During the 1980s, tensions increased appreciably between federal and state officials charged with regulating energy utilities. The conflicts that caused these tensions can be grouped into two broad, though not mutually exclusive, categories. The first category includes disputes that arose when economic determinations about the need to build an energy facility in a certain area (often made at the national or regional level) conflicted with local environmental, health, and safety concerns. The second category involves tensions that resulted from dual economic regulation where control was apportioned in some fashion between state and federal regulators. This apportionment may have entailed concurrent jurisdiction, or an attempted division of jurisdictional responsibilities into mutually exclusive parts. In this category, the regulation was of the commerce itself.

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