Energy, U.S. Department of

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  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessor agencies, particularly the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), have had and continue to have a major economic, environmental, and political impact on the western United States. Reasons for this include federal ownership of significant quantities of land in this part of the country; the presence of significant natural resources, including natural gas, oil, and water; the presence of high-quality universities and corporations with relevant scientific expertise to effectively develop and exploit these resources to promote economic growth; and the skillful use of congressional earmarking by western politicians such as Sen. Henry Jackson, D-Wash. (1912–83), Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N. Mex., and Rep. Don Young, R-Ark., to place these facilities in their states and districts to enhance economic development, ...

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