The first Secretary of Energy was James R. Schlesinger, who served under President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1979.
As sophia said, James R. Schlesinger became the first secretary of Energy in 1977. Six years earlier, he was the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. As the energy secretary years later, he was not convinced that the snail darter, a rare, prehistoric fish, was more important than a nuclear power project that was endangering this animal. He was criticized by activists like Jane Fonda and other public servants like Senator George McGovern. His abrasive personality caused President Nixon to tell his aids not to let him back in his office when other senior aides were present. Pressure from congress eventually caused his resignation. The snail darter still thrives, to an extent, in parts of Tennessee and Alabama.
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