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Fast History: Jimmy Carter Creates the Department of Energy, 1977

On the heels of crippling gasoline shortages, saber rattling from OPEC, and the abolishment of the Atomic Energy Commission, the modern DOE was established to oversee and regulate the emerging nuclear power industry and to manage energy development policy. What a difference 32 years makes. These days, the DOE is still carrying out its nuclear responsibilities, but the department is far more concerned with recreating America’s energy infrastructure and reducing her dependence on foreign oil. The DOE received $38.7 billion in stimulus funds, $16.8 billion of which will go to energy conservation and renewables, while another $6 billion will fund new power transmission projects. In addition, the DOE wants another $26.4 billion for 2010 operation. A niche department no more, here’s hoping all that investment results in more, and better, power for the people.

August 4
32nd Anniversary of the Establishment of the Department of Energy
Washington, D.C.

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