Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



After exploring federal-state conflicts in the granting of licenses for hydro-electric projects, it is clear that, thus far, the FPC has won most of the disputes; and this is not altogether bad, for there are certainly legitimate national interests to be protected here. But there are also legitimate state interests to be protected, not out of concern for the preservation of federalism as a political theory, but because the state is the political unit with the primary concern and responsibility for certain matters and because it can administer and regulate those matters with a higher degree of effectiveness than can any other political unit. This paper has called for the protection of those interests, for a redressing of the balance between the state and national governments. This protection can be effectuated in different ways in different areas. For example, in the area of fish and wildlife protection, the sound administrative judgment of the FPC must be relied upon; while in the area of ultra vires functional capacities, the task must be left to Congress and to courts that will assume the burden of making the distinction discussed above. However this protection is to be achieved, the possibility that it will be achieved is real; for the relative powers of state and federal governments in water control are far from settled, but are still evolving in the legislatures, in the administrative agencies, and in the courts.