Seal of the U.S. Department of Energy
Flag of the U.S. Department of Energy
James V. Forrestal Building, Department Headquarters
|Formed||August 4, 1977|
|Headquarters|| James V. Forrestal Building |
1000 Independence Avenue
Southwest, Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Employees||14,382 federal civilian (2018) |
93,094 contract (2008)
|Annual budget||$31.7 billion (2020)|
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is a cabinet-level department of the United States Government concerned with the United States' policies regarding energy and safety in handling nuclear material. Its responsibilities include the nation's nuclear weapons program, nuclear reactor production for the United States Navy, energy conservation, energy-related research, radioactive waste disposal, and domestic energy production. It also directs research in genomics; the Human Genome Project originated in a DOE initiative.DOE sponsors more research in the physical sciences than any other U.S. federal agency, the majority of which is conducted through its system of National Laboratories. The agency is led by the United States Secretary of Energy, and its headquarters are located in Southwest Washington, D.C., on Independence Avenue in the James V. Forrestal Building, named for James Forrestal, as well as in Germantown, Maryland.
Jennifer Granholm is the Secretary of Energy as of February 25, 2021.
In 1942, during World War II, the United States started the Manhattan Project, a project to develop the atomic bomb, under the eye of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After the war in 1946, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was created to control the future of the project. [ citation needed ]Among other nuclear projects, the AEC produced fabricated uranium fuel cores at locations such as Fernald Feed Materials Production Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1974, the AEC gave way to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which was tasked with regulating the nuclear power industry, and the Energy Research and Development Administration, which was tasked to manage the nuclear weapon, naval reactor, and energy development programs.
The 1973 oil crisis called attention to the need to consolidate energy policy. 95–91 , 91 Stat. 565 , enacted August 4, 1977), which created the Department of Energy. The new agency, which began operations on October 1, 1977, consolidated the Federal Energy Administration, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Federal Power Commission, and programs of various other agencies. Former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, who served under Presidents Nixon and Ford during the Vietnam War, was appointed as the first secretary.On August 4, 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed into law The Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977 (Pub.L.
In December 1999, the FBI was investigating how China obtained plans for a specific nuclear device. Wen Ho Lee was accused of stealing nuclear secrets from Los Alamos National Laboratory for the People's Republic of China. Federal officials, including then-Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, publicly named Lee as a suspect before he was charged with a crime. The U.S. Congress held hearings to investigate the Department of Energy's mishandling of his case. Republican senators thought that an independent agency should be in charge of nuclear weapons and security issues, not the Department of Energy.All but one of the 59 charges against Lee were eventually dropped because the investigation finally proved that the plans the Chinese obtained could not have come from Lee. Lee filed suit and won a $1.6 million settlement against the federal government and news agencies.
In 2001, American Solar Challenge was sponsored by the United States Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.After the 2005 race, the U.S. Department of Energy discontinued its sponsorship.
Title XVII of Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorizes the DOE to issue loan guarantees to eligible projects that "avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases" and "employ new or significantly improved technologies as compared to technologies in service in the United States at the time the guarantee is issued".In loan guarantees, a conditional commitment requires to meet an equity commitment, as well as other conditions, before the loan guarantee is completed.
The United States Department of Energy, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) partnered to develop and launch the World Institute for Nuclear Security (WINS) in September 2008. WINS is an international non-governmental organization designed to provide a forum to share best practices in strengthening the security and safety of nuclear and radioactive materials and facilities.
On March 28, 2017, a supervisor in the Office of International Climate and Clean Energy asked staff to avoid the phrases "climate change," "emissions reduction," or "Paris Agreement" in written memos, briefings or other written communication. A DOE spokesperson denied that phrases had been banned.
In a May 2019 press release concerning natural gas exports from a Texas facility, the DOE used the term 'freedom gas' to refer to natural gas. The phrase originated from a speech made by Secretary Rick Perry in Brussels earlier that month. Washington Governor Jay Inslee decried the term "a joke".
|Secretary of Energy|| Deputy Secretary of Energy |
*Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy
|Assistant Secretary of Energy (Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy)|
|Assistant Secretary of Energy (Nuclear Energy)|
|Assistant Secretary of Energy (Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability)|
|Assistant Secretary of Energy (International Affairs)|
|Assistant Secretary of Energy (Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs)|
|Assistant Secretary of Energy (Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response)|
|Office of the General Counsel|
|Office of the Chief Financial Officer|
|Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy|
|Energy Information Administration|
|Bonneville Power Administration|
|Southeastern Power Administration|
|Southwestern Power Administration|
|Western Area Power Administration|
|Federal Energy Regulatory Commission|
|Energy Policy and System Analysis|
|Intelligence and Counterintelligence|
|Loan Programs Office|
|Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization|
|Under Secretary of Energy for Science||Office of Science|
|Assistant Secretary of Energy (Fossil Energy)|
|Indian Energy Policy and Programs|
|Under Secretary of Energy for Nuclear Security||National Nuclear Security Administration|
|Under Secretary of Energy||National Laboratory Operations Board|
|Associate Under Secretary of Energy (Environment, Health, Safety and Security)|
|Office of Management|
|Chief Human Capital Officer|
|Chief Information Officer|
|Economic Impact and Diversity|
|Hearings and Appeals|
|Assistant Secretary of Energy (Environmental Management)|
The department is under the control and supervision of a United States Secretary of Energy, a political appointee of the President of the United States. The Energy Secretary is assisted in managing the department by a United States Deputy Secretary of Energy, also appointed by the president, who assumes the duties of the secretary in his absence. The department also has three under secretaries, each appointed by the president, who oversee the major areas of the department's work. The president also appoints seven officials with the rank of Assistant Secretary of Energy who have line management responsibility for major organizational elements of the Department. The Energy Secretary assigns their functions and duties.
Excerpt from the Code of Federal Regulations, in Title 10: Energy:
The official seal of the Department of Energy "includes a green shield bisected by a gold-colored lightning bolt, on which is emblazoned a gold-colored symbolic sun, atom, oil derrick, windmill, and dynamo. It is crested by the white head of an eagle, atop a white rope. Both appear on a blue field surrounded by concentric circles in which the name of the agency, in gold, appears on a green background."
"The eagle represents the care in planning and the purposefulness of efforts required to respond to the Nation's increasing demands for energy. The sun, atom, oil derrick, windmill, and dynamo serve as representative technologies whose enhanced development can help meet these demands. The rope represents the cohesiveness in the development of the technologies and their link to our future capabilities. The lightning bolt represents the power of the natural forces from which energy is derived and the Nation's challenge in harnessing the forces."
"The color scheme is derived from nature, symbolizing both the source of energy and the support of man's existence. The blue field represents air and water, green represents mineral resources and the earth itself, and gold represents the creation of energy in the release of natural forces. By invoking this symbolism, the color scheme represents the Nation's commitment to meet its energy needs in a manner consistent with the preservation of the natural environment."
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The Department of Energy operates a system of national laboratories and technical facilities for research and development, as follows:
Other major DOE facilities include:
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The DOE/NNSA has federal responsibility for the design, testing and production of all nuclear weapons. NNSA in turn uses contractors to carry out its responsibilities at the following government owned sites:
On May 7, 2009 President Barack Obama unveiled a $26.4 billion budget request for DOE for fiscal year (FY) 2010, including $2.3 billion for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). That budget aimed to substantially expand the use of renewable energy sources while improving energy transmission infrastructure. It also proposed significant investments[ clarification needed ] in hybrids and plug-in hybrids, smart grid technologies, and scientific research and innovation.
As part of the $789 billion economic stimulus package in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Congress provided Energy with an additional $38.3 billion for fiscal years 2009 and 2010, adding about 75 percent to Energy's annual budgets. Most of the stimulus spending was in the form of grants and contracts.[ citation needed ] For fiscal year 2013, each of the operating units of the Department of Energy operated with the following budgets:
|Energy and Environment||$9.5|
In March 2018, Energy Secretary Rick Perry testified to a Senate panel about the Trump administration's DOE budget request for fiscal year 2019. The budget request prioritizes nuclear security while making large cuts to energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. The proposal is a $500 million increase in funds over fiscal year 2017. It "promotes innovations like a new Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) and gains for the Office of Fossil Energy. Investments would be made to strengthen the National Nuclear Security Administration and modernize the nuclear force, as well as in weapons activities and advanced computing." However, the budget for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy would be lowered to $696 million under the plan, down from $1.3 billion in fiscal year 2017. Overall, the department's energy and related programs would be cut by $1.9 billion.
Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) are contracts under which a contractor designs, constructs, and obtains the necessary financing for an energy savings project, and the federal agency makes payments over time to the contractor from the savings in the agency's utility bills. The contractor guarantees the energy improvements will generate savings, and after the contract ends, all continuing cost savings accrue to the federal agency.
Energy Innovation Hubs are multi-disciplinary meant to advance highly promising areas of energy science and technology from their early stages of research to the point that the risk level will be low enough for industry to commercialize the technologies.The Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL) was the first DOE Energy Innovation Hub established in July 2010, for the purpose of providing advanced modeling and simulation (M&S) solutions for commercial nuclear reactors.
The 2009 DOE budget includes $280 million to fund eight Energy Innovation Hubs, each of which is focused on a particular energy challenge. Two of the eight hubs are included in the EERE budget and will focus on integrating smart materials, designs, and systems into buildings to better conserve energy and on designing and discovering new concepts and materials needed to convert solar energy into electricity. Another two hubs, included in the DOE Office of Science budget, were created to tackle the challenges of devising advanced methods of energy storage and creating fuels directly from sunlight without the use of plants or microbes. Yet another hub was made to develop "smart" materials to allow the electrical grid to adapt and respond to changing conditions.
In 2012, the DOE awarded $120 million to the Ames Laboratory to start a new EIH, the Critical Materials Institute, which will focus on improving the supply of rare earth elements, which is controlled by China.
ARPA-E was officially created by the America COMPETES Act, authored by Congressman Bart Gordon,within the United States Department of Energy (DOE) in 2007, though without a budget. The initial budget of about $400 million was a part of the economic stimulus bill of February 2009.
|1||James R. Schlesinger||August 6, 1977||August 23, 1979||Jimmy Carter|
|2||Charles W. Duncan, Jr.||August 24, 1979||January 20, 1981|
|3||James B. Edwards||January 23, 1981||November 5, 1982||Ronald Reagan|
|4||Donald Paul Hodel||November 5, 1982||February 7, 1985|
|5||John S. Herrington||February 7, 1985||January 20, 1989|
|6||James D. Watkins||March 1, 1989||January 20, 1993||George H. W. Bush|
|7||Hazel R. O'Leary||January 22, 1993||January 20, 1997||Bill Clinton|
|8||Federico F. Peña||March 12, 1997||June 30, 1998|
|9||Bill Richardson||August 18, 1998||January 20, 2001|
|10||Spencer Abraham||January 20, 2001||January 31, 2005||George W. Bush|
|11||Samuel W. Bodman||February 1, 2005||January 20, 2009|
|12||Steven Chu||January 21, 2009||April 22, 2013||Barack Obama|
|13||Ernest Moniz||May 16, 2013||January 20, 2017|
|14||Rick Perry||March 2, 2017||December 1, 2019||Donald Trump|
|15||Dan Brouillette||December 4, 2019||January 20, 2021|
|16||Jennifer Granholm||Nominee||Joe Biden|
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is an American multiprogram science and technology national laboratory sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and administered, managed, and operated by UT–Battelle as a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) under a contract with the DOE. Established in 1942, ORNL is the largest science and energy national laboratory in the Department of Energy system and third largest by annual budget. ORNL is located in the Roane County section of the city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. ORNL's scientific programs focus on materials, neutron science, energy, high-performance computing, systems biology and national security.
Argonne National Laboratory is a science and engineering research national laboratory operated by UChicago Argonne LLC for the United States Department of Energy. The facility is located in Lemont, Illinois, outside of Chicago, and is the largest national laboratory by size and scope in the Midwest.
The United States Department of Energy National Laboratories and Technology Centers are a system of facilities and laboratories overseen by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) for scientific and technological research. Sixteen of the seventeen DOE national laboratories are federally funded research and development centers administered, managed, operated and staffed by private-sector organizations under management and operating (M&O) contract with DOE.
Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is one of the national laboratories of the United States Department of Energy and is managed by the Battelle Energy Alliance. While the laboratory does other research, historically it has been involved with nuclear research. Much of current knowledge about how nuclear reactors behave and misbehave was discovered at what is now Idaho National Laboratory. John Grossenbacher, former INL director, said, "The history of nuclear energy for peaceful application has principally been written in Idaho".
The Savannah River Site (SRS) is a nuclear reservation in the United States in the state of South Carolina, located on land in Aiken, Allendale, and Barnwell counties adjacent to the Savannah River, 25 miles (40 km) southeast of Augusta, Georgia. The site was built during the 1950s to refine nuclear materials for deployment in nuclear weapons. It covers 310 square miles (800 km2) and employs more than 10,000 people.
The Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is a component of the Office of Science within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The Energy Policy Act PL 109–58, Section 982, called out the responsibility of OSTI: "The Secretary, through the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, shall maintain with the Department publicly available collections of scientific and technical information resulting from research, development, demonstration, and commercial applications activities supported by the Department."
The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is a U.S. national laboratory under the Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy. NETL focuses on applied research for the clean production and use of domestic energy resources. NETL performs research and development on the supply, efficiency, and environmental constraints of producing and using fossil energy resources, while maintaining their affordability.
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is an office within the United States Department of Energy. Formed from other energy agencies after the 1973 energy crisis, EERE's mission is to help support the development of clean, renewable and efficiency energy technologies to America and support a global clean energy economy. The Office of EERE is led by the Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, who oversees three technology sectors: renewable energy, sustainable transportation, and energy efficiency. Within these sectors are 11 major technology offices and programs that support research, development, and outreach efforts.
The United States produced 6.7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2018, the second largest in the world after greenhouse gas emissions by China and among the countries with the highest greenhouse gas emissions per person. In total the USA has emitted 400 billion metric tons, more than any other country. Although greenhouse gas emissions by the European Union will be net zero by 2050 and China by 2060, the United States has no target to stop emitting. Because coal-fired power stations are gradually shutting down, in the 2010s emissions from electricity generation fell to second place behind transportation, which is now the largest single source.
The Office of Science is a component of the United States Department of Energy (DOE). The Office of Science is the lead federal agency supporting fundamental scientific research for energy and the Nation’s largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences. The Office of Science portfolio has two principal thrusts: direct support of scientific research and direct support of the development, construction, and operation of unique, open-access scientific user facilities that are made available for use by external researchers.
New Energy for America was a plan led by Barack Obama and Joe Biden beginning in 2008 to invest in renewable energy sources, reduce reliance on foreign oil, address global warming issues, and create jobs for Americans. The main objective for the New Energy for America plan was to implement clean energy sources in the United States in order to switch from nonrenewable resources to renewable resources. The plan led by the Obama Administration aimed to implement short-term solutions to provide immediate relief from pain at the pump, and mid- to- long term solutions to provide a New Energy for America plan. The goals of the clean energy plan hoped to: invest in renewable technologies that will boost domestic manufacturing and increase homegrown energy, invest in training for workers of the clean technologies, strengthen the middle class, and help the economy.
ARPA-E, or Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy is a United States government agency tasked with promoting and funding research and development of advanced energy technologies. It is modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is a United States federal agency responsible for safeguarding national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear explosive testing; works to reduce the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the United States Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad.
Atomics International was a division of the North American Aviation company which engaged principally in the early development of nuclear technology and nuclear reactors for both commercial and government applications. Atomics International was responsible for a number of accomplishments relating to nuclear energy: design, construction and operation of the first nuclear reactor in California (1952), the first nuclear reactor to produce power for a commercial power grid in the United States (1957) and the first nuclear reactor launched into outer space by the United States (1965).
Alvin Trivelpiece, retired Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), former Executor Officer of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and former Director of the Office of Energy Research, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). He has also been a professor of physics and a corporate executive. Throughout his varied career, Dr. Trivelpiece's research focused on plasma physics, controlled thermonuclear research, and particle accelerators. He has several patents on accelerators and microwave devices.
The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical & Biological Defense Programs, or ASD(NCB), is the principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics on policy and plans for nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs.
The Office of Nuclear Energy (NE) is an agency of the United States Department of Energy which promotes nuclear power as a resource capable of meeting the energy, environmental, and national security needs of the United States by resolving technical and regulatory barriers through research, development, and demonstration.
The Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2014 refers to appropriations bills introduced during the 113th United States Congress. There are two different versions: H.R. 2609 in the House of Representatives and S. 1245 in the Senate. The bill was later incorporated as Division D of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, which was enacted in January 2014.
The Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 is a bill that would make appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for FY2015. The bill would appropriate $34 billion, which is only $50 million less than these agencies currently receive. The appropriations for the United States Department of Energy and the United States Army Corps of Engineers are made by this bill.
Nuclear Safety, Research, Demonstration, and Development Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C. § 9701, established nuclear safety policy for nuclear power plants supplying electric energy and electricity generation within the United States. The Act authorized a five-year demonstration program simulating conditions with light water nuclear reactors for the observation of control monitoring and phases of operation for nuclear reactor cores. The U.S. Department of Energy was authorized by the Act of Congress to conduct the nuclear reactor demonstration study while establishing a reactor engineering simulator facility at a United States national laboratory. The nuclear safety demonstration program was to provide research data regarding reactor design and simplification improvements given thermal power station simulations subjecting nuclear reactors to hypothesized calamity and customary operating conditions.
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