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COMMISSION ON POPULATION GROWTH AND THE AMERICAN FUTURE
The Comission on Population Growth and the American Future was established by Public Law 91-213, approved on March 16, 1970. The Commission is composed of two Members of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate, two Members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House, and no more than twenty members appointed by the President. Selection of the Chairman was announced by the President on March 16, 1970; full membership was announced in a White House press release June 4, 1970. The Commission held its first meeting June 15, 1970.
Pursuant to law, the Commission is conducting and sponsoring such studies and research and making such recommendations as are necessary to provide information and education regarding a broad range of problems associated with population growth and their implications for America's future to all levels of government in the United States and to all citizens. Such study and investigation includes consideration of the following:
(1) the probable course of population growth, internal nigration and related demographic developments between now and the year 2000;
(2) the resources in the public sector of the economy that will be required to deal with the anticipated growth in population;
(3) the ways in which population growth may affect the activities of Federal, State and local government;
(4) the impact of population growth on environmental pollution and on the depletion of natural resources; and
(5) the various means appropriate to the ethical values and principles of this society by which our Nation can achieve a population level properly suited for its environmental, natural resources and other needs.
In short, the Commission is examining the probable effects that population growth and its geographic distribution will have on the quality of life in the United States by the year 2000, and will recommend ways in which we can both plan and respond to the challenges presented by future population changes, in order to assure that this country achieves its goals and fulfills the aspirations of its people.
C. Commission Activities
The Commission is developing projections of the population and conducting the research necessary to evaluate the consequences of the projected trends, as directed by the enabling legislation.
Last year the Census Bureau lowered its projections of population in future years. However, even the lowest of the new official projections indicates that there will be 60 million more Americans in the year 2000 than there are now, and the Census Bureau figures indicate the possibility that the increase may be nearly twice this number.
The major uncertainty as to the amount of future population growth
The arises from uncertainty about the future trend of the birth rate. Commission's research program is designed to obtain the best possible data and judgmes
how many as to what is likely to happen to the 'birth rate -children American families want, how many unwanted births occur each year, and what would be the effect of reducing the number of unwanted births.
The Commission's research program is exploring what future population growth implies for demands on the various levels of government. Emphasis is being given to future needs for health and welfare services, schools, housing, and transportation. The Commission is also assessing the effects of population growth on resource utilization, environmental pollution, business, and the economy.
The Commission's research will provide the basis for determining (1) khat population-related pressures must necessarily be accommodated over the short run, and (2) whether prospective population growth poses problems that are sufficiently serious over the long run to warrant governmental action, and if so, what kinds of measures the government might appropriately consider.
While focusing on total population size, the Commission is not overlooking the extent to which population problems are regional and local probleas which arise out of the relation of population to the distribution of jobs, housing, transportation, public facilities, space, and the ability of natural environmental systems to accommodate the products and by-products of our economy. The pressure of population is felt locally in suburban sprawl, crowded slums, traffic congestion, and pollution of air and water, as well as in the depopulation of rural areas. In its research program, the Comission is examining internal migration and the future trend of metropolitan growth and population redistribution, and probing their effects on government, public services, resources, and the environment,
In order to accomplish its mission in the short time available, the Commission is conducting its research by contracting for the services of organizations that have demonstrated competence in the fields of the comRission's responsibilities.
The Commission considers it essential to have the maximum public montribution to its deliberations. To insure this it will conduct a series
of public hearings, as well as a survey to collect information on the level of public understanding of and attitudes toward population issues.
In carrying out its functions, the Commission has 21 staff positions including an Executive Director and the full-time equivalent of probably no more than three other positions. The grade breakdown is as follows:
The Commission is also authorized to obtain the services of consultants and enter into contracts with public agencies, private firms and other institutions in order to obtain any specialized services and capabilities that it will need in carrying out its duties.
E. Budget Arrangements
The request for FY 1972 of $635,000 brings to $1.6 million the estimated total requirements for all of the Commission's activities over its twenty-four month life span, to remain available until expended.
MISSION OF THE COMMISSION
Mr. BOLAND. As you have indicated, you have been charged to
you did present the committee with a statement for the record, and you indicated by that statement a particular schedule that the Commission was going to meet. In the first two months, the Commission was to organize the staff and then establish directions in which the Commission would travel. In the fourth to the tenth month you were going to hold public hearings, and independent task force studies were to get underway.
At the end of the first year, an interim report was to be issued. In the first half of the second year, the task force studies were to be completed; and at the end of the second year you would prepare and issue the final printed report. Is the Commission on schedule?
Mr. Rockefeller. The main change that has occurred is the change in public hearings. We had not realized until we got underway what a broad ranging mandate we had been given by the Congress. We felt we had to clarify our own thinking better concerning that mandate before we undertook the public hearings. So we have put off the public hearings until after the issuance of our interim report, which will be in about 2 weeks. We do expect after that to start the public hearings; otherwise, I think it is reasonable to say that we have followed pretty much the original plan.
MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION
, John A., Member of Congress (House).
Efective Feb. 26, 1971. * To lan. 3, 1971.