Man's physical universe

xanabras

THE CONSERVATION OF OUR ENERGY RESOURCES 301

Oil Compact is a treaty, approved by Congress, between a number of

oil-producing states authorizing them to work toward uniform conserv-ation

laws. Several important oil-producing States did not enter

the compact, and some of the States that did enter the compact do

not have conservation laws.

It seems quite likely that Federal regulation

of

the production and distribution

of petroleum and natural '*^

gas will have to come soon in order

to prevent the waste of this irreplaceable

resource.

More Power at Less Cost Should

Be an Immediate Goal.

There are about 4,000,000 farms

without electricity in the United

States, partly because rural electrification

is so expensive that private

electric companies cannot afford to

install the required equipment and

partly because farmers' incomes

are so small. The United States

Government set up the Rural

Electrification Administration in

1935 to aid in the building of rural

power lines, and the Electric Home

and Farm Authority to help farmers

buy electric equipment.

Many more millions of city families cannot afford to buy electrical

appliances that they need.

One of the outstanding problems of today

is cheaper electricity and less expensive electrical appliances. One of

the major contributions of the Roosevelt Administration was the

creation of the tremendous Tennessee Valley Authority, which had

for one of its avowed purposes the reduction of electricity rates.

million people are expected to benefit from this cheaper power.

Because electricity is a public utility; nearly all states have set up

Public Service Commissions to regulate electric rates. Most of the

electric industry in America is controlled by ten or more large holding

companies, which had not been regulated until

Fig. 100. A "gusher." A geyser

of oil that is very difficult to control.

(Courtesy of the Union Oil Company.)

Six

Congress passed the

Public Utility Act of 1935. Many municipalities have built and

operated their own power plants and have brought electricity prices

down by demonstrating that electricity could be sold more cheaply

than private companies were selling it.

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