Fact Sheet 2011–3053
Increased demand for energy is driving rapid development of oil and gas, uranium, geothermal, wind, and solar sources of energy throughout the Western United States. Much of the energy development is occurring on public lands, which represents about 40 percent of Colorado and New Mexico. The economies of both States benefit from the revenues produced by the development of their abundant energy resources. Resource managers and other decisionmakers must balance the benefits with their potential effects on historic, scenic, recreational, and ecological resources. Although past studies have assessed some effects of energy development, the information has not yet been synthesized to make it useful to decisionmakers and resource managers. By collaborating with decisonmakers to identify the most pressing information needs, an interdisciplinary team of USGS scientists is developing a multistep analytical process, or framework, for evaluating the cumulative effects and tradeoffs of energy development. The framework for analysis of the various energy types, spatial information, and analytical tools will be synthesized for end users in the form of an online Interactive Energy Atlas for Colorado and New Mexico. The Interactive Energy Atlas will be valuable to decisionmakers and resource managers in their endeavors to anticipate energy development scenarios in Colorado and New Mexico, evaluate the associated consequences, and develop appropriate mitigation strategies.
First posted June 16, 2011
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Carr, N.B., Diffendorfer, J.E., Latysh, N.E., Leib, K.J., Matherne, Anne-Marie, and Turner, Christine, 2011, Assessing effects of energy development in Colorado and New Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011–3053, 2 p.