Interactive energy atlas for Colorado and New Mexico: an online resource for decisionmakers and the public

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Throughout the western United States, increased demand for energy is driving the rapid development of oil, gas (including shale gas and coal-bed methane), and uranium, as well as renewable energy resources such as geothermal, solar, and wind. Much of the development in the West is occurring on public lands, including those under Federal and State jurisdictions. In Colorado and New Mexico, these public lands make up about 40 percent of the land area. Both states benefit from the revenue generated by energy production, but resource managers and other decisionmakers must balance the benefits of energy development with the potential consequences for ecosystems, recreation, and other resources. Although a substantial amount of geospatial data on existing energy development and energy potential is available, much of this information is not readily accessible to natural resource decisionmakers, policymakers, or the public. Furthermore, the data often exist in varied formats, requiring considerable processing before these datasets can be used to evaluate tradeoffs among resources, compare development alternatives, or quantify cumulative impacts.

To allow for a comprehensive evaluation among different energy types, an interdisciplinary team of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists has developed an online Interactive Energy Atlas for Colorado and New Mexico. The Energy and Environment in the Rocky Mountain Area (EERMA) interdisciplinary team includes investigators from several USGS science centers1. The purpose of the EERMA Interactive Energy Atlas is to facilitate access to geospatial data related to energy resources, energy infrastructure, and natural resources that may be affected by energy development. The Atlas is designed to meet the needs of various users, including GIS analysts, resource managers, policymakers, and the public, who seek information about energy in the western United States. Currently, the Atlas has two primary capabilities, a GIS data viewer and an interactive map gallery.

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Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
Other Report
Interactive energy atlas for Colorado and New Mexico: an online resource for decisionmakers and the public
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
1 p.