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ABSTRACT: The “policy environment” is defined herein as the institutional setting in which planning is conducted and policy decisions are made with regard to meeting two of the Nation's high priority goals: water quality protection and energy independence. The simultaneous pursuit of these goals has resulted in numerous conflicts among the energy industry, environmentalists, and government. An analysis of selected energy development-water quality conflicts shows that these conflicts can be described in terms of one or more of the following policy environment characteristics: resource scarcity, sense of urgency, lack of experience, administrative complexity, uncertainty about future policies and regulations, technological...