Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter to Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes Establishing the National Power Policy Committee.

July 05, 1934

My dear Mr. Secretary:

I wish to establish in the Public Works Administration a Committee to be called the "National Power Policy Committee." Its duty will be to develop a plan for the closer cooperation of the several factors in our electrical power supply—both public and private—whereby national policy in power matters may be unified and electricity may be made more broadly available at cheaper rates to industry, to domestic and, particularly, to agricultural consumers.

Several agencies of the Government, such as the Federal Power and Trade Commission, have in process surveys and reports useful in this connection. The Mississippi Valley Committee of Public Works is making studies of the feasibility of power in connection with water storage, flood control and navigation projects. The War Department and Bureau of Reclamation have under construction great hydro-electric plants. Representatives of these agencies have been asked to serve on the Committee. It is not to be merely a fact-finding body, but rather one for the development and unification of national power policy.

As time goes on there undoubtedly will be legislation on the subject of holding companies and for the regulation of electric current in interstate commerce. This Committee should consider what lines should be followed in shaping this legislation. Since a number of the States have commissions having jurisdiction over intrastate power matters, it is necessary that whatever plan is developed should have regard to the powers of these various State commissions as well as of the States in general.

It is not thought that it will be necessary to have frequent meetings of the full Committee. An adequate administrative staff will be provided, and personal expenses of the members of the Committee in connection with its meetings will be met.

The Committee is to be advisory to the President. I hope that you will accept membership on this Committee and act as its Chairman.

Sincerely yours,

Hon. Harold L. Ickes,

The Secretary of the Interior,

Interior Building,

Washington, D. C.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter to Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes Establishing the National Power Policy Committee. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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