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The Secretary of Energy is the head of the U.S. Department of Energy and a member of the President's Cabinet. 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, 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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