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The Atomic Energy Act of 1954 is " the fundamental U.S. law on both the civilian and the military uses of nuclear materials," according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission web site. The Act requires that civilian uses of nuclear materials and facilities be licensed, and empowers the NRC to make relevant regulations.
(codified in scattered sections throughout titles 16, 22, 26, and 42 of the United States Code). Among other things, this act authorized loan guarantees for "innovative" energy technologies that avoid creating greenhouse gases; authorized subsidies for wind and other alternative energy sources; increased the amount of biofuel that must be mixed with gasoline sold in the United States; and provided tax breaks to homeowners who make energy conservation improvements to their homes.
This act gave the Federal Power Commission (now the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC) to set "just and reasonable rates" for the interstate transmission or sale of natural gas. It also gave the FPC authority to grant permits for the construction and operation of interstate gas transmission facilities.
This act, which was part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, repealed the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 and shifted the remaining, limited federal public utilities oversight responsibility from the SEC to FERC. The 2005 Act limits FERC's review of proposed utility mergers to antitrust-related and cross-subsidization issues, and requires that such reviews be completed within a 180 day period.