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Remarks Announcing Establishment of the Federal Energy Office

December 04, 1973

Ladies and gentlemen:

I have an announcement with regard to the energy crisis that I will now make, and at the conclusion of my announcement, Mr. Simon will have a brief statement with regard to his acceptance of the position that I am appointing him to, and then will take questions on the new office that we are setting up and new actions that we are taking to meet the energy crisis.

As you recall, in my report to the Nation on November 25, I said that I would be reporting from time to time on the energy crisis and on the steps that I would personally be taking to meet it.

Last June, I asked Governor Love to join my staff in order to develop the necessary policies to meet what was then essentially a long-term problem which had important short-term consequences. Governor Love has provided me with a broad range of recommendations and policy considerations for achieving independence with regard to energy by the year 1980. The work which Governor Love and his staff have done in the last 6 months constitutes an invaluable and lasting contribution to this Nation's efforts to meet a challenge of formidable dimensions.

While the process of policy formulation was going forward, the world--the United States and all the rest of the world as well--was confronted with a new and far more critical situation arising from the Middle East oil embargo.

I have discussed in recent weeks those steps which we would take to meet this new situation. Such steps will involve the Federal Government directly in operational matters, in addition to its policy-making role in resolving the energy crisis. In order to administer the necessary voluntary and mandatory actions, some of which have been announced, some of which are still under consideration, we must now strengthen our ability to make and implement our energy program.

The planning for this step has been in process for several weeks. I have been in consultation with my senior advisers on the development of an operational structure to carry out our energy policies. And we also have been in contact with major Congressional leaders who are interested in this particular problem and have responsibilities in the Congress for the problem.

As a result of these consultations, I have decided to bring together in one agency the major energy resource management functions of the Federal Government to provide the centralized authority we must have for dealing with the energy crisis.

I am personally assuming the Chairmanship of the Energy Emergency Action Group which will continue to oversee all major policy issues relating to energy. And Mr. William E. Simon, who is currently Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, will serve as Executive Director of this group. I expect, Mr. Simon, that this will take almost all of your time.

Concurrently, I am asking the Congress to create a Federal Energy Administration and, in the Executive Office of the President, a Federal Energy Office to carry out all energy-related functions.

In anticipation of Congressional action on my request, I am today establishing by Executive order [11748] the Federal Energy Office, which will begin to perform these functions while we await the necessary statutory authority which we hope to get from the Congress.

The Federal Energy Office will also be headed by Mr. Simon. I am gratified by the rapid action which the Congress is taking on many of the proposals for dealing with the energy crisis. The emergency legislation which we must have is being considered in an expeditious manner, as is my request for legislation establishing an Energy Research and Development Administration. And I am confident, too, that my proposal for a Federal Energy Administration will be dealt with in a similar manner by the Congress.

As these steps are being taken, I want to emphasize once again that the work of the Government agencies involved in meeting the energy crisis cannot be fully successful without the total commitment of every American citizen to see our Nation through this situation.

The American people recognize the challenge facing us, and they are already responding to it in a way that speaks well for the future. Every day reports flow into the White House of families who are driving more slowly, turning down their thermostats in their homes, and seeking other ways to conserve fuel. Each of these families has my personal gratitude and has also the gratitude of the entire Nation.

As we see the spirit of sacrifice which has distinguished this response, we approach the days ahead with the strongest confidence that we will weather this present difficulty as we have others in our history and that the ultimate accomplishment of independence with regard to energy can and will be a fitting tribute to America's strength and perseverance in this time.

And now, Mr. Simon, who will have such great responsibilities to carry out these policies in this new office, will have a statement and then will take your questions.

Note: The President spoke at 3:05 p.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.

On the same day, the White House released a transcript of Mr. Simon's news briefing on energy policy and organization, a fact sheet on Federal energy organization and biographical data on Mr. Simon and John C. Sawhill, Deputy Director of the Federal Energy Office. Mr. Simon's opening remarks at the news briefing are printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 9, P. 1389).

On December 3, 1973, the President accepted the resignations of John A. Love as Assistant to the President and Director of the Energy Policy Office and of Charles J. DiBona as Special Consultant to the President and Deputy Director of the Energy Policy Office. Excerpts from his letters to Mr. Love and Mr. DiBona are printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 9, P. 1448).

Richard Nixon, Remarks Announcing Establishment of the Federal Energy Office Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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