Department of Energy (DOE)

The United States Department of Energy is a cabinet-level executive department of the federal government responsible for energy policy and safety in handling nuclear material. It was founded in 1977 under the direction of President Jimmy Carter. When created, the department brought together two key functions:

  1. Defense responsibilities that include the design, construction, and testing of nuclear weapons dating from the Manhattan Project effort to build the atomic bomb
  2. A loosely knit amalgamation of energy-related programs scattered throughout the federal government

Today the department continues to oversee nuclear security through defense, nonproliferation, and environmental efforts and to foster energy programs including technology development, clean energy solutions, energy efficiency, and advanced research. It is lead by the Secretary of Energy who is appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. 

As of 2021, program offices include:

  • Advanced Research
  • Artificial Intelligence and Technology
  • Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response
  • Electricity
  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
  • Environmental Management
  • Fossil Energy and Carbon Management
  • Indian Energy Policy and Programs
  • Loan Programs
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Science 

The DOE operates various labs and technology centers including

  • Ames Laboratory
  • Argonne National Laboratory
  • Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
  • Idaho National Laboratory
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • National Energy Technology Laboratory
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • New Brunswick laboratory
  • Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education
  • Oakridge National Laboratory
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
  • Radiological and Environmental Sciences Laboratory
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • Savanah River Ecology Laboratory
  • SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory 
  • Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

DOE oversees the operation of federal power marketing administrations including:

  • Bonneville Power Administration
  • Southeastern Power Administration
  • Southwestern Power Administration
  • Western Area Power Administration

It also operates the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).