The United States Secretary of Energy is the head of the United States Department of Energy, a member of the Cabinet of the United States, and fourteenth in the presidential line of succession. The position was formed on October 1, 1977 with the creation of the Department of Energy when President Jimmy Carter signed the Department of Energy Organization Act. Originally the post focused on energy production and regulation. The emphasis soon shifted to developing technology for better and more efficient energy sources as well as energy education.
After the end of the Cold War, the department's attention also turned toward radioactive waste disposal and maintenance of environmental quality.
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