164. Editorial Note

On October 15, 1978, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives passed the five bills that together constitute the National Energy Act of 1978: 1) the National Energy Conservation Policy Act, which funded conservation and solar energy initiatives (P.L. 95–619); 2) the Power Plant and Industrial Fuel Use Act, which encouraged the use of coal and other alternative fuels instead of oil and natural gas in both new and existing utilities (P.L. 95–620); 3) the Natural Gas Policy Act, which provided for the creation of a single national market for new natural gas sales (P.L. 95–621); 4) the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, which facilitated conservation through the efficient use of utility generating equipment (P.L. 95–617); and 5) the Energy Tax Act, which established incentive tax credits to induce energy conservation and the use of alternative energy sources (P.L. 95–618).

In a telegram to posts in both oil-producing and oil-consuming nations, the Department of State noted that the new programs were estimated to save 2.4–3.0 million barrels of oil per day by 1985, compared to what the United States would otherwise have required. Such savings, the Department explained, met a commitment that the United States made at the Bonn Economic Summit in July and also adhered to “the decision on group objectives and principles for energy policy adopted by the International Energy Agency at its October 1977 Governing Board meeting.” (Telegram 273815 to Brussels and other posts, October 27; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, [Page 522] D780443–0651) Regarding the October 1977 IEA meeting, see Document 129.

President Carter signed the bills into law on November 9. For the text of his remarks on signing the bills, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter, 1978, pages 1978–1985.