Jimmy Carter photo

Department of Energy Remarks Outlining Proposed Legislation To Create the Department.

March 01, 1977

I'm going to give a brief outline, and then Dr. Schlesinger is going to explain the details of the proposal.

Today we sent to the Congress a proposal for the creation of a new and comprehensive Department of Energy. This is long overdue. We now have more than 50 different Federal agencies who have divided among themselves the responsibilities for the evolution and the carrying out of an energy policy for our country.

I think that you can see from the two charts on my left and right the difference between what we presently have and what is being proposed. This is just a block diagram of the departments that now are involved in the energy question, and on my left is the proposal that we have presented to the Congress.

This morning, Dr. Schlesinger met with a number of key Members of Congress who are interested in the energy field and began to brief them. And of course, ever since last summer, we've been working with the Members of Congress for this purpose.

This Department will make it possible for us to evolve very quickly a comprehensive energy policy which we've missed. It will give us an opportunity to regulate the production and distribution of energy along with the pricing concepts clearly and, I believe, cohesively.

It will also permit us to channel research and development funds in a way that would be consistent with the long-range needs of our country. It will let us insure to a maximum degree that the data that we obtain concerning energy reserves are accurate and, also, that the American people might trust the information provided to them about how much energy we have available in different forms. And it will greatly simplify the bureaucracy.

Dr. James Schlesinger, who is energy adviser to me, will now proceed with the briefing and will answer your specific questions on this Department. I hope that the Congress will act expeditiously in this matter because it is so important to our country.

On April 20, we will present to the Congress our presentation on a comprehensive energy policy. And this is the first time, I believe, that this has yet been attempted. And I believe that because of Dr. Schlesinger's ability and my interest and the enthusiasm of the Congress and the great need for the American people, it will be a successful effort.

Note: The President spoke at 10:31 a.m. to reporters assembled in the Briefing Room at the White House.

Jimmy Carter, Department of Energy Remarks Outlining Proposed Legislation To Create the Department. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242857

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