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S. 826 (95th): Department of Energy Organization Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

7/27/1977--Conference report filed in Senate. (Conference report filed in Senate, S. Rept. 95-367) Department of Energy Organization Act - =Title I: Declaration of Findings and Purposes= - Declares it the purpose of this Act to establish a permanent Department of Energy in the executive branch to assist in the development of a coordinated national energy policy. =Title II: Establishment of the Department= - Establishes a Department of Energy in the executive branch. Establishes an Energy Information Administration and an Economic Regulatory Administration within such Department. Establishes within the Department an Office of Inspector General to review and investigate problems relating to the administration of the programs and operations of the Department. Establishes an Office of Energy Research and a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission within such Department. Establishes a Leasing Liaison Committee. =Title III: Transfers of Functions= - Transfers to the Secretary of Energy all functions now vested in the Federal Energy Administration and the Energy Research and Development Administration. Transfers energy-related functions from the Department of the Interior to the new Secretary. Transfers specified functions of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Federal Power Commission to the Secretary. =Title IV: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission= - Establishes a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission within the Department to be composed of five members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Transfers regulatory functions of the Federal Power Commission under the Federal Power Act and the Natural Gas Act to the new Commission. Establishes procedures governing the operation of the Commission. Authorizes the Secretary of Energy to delegate additional functions to the Commission. =Title V: Administrative Procedures and Judicial Review= - Stipulates that the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act shall apply to rules and regulations issued by the Secretary or a delegate. Requires that opportunity for oral presentations of viewpoints be afforded where regulations are likely to have a substantial economic impact. Requires hearings on rules which substantially impact a single geographic area to be held in such geographic area. Stipulates that United States district courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction of cases arising under this Act without regard to the amount in controversy. =Title VI: Administrative Provisions= - Prohibits supervising employees from holding any interest in energy companies. Authorizes the Secretary to grant waivers from such prohibition in cases of exceptional hardship. Requires disclosure of known financial interest by officers and employees of the Department, subject to criminal sanctions. Grants the Secretary limited authority to reorganize organizational units within the Department. Authorizes the Secretary to delegate authority to other officers, to create regional offices, to establish advisory committees, and provides that the Governors of States may establish regional energy advisory boards. Requires the Secretary to submit annual reports to the President for submission to Congress. Directs the Secretaries of Defense, Commerce, HUD, Transportation, Interior, Agriculture, the United States Postal Service, and the Administrator of General Services to designate one Assistant Secretary as principal conservation officer. Directs such officer to be responsible for planning and implementation of energy conservation programs by such Department or Administration, and for coordination with the Department of Energy. =Title VII: Transitional, Savings, and Conforming Provisions= - Stipulates that transfers of personnel as authorized by this Act shall not result in reduction in grade or unemployment for one year after enactment of this Act. Stipulates that orders, rules, and proceedings re-established or commenced under previous authority shall not be affected by the transfers under this Act. Amends the Federal Energy Administration Act, the Energy Reorganization Act, the Atomic Energy Act, the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act, the Energy Conservation Standards for New Buildings Act, the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, and other provisions of law to conform with the changes made by this Act. =Title VIII: Energy Planning= - Requires the President, by April 1, 1979, and biennially thereafter, to prepare and submit to Congress a National Energy Policy Plan, containing energy production, utilization, and conservation objectives, identification of strategies, and recommendations of action. =Title IX: Effective Date and Interim Appointments= - Stipulates that the provisions of this Act shall take effect no later than 120 days after the Secretary first takes office. Establishes procedures for interim appointments of officers prior to the effective date of this Act. =Title X: Sunset Provisions= - Requires the President to submit to Congress a review of each program in the Department by January 15, 1982.