Natural Resources Study Paper by Richard Nixon, Vice President, United States of America, Issued at Chicago, IL
Endowed by our Creator with an abundance of natural resources, the people of this Nation have forged an economy with the greatest productive capacity in history. Our citizens enjoy the highest standard of living ever attained in this world. The natural resources which supply this ever-expanding economy require our wisest and most vigorous public policy.
At the beginning of this century, a farsighted Republican President - Theodore Roosevelt - inspired the American people as never before to support public programs leading to the wise use and judicious conservation of these raw materials. Today, if the free world is to have the instruments necessary to preserve liberty, and if we are to continue to achieve the growth the United States should have, we must renew our determination to manage, use, and improve our natural heritage for the benefit of future generations as well as our own.
"God has lent us the earth for our life," John Ruskin wrote in the century past. "It is a great entail. It belongs as much to those who come after us as to us, and we have no right, by anything we do or neglect, to involve them in any unnecessary penalties, or to deprive them of the benefit which was in our power to bequeath."
Those words stand true today.
A wise conservation policy cannot rest simply on the fear that the population of the world - or of the United States - will outstrip the earth's capacity to produce. Science and technology have already increased the productivity of our land and resources far beyond the demands now made on them, and far beyond the imaginings of our forefathers.
A wise policy, therefore, includes, along with preservation and orderly development, basic and applied research, conducted at a tempo which will insure against material shortages in our future.
Following such wise policies in the 1960's, we shall meet many challenges here at home: The challenge to avoid waste; to assure that we do not become a have-not nation; to better the living of our greatly growing number of people.
And broadening such policies, we shall meet challenges - many of them new-imposed by our international role. That role intensifies the demands on our own resources. And it impels us to seek means to put vast undeveloped resources in Latin America, Africa, and Asia to use in the free world's battle against poverty - one of the major battles in the great global struggle in which we are engaged.
In 1930, our per capita water requirements amounted to 530 gallons daily. Today we need twice as much. And by 1976, we shall need twice as much again.
The problem of assuring our growing country this swelling flood of fresh water is a problem local, regional, and national. Its solution requires an incessant and vigorous effort, undertaken by organizations both non-Federal and Federal, to impound water, irrigate land, control floods, and find an economical way to convert saline and brackish water to fresh.
About one thing let us be clear at the outset: The United States must never suffer a crippling water shortage.
The only way to avert this possibility is to continue and expand what the United States now has underway - the greatest water conservation program in our history. At a cost now in excess of $1 billion annually, the Eisenhower-Nixon administration has set a precedent-breaking pace in the authorization, construction, and development of water resources projects. Never before have so many such projects been launched.
Since 1953, 30 reclamation projects have been completed - an average of 4 per year - 53 new projects or units have been authorized, and construction has been started on 49 new or supplementary projects. In the half century before 1953, only 87 projects were completed - fewer than 2 a year. Of all the money made available for Federal reclamation activities since Theodore Roosevelt signed the Reclamation Act in 1902, $1 in every $3 has been appropriated during the Eisenhower-Nixon administration.
And these figures do not include the hundreds of flood control projects also initiated by this administration.
We have built this record of progress in the face of the failure of the opposition-controlled Congress to meet the appropriation figures in the President's annual budgets: In 5 out of the past 6 years, the Congress appropriated for reclamation less than he requested.
These facts are part of the refutation of the opposition's charge that the Republican water resource development program is one of "no new starts." More of the refutation is in these facts: The phrase "no new starts" originated in 1947 with the Director of the Bureau of the Budget during the Truman administration, which launched that policy. In the 5 fiscal years, 1949-53, the Truman administration recommended the construction of only six new reclamation projects. In 3 of those years (1949-51), the administration recommended only one new start each year; in 1 year (1953) , it recommended none. In all, the Truman administration had a total of 38 new starts, 18 requested by the administration, 20 added by the Congress.
By contrast, in 8 years the Eisenhower administration has had 49 new starts, 25 requested by the administration and 24 added by the Congress. The record is clear that the Eisenhower administration has actually initiated construction of 29 percent more projects than the Truman administration and has requested 39 percent more new starts than the Truman administration.
The future water resource development of the United States must include a host of varied programs and policies.
Along with major downstream flood control projects, increased emphasis should be given to programs of Federal assistance for small reclamation and watershed flood control projects initiated and constructed by non-Federal local districts.
There must be continued support of the historic policy of Congress preserving the integrity of State water right laws.
River basin or watershed committees should coordinate the investigation, planning, and development of water conservation projects wherever practicable, these projects should incorporate facilities for predictable future needs.
And basin funds, which will assure provision for investigation and full beneficial development of each river from its source to the sea, should be authorized by Congress.
Since 1952, this Nation has maintained a rate of growth in inland waterway commerce which is without precedent in our history. The St. Lawrence Seaway - the greatest inland waterway in the world, which extends 2,342 miles into the heart of the North American Continent - stands as a monument to international cooperation and Republican determination after decades of frustrated effort.
The Corps of Engineers estimates that about $8 billion would be required for all authorized and potential waterways. In proceeding to develop our waterways, uneconomic waterways should be deactivated, and, if possible, used for public recreation. To meet the estimated increased requirements for freight transportation, a definite schedule of priorities for the potential new waterways should be maintain, and modernization of existing waterways should proceed rapidly.
Ground water and water once impounded can still be lost in astonishing quantities through evaporation or consumption by waterloving shrubs and weeds called phreatophytes. The encouraging results of experiments already made indicate that research on evaporation and phreatophyte control should be intensified.
Today our communities and industries are producing increasing and more complex wastes which are making water courses filthy and unusable.
A national program to prevent such pollution requires improved understanding of the types of wastes reaching our streams, and improved methods for their treatment. It requires more aggressive enforcement action to curb those communities and industries that are despoiling our rivers and other water courses. It requires public support of officials who are making sincere efforts to abate water pollution. It requires funds to build municipal waste treatment works, and expenditures by industry to cope with industrial wastes.
Recognizing the need for an effective attack on water pollution, the President in 1955 recommended a stronger and more permanent law than the Taft-Hartley Act of 1948. The administration's 1955 recommendations called for (1) the strengthening of Federal support of State water pollution control programs; (2) the authority to develop water quality standards to be applied to the interstate streams; (3) the broadening of enforcement authority of the Federal Government; (4) the intensifying of research on technical problems of stream pollution and its abatement.
In May of 1956 the Congress finally passed, and the President approved, Public Law 660. Remarkable progress has been made since that time in expanding our program to clean up the waters of America.
State water pollution control programs have been substantially expanded and strengthened by Federal grants and technical assistance and training.
Enforcement actions to prevent pollution of interstate waterways have been used in a dozen serious cases of interstate pollution. Already, conferences and public hearings on an interstate level have resulted in cleaning up more than 4,000 miles of streams. Action has been initiated to abate pollution from Federal installations.
Our research efforts, in universities and colleges, in industrial laboratories, and at Federal and State Government installations, have been expanded.
Incentive grants for the construction of municipal sewage treatment plants have more than doubled the annual rate of such construction in the 5 years prior to 1956, when incentive funds were not available. For every dollar of Federal incentive money spent, $5 of local and State money has been put into sewage treatment plant construction since 1956.
Though much has been accomplished, much more remains to be done.
The First National Conference on Water Pollution, scheduled to be held in December, will focus attention on the critical problem of assuring clean water for all purposes. It is clear now, however, that amendments to the existing Water Pollution Control Act should be sought so that its provisions can be extended to apply to all navigable waters.
When clearly needed, Federal assistance should be made available to local communities for pollution treatment facilities. Additionally, consideration should be given to measures that will encourage industries to follow good waste treatment practices.
With the increase in the complexity of wastes reaching our surface and ground waters, we must continue to seek out new and improved and effective waste treatment processes. Our increased requirements for water emphasize the urgent need to increase support for basic research and development.
There is a related subject. The greater the number of our automobiles and buses and smokestacks, the greater the amount of pollution of the only element more important to human life than water - the air we breathe. Working with all interested agencies, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare should continue its efforts to acquire new knowledge and develop new techniques for prevention and control of air pollution. The Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service should be given authority to investigate and hold hearings on air pollution problems and to take action to abate pollution nuisances of interstate significance. Recommendations along these lines have been made to the Congress by the administration and should be acted upon at an early date.
In the past 8 years, the Eisenhower-Nixon administration, through research and experimentation, has reduced sevenfold the cost of saline water conversion. Even at the present cost of approximately $1 per thousand gallons, thousands of communities will soon find it cheaper to convert salt water than to transport fresh water from distant sources. We shall continue to urge approval of legislation to expand this program - legislation not enacted by the last Congress despite the fact that its enactment was recommended by the administration and had broad bipartisan support in the Congress.
The goal before us is to discover a process so efficient that we may not only meet our own needs at a reasonable cost, but also help make the arid lands of the world bloom. The development of a low-cost method of converting sea water to fresh could help solve economic problems in many countries, such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Brazil.
Unfortunately, recent Congresses have failed to make available all the funds requested by President Eisenhower for this purpose. The times demand that the saline water program be accelerated. Toward this end, the experimental portion of the saline water program should be expanded, if necessary through the construction of a Federal laboratory for this purpose.
In considering electric power, let us be clear once again about a basic pledge: Neither the United States nor any region of the United States must ever suffer, as it did under the Truman administration, a crippling shortage of electric power.
Since 1953, this Nation's electric power generating capacity has nearly doubled. Through cooperative efforts, "brownouts" have been eliminated. This achievement is the direct result of the elimination of stifling and needless controls. Imposed by past Democratic administrations, Federal preemption of water power sites prevented nonFederal public and publicly regulated utilities from responding to local demand; material controls made action doubly impossible.
But since 1953, the Federal Power Commission has received application for non-Federal hydroelectric projects with a total capacity of more than 33 million kilowatts - an amount larger than in any comparable period in our history.
As a measure of our progress in the installation of power facilities, we might remember that the Soviet Union today has the installed capacity which we had in 1942, and that if it continues at its recent rate of growth, by 1975 it will have the capacity we had in 1955.
Projections for electric energy demand show that we shall probably need three times as much capacity in 1980 as we have now. All segments of the industry and Government will need to work as a team to meet this increase. Furthermore, by cooperative effort, such as the Northwest power pool, we should assure the fullest possible use of the capabilities of all elements of the power industry - public, private, and Federal. And no power capacity should be wasted through failure to use facilities.
Federal hydropower activities are a direct result of water control and conservation construction. Energy generated as a byproduct of storage dams and reservoirs is marketed to help repay the Federal investment in water resource development. As a general rule, non-Federal agencies should construct steamplants. The Federal Government should, however, vigorously proceed to construct multipurpose projects such as the great upper Colorado storage project. And we should continue to stimulate non-Federal power agencies to expand at their current unprecedented rate.
Because an electric utility - public or private - is essentially a monopoly as a matter of economic necessity, privately owned utilities should be strictly regulated in the public interest. Publicly owned utilities should continue to be managed so as to be directly responsible to the people they serve. Neither public nor private utilities should be allowed to become mere tools for the benefit of a managerial class.
It is at the very root of our Federal system that the States and local communities have the full authority to determine whether their utilities are to be publicly or privately owned and operated. When Federal officials use their positions to attempt to control local decisions on those questions, they violate the spirit of the Constitution. Furthermore, American experience suggests that those closest to a problem are most likely to find a successful solution.
In the field of atomic energy, we shall support the teamwork principle, which has already led the world to major achievements. Republican efforts have led to the establishment of a 10-year program to continue the U.S. leadership in atomic power. Three civilian stationary nuclear powerplants are already in operation. Eight more are under construction, and another eight are planned for completion by 1965. All these plants together will have a generating capacity of more than 1.5 million kilowatts. Research and development must continue to receive strong emphasis.
The Rural Electrification Administration has enabled local REA-financed systems to meet the growing demand for electric and telephone service. For such service, the REA has my wholehearted support.
The REA was conceived as a legitimate instrument of government to extend electrical service to rural areas. It has raised the standard of living throughout our farm lands by virtue of the fact that an REA cooperative must accept a utility responsibility for potential consumers in its area without regard for profit - a responsibility the Federal Government should not have and one private industry cannot be compelled to accept. It should continue to make loans - more than onethird of the total have been made since 1953 - at interest rates which take into consideration the REA's acceptance of this responsibility - a service which expands our markets for electrical appliances, increases the national standard of living, and makes our farms the envy of the world.
PREFERENCE TO PUBLIC AGENCIES
Another Federal policy, that of preference to Federal and public agencies in the disposal of federally generated power, has been vigorously followed by the present administration. This policy gives to Federal taxpayers the first benefit of Federal installations. We are opposed to repealing this preference or to eroding it away through administrative action.
We commend the electric energy industry for its continuing research in all the "exotic" power fields. Already it is possible to produce magnetohydrodynamic energy and to produce electricity from chemical or heat conversion. The Federal Government. should, wherever necessary, stimulate and assist basic research in such fields to develop new sources of energy.
SOIL CONSERVATION AND LAND MANAGEMENT: MULTIPLE USE
The needs of grazing, timber, water, mining, and industrial activities should be met through multiple use of the public domain wherever consistent with the highest use of such lands. Project Twenty-Twelve, the Bureau of Land Management's long-range program for administering public lands, recognizes the growing value and importance of the remaining unreserved public domain. In following that program, priority should be given to classification and competitive sale of those limited amounts of land necessary to meet urban and industrial expansion in the West.
To public lands, there must be adequate public access. In addition, land exchange authorities should be used, consistent with antispeculation safeguards, to consolidate public land holdings.
Protection of our public domain requires continuous range improvement measures - detention clams, range seeding, brush control and adequate fire protection. The increased use of our land resources demands that these assets be rehabilitated and kept in top condition. A depleted range is as useless as a rundown battery, but both are capable of being restored for sustained use. Primarily, soil and moisture programs should assure preparation for variable use.
The management of our soils and that of our waters are, basically, inseparable. It is for this reason that emphasis has been given to watershed protection, and assistance and encouragement to the Nation's farmers and conservation agencies to use and maintain our soils in a manner so as to improve them and, at the same time, conserve our water resources.
The successful Great Plains conservation program should be extended to the whole Nation. This unique program has accelerated soil, water and grassland research. It has combined cost sharing and technical assistance to help farmers and landowners adjust to climatic hazards. And it has strengthened the entire economy of the Nation. The program answers President Eisenhower's demand that a direct attack be made on the problems of the Great Plains. If we follow it, we shall not permit the "Dust Bowl" to return. We must not permit any area of this Nation to suffer because of the lack of a long-range permanent solution to conservation problems.
Above all, the Soil Conservation Service, which gives technical assistance to stimulate good soil conservation practices, must be given increased recognition for its vital role in America's future. here should be no pennypinching in the effort to preserve our soils, as well as our waters, forests and other basic natural resources.
The principle of soil conservation does not recognize differences in ownership. The key to sound soil conservation lies in balanced and planned action on a watershed basis which applies equally to Government and private lands. Higher priorities have been assigned to private lands in getting soil and moisture programs underway. The time has come to step up our efforts in caring for Government lands in order to achieve the necessary balance. A job of this kind cannot be piecemeal.
COORDINATION OF RESOURCE EFFORTS
The advancement of conservation in the United States has given responsibilities to several agencies of the Federal Government. Coordination of their efforts is possible under the existing arrangement, as exemplified by recent joint conservation policy statements of the Secretaries of Defense and Interior. What is lacking is a measure which would not only permit, but require, consistent policies and programs.
We should consider establishing a National Council on Resources and Conservation to assure coordinated consideration of national programs directed toward the wise conservation and development of our natural resources. Patterned after the National Security Council, the NCRC should be composed of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Defense, Health, Education, and Welfare, and Interior. Its permanent chairman would be the Secretary of the Interior.
This Council would eliminate one of the fundamental weaknesses of our national resources policy machinery. All conservation policies - those affecting our soils, water, timber, minerals, wildlife, fisheries, and so forth - would be related to one another by coordinated action. The proper balance between conservation, development and use will be maintained by combining coordination - responsibility with the authority each member of the NCRC has in his individual capacity.
The NCRC will be responsible for developing uniform policies for protecting our natural resources and assuring their replenishment. It will be an agency not only of coordination but of action. Its membership will assure immediately institution of coordinated development programs. Furthermore, the NCRC would meet at least once monthly and put out periodic reports on its progress.
Basic to the operation of the NCRC would be the pooling of talent and effort to collect, analyze and interpret the basic data necessary to program for future resource development activities. The NCRC would prepare and present a comprehensive natural resources budgetary plan; information and programing detailed by basin and watershed committees would be correlated, and procedures and policies followed by such committees should be simplified through coordinated NCRC efforts. In addition, a permanent technical staff of the NCRC could explore means to eliminate inconsistencies or conflicts in Federal resource policies and initiate or prepare staff studies on suggestions for sound resource programs. One such suggestion, recently made by the League of Women Voters, is that a "development loan fund" be established to encourage the establishment of State or interstate agencies to undertake river basin development. Such a fund could stimulate local and regional initiative. It could also materially reduce interstate tension by fostering cooperation instead of conflict. After studying its impact upon going programs, the Council might well recommend to the President the creation of such a fund.
One significant distinction should be noted: Democrats in the Congress have suggested a Presidential Advisory Council be established - an additional level of bureaucracy, without authority or responsibility, to superimpose itself in an advisory capacity upon the present administrative apparatus. We need coordination, not the creation of a powerless new agency. We need to simplify existing review procedures, not complicate them by an advisory board without authority or responsibility.
The recreation potential of all public lands should be developed, where possible, under cooperative agreement with non-Federal recreation agencies. A current inventory of public lands available for recreation development will be maintained. To this end, a commission of recognized conservation, resources and land management experts should be established to inventory Federal lands now set aside for public purposes. This commission's studies should determine the recreation reserve lands necessary to meet the Nation's future needs for parks, seashores, wildlife, and other recreational areas.
While some people attack the increased affluence of our society, it is a great satisfaction to realize that Americans in greater numbers than ever before today have the opportunity to live, travel, and enjoy recreation out of doors. Through hunting, fishing, boating, hiking, camping, bird watching, and nature study, millions upon increasing millions of Americans thus deepen their love of country and of the God-given magnificence of the expanses and scenic wonders of our section of this continent. These recreation enthusiasts more than pay their way in our economy - through increased demands for equipment, boats, station wagons, and tourist accommodations. Recreation expenditures amount to well over $43 billion annually. Increased income and more leisure time will make the demands for recreational areas soar even more. Here again, the only solution is through the effective teamwork of all echelons of government.
The Federal Government must continue to make greater provision for recreational opportunities on public domain and forest lands. We have already established long-range programs for recreational development of our national parks. Funds spent on rehabilitating the national parks during the first 4 years of "Mission 66" exceeded the amounts spent by Democratic administrations for 13 years prior to 1953. But more action is needed. We must act quickly to save our seashore areas of national significance. Additional national park units, such as the Prairie National Park, should be added to the system.
Despite repeated urging by the administration, the Democratic-controlled Congress refused to add to our national park system new seashore areas at Cape Cod, Mass., Padre Island, Tex., Oregon Dunes, Oreg., and Point Reyes, Calif. Prolonged hearings led to the adoption of recommendations to protect the valid interests of local agencies and preserve the seashore areas from destruction through commercialization. Yet because the Democrats in control of Congress did not act, we must go through the whole process once again. This unwarranted delay costs the taxpayers money because of increases in property values. And it prevents action to preserve this heritage for future generations.
Recreation opportunities should be integrated wherever possible with water resource developments, with the assurance of clean water to provide full enjoyment of these facilities. Toward this end, I shall recommend to the Congress the enactment of a Recreation Coordination Act. One of its principal provisions will require adequate consideration of recreation in the acquisition of land for water development projects.
All agencies of this administration have endorsed the principle of wilderness preservation. To this principle, sound and effective legislation should give effect.
Recognizing that our people's demands on our scenic and historical areas will surely increase in the years to come, we have pledged to sponsor a new program, "Mission 76". This 15-year program will offer technical cooperation and grants to stimulate establishment and rehabilitation of local, State and regional park and recreational facilities; it is program necessary to prevent the destruction of existing facilities through overuse.
The U.S. Forest Service has moved rapidly to meet changing demands for forest facilities. "Operation Outdoors" recognizes the legitimate demands of the public for wildlife, recreation, and wilderness uses in national forests in addition to timber production and watershed control.
Dependable fire protection through fire presuppression and control work should be extended to all public forest lands. All agencies, public and private, must help to reduce the hazards caused by fire, pestilence and disease. Increased research on the use of pesticides is necessary, however, and pest control methods should be thoroughly tested and understood before widespread use.
Our forests, public and private, are capable of providing sustained public benefits - recreation, supplies of forest products, and essential employment. Measures taken in the years to come will assure a continued favorable balance between the growth and cutting of America's forests. We must continue high quality forestry conservation to sustain maximum use of our timber resources without depletion.
FISH AND WILDLIFE
Following enactment of the administration-sponsored Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, the Fish and Wildlife Service has acquired increased stature. Competent, well-trained, career Bureau Chiefs now direct the efforts of the Bureaus of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife and Commercial Fisheries. Long-range plans, now being reviewed by national conservation organizations, should be followed to completion under this new management pattern.
These long-range programs will be vigorously implemented if we have control of the new administration. The manner in which we have pursued our past pledges in these fields was demonstrated vividly in Salt Lake City recently when 15 of the leading national conservation organizations bestowed upon the Secretary of the Interior, Fred A. Seaton, a distinguished conservation award. I am informed that Secretary Seaton is the first Cabinet officer ever given such recognition. This action represents, to me, widespread public support of Fred Seaton's actions which have led to the establishment of 23 new national wildlife refuge areas, stopped the diversion of duck stamp funds, and assured that all revenues from duck stamps are earmarked for wildlife habitat acquisition, and brought swift enactment of sweeping amendments to the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, which assure consideration of fish and wildlife improvement measures at the planning stage of water resource projects.
Wetland preservation, including the acquisition of key areas by Federal or State Governments, is mandatory.
To meet the critical need for wetland areas, a revolving loan fund should be established to be repaid by future duck stamp collections, and from revenues made available to States for habitat acquisition.
Also, we should seek congressional authorization to secure from private landowners wildlife management easements to provide encouragement to maintain wetlands. Much more could be done through coordinating soil bank activities with conservation and recreation objectives.
Sports fish have suffered similar losses of habitat. Maintenance of minimum conservation pools in reservoirs and minimum streamflows in connection with Federal water projects would increase their chances for survival. Further, we continue to urge recognition by the States of fish, wildlife, and recreation management and conservation as beneficial uses of water. Federal activities in the future must include increased research and means to preserve traditionally important spawning areas. Primary assistance will be provided State and commercial fish hatcheries through greater emphasis on Federal research program on fish disease, nutrition, and genetics.
The United States has consistently produced more fish than any other country in the world. Our fishing industry produced a total catch of 5.1 billion pounds of fish in 1959, slightly less than the alltime record catch in 1956 of 5.25 billion pounds. Valued at $342 million to the fisherman, when processed and delivered, the 1959 catch sold to the consumer for over $1 billion. Almost 2 million people are directly dependent upon our fishing industry. We are also the world's largest importer of fishery products, the equivalent of over 2.5 billion pounds of fish and shellfish annually. We also export about. 40 million pounds of fishery products.
Recent legislation signed by President will provide aid to depressed segments of the fishing industry to rebuild fishing fleets (which our laws require be constructed in the United States). We provide Federal assistance through loans for fishing vessel and gear repair where private loans are not available on a reasonable basis.
Research activities are opening new vistas for the commercial fishing industry. The increasing use of fishery products in medicines may have a substantial effect upon our daily lives. Increased Federal research in oceanography, biology and the improvement of marketing and production is part of the long-range commercial fisheries program.
Our objective must be to conserve this resource and strengthen our commercial fishing industry. Our export market should be stimulated, perhaps through the establishment of foreign market development programs. And we should investigate the possibility of establishing a link between our fishermen and research workers similar to the agricultural extension service, to aid fishermen in adapting to new methods and techniques. The fishery attaché program, thus far successful in Mexico and Japan, should be extended to other important fishing nations.
Our tariff structure for fishery products, based upon 1930 trade patterns, needs to be studied in relation to present trade patterns, which are substantially different from those existing 30 years ago. During the past 30 years, economic and technological changes have occurred which have altered the effectiveness of established duties. In addition, many imported fishery products with which our domestic industry must compete are produced at lower costs; many countries provide financial assistance in the form of subsidization, loans, and other aids. A study of the current tariff structure should be made to provide for modifications where necessary and to remedy disparities in classification and duties.
Our minerals industries provide this country's basic supplies for national security. Recent speeches of Democrats in the Congress indicate their continued adherence to the philosophy of the Truman administration, which held our minerals and oil and gas deposits would not be "washed or wasted away by neglect," and advocated "saving" them in the ground. The task force on economic opportunity and progress of the Republican committee on program and progress met this assertion head on in its report last year:
While some of our needs can be met from abroad, national security requires the maximum practical effort to develop and wisely utilize our own resources. This is not simply a matter of having wealth in the ground. Even when some commodities are temporarily in excess supply - as has lately been the case with a number of domestic minerals - management and production organization must be kept at levels that will allow exploration and orderly development to be carried out. This is especially true since technical change brings about a continuous realinement of the need for particular metals and minerals.
We need to stimulate our mining industries to keep pace with the space age. Depletion allowances are not only a longstanding element in mineral economics; they have demonstrated their value as a reasonable incentive for the development of the Nation's natural mineral resources. They should be maintained at present levels. In a few select instances, such as those of oil, shale, and coal to be used for synthetic liquid fuels, depletion allowances might be increased to encourage development of new minerals industries. In addition, the existing limitation on expensing exploration costs should be removed and replaced with a new limitation of $100,000 per year per taxpayer without any other restrictions.
The expansion of research activity will promote the increased use of coal and improve the coal industry's competitive position. The office of coal research, established under this administration, will do much, through a crash program for applied research, to help the industry drive forward.
As an effective means to assure full conservation and development of the latent resources of the country, as well as assisting State and local municipalities in their development programs, the Federal program of topographic and geologic mapping should be substantially accelerated.
Our strategic and critical stockpiles should be maintained and their objective constantly reviewed to assure our ability to meet national security requirements. To relieve the uncertainty of domestic mineral producers, stemming from the possibility of disposals from Government stocks of minerals and metals, consideration should be given to delegating to the Secretary of the Interior the authority to control all such disposals, and a means established for consultation with the affected producing industries.
We must increase the effort through international consultation to develop fuller awareness of the world supply and demand balance for mineral raw minerals. In this way we could contribute to the increased stability of world minerals prices at satisfactory levels for the health of producing industries in the United States as well as free nations abroad.
Twice in the past 4 years, long-range minerals programs proposed by the administration were rejected by the Congress. We have, however, initiated a new minerals exploration program and increased the ability of small mines to use existing exploration expense deductions; much needs to be done to dovetail this program with the research activities necessary to the maintenance of healthy domestic mineral industries.
We believe impartial historians will recognize the decade of the fifties as one which sustained conservation and resources development achievements on a scale unmatched in our history. Our objective for the sixties is intensified conservation and management for the better use of each of our resources. We must provide the support and incentives needed to meet the demands of the future. These demands will come from within - from our exploding population, which in its thrust toward higher and higher economic plateaus will call for more and more of the treasures of earth and river and sea. And these demands will come from without - from the presence of an implacable foreign foe and from the need of the free world for an America, which, supremely strong in every way, unremittingly increase its strength in every way, year after year after year. As these demands far surpass any which this country has ever known, in meeting them we in our time can proceed toward victories which would have seemed incredible to past generations.
Richard Nixon, Natural Resources Study Paper by Richard Nixon, Vice President, United States of America, Issued at Chicago, IL Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/273982