The Energy Lands Program of the U.S. Geological Survey comprises several projects that conduct basic and interpretive earth-science investigations into the environmental aspects of energy-resource recovery, transmission, and conversion. More than half the coal reserves of the United States occur west of the Mississippi River; therefore, the program concentrates mostly on coal-producing regions in the Western interior. Additional studies involve the oil-shale region in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, and coal-related work in Alaska and Appalachia. The work is done both by USGS personnel and under USGS grants and contracts through the Energy Lands Program to universities, State Geological Surveys, and private individuals. Maps and reports characterizing many aspects of environmental earth science are being prepared for areas of Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. Types of studies underway include bedrock, surficial, and interpretive geology; engineering geology, geochemistry of surface materials and plants; climatic conditions as they influence rehabilitation potential of mined lands; and feasibility of surface vs. underground mining. The purpose common to all investigations in the Energy Lands Program is to provide timely earth-science information for use by managers, policy-makers, engineers, scientists, planners, and others, in order to contribute to an environmentally sound, orderly, and safe development of the energy resources of the Nation.
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USGS Numbered Series
The Energy Lands Program of the U.S. Geological Survey, fiscal year 1976