Federal Energy Administration

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The Federal Energy Administration (FEA) was a United States government organization created in 1974 to address the 1970s energy crisis, and specifically the 1973 oil crisis.[1] It was merged in 1977 with the newly created United States Department of Energy.[2]


In 1973, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries placed an oil embargo on nations perceived as assisting Israel in the Yom Kippur War.[3] To combat the embargo, President Nixon established the Federal Energy Office (FEO) in December 1973, which was tasked with coordinating the American response to the embargo.[4] In June 1974, the FEO was superseded by the FEA under the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974 and Executive Order 11790. The FEA was tasked with managing fuel allocation, pricing regulation, and energy data collection and analysis.[5] The Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) was created by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 and managed the energy research and development, nuclear weapons, and naval reactors programs.[6]

In December 1975, Energy Policy and Conservation Act directed the FEA to change petroleum pricing regulations such that crude oil prices would rise gradually. Additionally, subject to congressional review, the FEA could now remove refined petroleum products from pricing controls. By June 1976, fuel oil, middle distillates, naphtha, and gas oils were no longer under pricing controls.[7]

The Federal Energy Administration Act created the first U.S. agency with the primary focus on energy and mandated it to collect, assemble, evaluate, and analyze energy information. It also provided FEA with data collection enforcement authority for gathering data from energy producing and major consuming firms. Section 52 of the FEA Act mandated establishment of the National Energy Information System to "contain such energy information as is necessary to carry out the Administration’s statistical and forecasting activities."

The Department of Energy Organization Act of 1977 created the United States Department of Energy (USDOE), which merged ERDA and FEA under USDOE. It also created the Energy Information Administration as the primary Federal Government authority on energy statistics and analysis.[8][9]


National Energy Office
Energy Policy Office
  • John Love (July 16, 1973 – December 4, 1973)
Federal Energy Office
Federal Energy Administration

Andrew Gibson was nominated to succeed Sawhill but was withdrawn before the Senate had a chance to act on it.


  1. ^ Staff report (May 8, 1974). Energy Crisis Still With Us, Nixon Warns. Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ Vietor, Richard H. K. (1987). Energy Policy in America Since 1945: A Study of Business-Government Relations. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-33572-0
  3. ^ McKie, James (1975). "The United States". Daedalus. 104: 83–84. JSTOR 20024363.
  4. ^ "Richard Nixon: Executive Order 11748—Federal Energy Office". www.presidency.ucsb.edu. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  5. ^ "Richard Nixon: Statement About the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974". www.presidency.ucsb.edu. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  6. ^ Buck, Alice (1982). A History of the Energy Research and Development Administration (PDF). U.S. Department of Energy. pp. 2–3.
  7. ^ Anders, Roger (1980). The Federal Energy Administration (PDF). U.S. Department of Energy. p. 4.
  8. ^ Carter, Jimmy (2005). Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter- 1977 Book II. University of Michigan Library. p. 1584.
  9. ^ Department of Energy, Announcement No. 1, September 28, 1977

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