1. Legislation creating the Department of Energy passed the Senate on May 18 and the House on June 3, 1977. Congressional action, including approval of the conference report, was completed by August 3. President Carter signed the bill into law (Public Law 95-91) on August 4, 1977. The next day Carter named Schlesinger as the first Secretary of Energy. The Department was officially activated on October 1, 1977.
2. Schlesinger's initial task was to meld all headquarters, field, and staff programs from the component agencies, including their various supporting offices and functions, into a unified Department of Energy with about 20,000 employees and an annual budget of $10.4 billion. The Department's first Secretary contended that, historically, the problem with new departments had been that they pulled together existing agencies under the same roof without integrating the activities of those agencies. The legislation creating the Department of Energy, Schlesinger believed, was broad enough to allow him to achieve the desired effective integration. Department of Energy Organization and Structure
3. The new Department of Energy did not simply organize existing agencies and offices under new leadership but reshaped many programs and functions to fit the national energy policy of the Carter Administration. By law, the Department would be led by three principal officers: the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and Under Secretary. Energy technologies would not be divided by fuel type, such as fossil, nuclear, or solar, but grouped under assistant secretaries according to their evolution from research and development through application and commercialization. This approach reflected the administration's decision to formulate a comprehensive energy policy rather than to engage simply in fuel management. Thus basic research was placed in the Office of Energy Research. Individual research and development projects in solar, geothermal, fossil, and nuclear energy were placed under the assistant secretary for energy technology. After scientific and technical feasibility was determined, projects would be transferred to the assistant secretary for resource applications or to the assistant secretary for conservation and solar applications, who had specialized expertise in commercialization and energy markets. The assistant secretary for environment would assure that all departmental programs were consistent with environmental and safety laws, regulations, and policies. The assistant secretary for defense programs would inherit responsibility for the nuclear weapons programs.
3、新的能源部并不是简单地在新的领导机制下重组旧有的政府机构和部门，而是对很多项目和职能进行再造，使之适应卡特政府所推行的国家能源政策。依据法律，能源部由三名主要领导人负责：部长(Secretary)，常务副部长(Deputy Secretary)和副部长(Under Secretary)。能源技术将不会依据燃料品种分类，例如化石燃料、核燃料或太阳能，而是依照从研发到应用和商业化的不同发展阶段，由不同的部长助理(Assistant Secretary)分管。这种方式反映出政府的一个理念：即制定综合的能源政策，而不是简单地进行燃料管理。因此，基础研究归属能源研究局负责。有关太阳能、地热、化石燃料和核能源的特别研发项目由主管能源技术的部长助理负责。一旦其科技可行性确定之后，项目将转给分管资源应用的部长助理，或分管节能和太阳能应用的部长助理，他们在商业化和能源市场领域具有专长。分管环境的部长助理将负责保证能源部的所有项目必须符合相关的环境和安全方面的法律、法规、政策。分管国防项目的部长助理将接手核武器计划的管理责任。
4. The Department, despite its diverse origins, was structured to allow for the continuity of programs and functions from predecessor organizations while blending their expertise into new management teams. All activities of the Federal Energy Administration and the Energy Research and Development Administration were distributed among appropriate assistant secretaries, administrators, and the director of the Office of Energy Research. Also, limited functions were transferred from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation. Additional transfer included the Alaska, Bonneville, Southeastern, and Southwestern power marketing administrations from the Interior Department and the Navy oil reserves and oil shale reserves from the Department of Defense.