.
" The whole is the synergistic sum of its parts" is an appropriate focus for parts" is an appropriate focus for understanding the dynamics of a national economy. However, thinking regional has not received the level of attention commensurate with regional roles in the determination of national income and companion social welfare. The question of thinking regional, with regard to energy and mineral development in the Unites States or in any Country, is one of recognizing national economic implications while focusing upon the economic impacts of regional development.