Senator Jackson had urged the administration to support his bill or develop its own land use policy. In April, 1970, John Ehrlichman, Nixon's White House Counsel,69 who had been a land use attorney before joining the administration, met with members of the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee to discuss the issue of land use legislation.70 Although Ehrlichman would not commit to any particular legislation, he noted that the CEQ staff had been instructed to draft a bill. On February 17, 1971, that bill, S. 992 was introduced in the Senate and referred to Jackson's committee.71
Background - S. 992
Within the CEQ, William Reilly and Boyd Gibbons were primarily responsible for crafting the President's land use position.72 The Council members believed that land use problems stemmed from the inability of local agencies to deal effectively with issues that extended beyond their limited
(John Ehrlichman, Witness to Power: The Nixon Years (Simon & Schuster, 1982) at 82.
(John C. Whitaker, Striking A Balance, Environmental and Natural Resources Policy in the Nixon-Ford Years (American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1976) at 155.
(Nixon, in his February 8, 1971 message to Congress on the environment described the purpose of the land use legislation. "While most land use decisions will continue to be made at the local level, we must draw upon the basic authority of state government to deal with land use issues that spill over local jurisdictional boundaries. The states are uniquely qualified to effect the institutional reform that is so badly needed, for they are closer to the local problems than is the federal government and yet removed enough from local tax and other pressures to represent the broader regional interests of the public." Richard Corrigan, Interior Department Finesses HUD in Scramble Over Land Use Program, National Journal Reports, March 20, 1971, at 598.
(William K. Reilly, National Land Use Policy, in Erica Dolgin and Thomas Guilbert, eds., Federal Environmental Law, Environmental Law Institute (West Publishing, 1974) at 1417.