The study also presented a survey of political developments and trends that amount to "structural political barriers being erected to system reliability." It pointed to the fact that "environmental activist groups" are now:
* Suing to block the construction of virtually every single baseload coal-fired power plant, in spite of advanced environmental technologies these plants would deploy.
* Gearing up to block construction of any baseload nuclear power plants across the West.
* Suing or protesting virtually every proposed lease on public lands in the Rocky Mountains for natural gas drilling.
* Working to slow or stop the completion of the two main multi-year, stakeholder-based transmission corridor processes that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress approved as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
* Pushing for additional endangered species designations, which will make siting and construction of both power plants and transmission lines difficult.
* Pressuring government leaders to limit access by larger, baseload technologies to the region's high-voltage transmission grid and, instead proposing to artificially favor non-baseload, intermittent power facilities that will (at some point) further stress the reliability of the entire Western grid.