3 Envtl. L. 316 (1973)
Calvert Cliff's Coordinating Committee v. AEC: The AEC Learns the True Meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

handle is hein.journals/envlnw3 and id is 330 raw text is: ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

CALVERT CLIFFS' COORDINATING
COMMITTEE v. AEC:
THE AEC LEARNS THE TRUE MEANING OF THE
NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT OF 1969
JAMES BIEBER*
INTRODUCTION
The NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT OF 19691 is a
national policy statement mandating that all federal agencies * * *
use all practicable means and measures * * * to create and maintain
conditions under which men and nature can exist in productive har-
mony * * *2 After these general words, the NEPA then directs in
explicit language that all agencies of the federal government shall
examine the environmental consequences of their actions, considering
the environmental effects, and alternatives to the proposed action.3
Several federal agencies,4 such as the Atomic Energy Commis-
sion, have found or imagined a basis for considering the application
of the NEPA to be discretionary in its entirety. The former AEC
Commissioner, J. T. Ramey, stated:
* * * the entire thrust of the NEPA is to encourage a proper balance
between fulfillment of society's social, economic, and other require-
ments while at the same time creating and maintaining conditions
under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony. The
Act provides that all agencies of the Federal Government should
study, develop, and describe appropriate alternatives to recom-
mended courses of action.5
At about the same time, the AEC was contending in Calvert
Cliffs' Coordinating Committee, Inc. v. Atomic Energy Commission6
*B.S., University of Washington (1964); student, Northwestern School of
Law of Lewis and Clark College.
1 42 USCA § 4321 et seq. (1973 Supp) [hereafter cited as NEPA in text].
2 Id. at § 4331(a).
3 Id. at § 4332.
4 Greene County Planning Bd. v. FPC, 455 F2d 412 (2d Cir 1972).
5 Address by J. T. Ramey, National Academy of Engineering Forum on
Power Plant Siting, March 16, 1971 (emphasis added).
6 449 F2d 1109 (DC Cir 1971).

Page 316

SUMMER 1973

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