Summary: H.R.1543 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1543. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (03/21/1991)

Comprehensive Energy Policy Act of 1991 - Title I: Conservation and Energy Efficiency in the Electricity Sector - Subtitle A: Electricity and Utilities - Amends the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 to declare that the rates charged by a State-regulated electric utility shall be such that its net income after implementation of cost effective conservation measures is at least as high as it would have been if such measures had not been implemented.

Directs the Tennessee Valley Authority to use least-cost planning in its decision-making regarding increased electric power demand.

Requires unregulated utilities to initiate or expand efforts to ensure that cost-effective energy efficiency is pursued by customer utilities. Sets forth energy efficiency guidelines for unregulated utilities. Requires unregulated utilities to submit an annual energy efficiency status report to the Secretary of Energy (the Secretary).

Authorizes the Secretary to provide energy efficiency and conservation grants to State regulatory authorities upon their submission of an energy efficiency and conservation plan. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle B: Residential, Commercial, and Federal Energy Use - Amends the National Energy Conservation Policy Act to direct the Secretary to establish a technical assistance program for States and localities to update the energy efficiency provisions of residential and commercial building codes. Mandates certification by each State that it has updated its residential and commercial building energy codes. Directs the Secretary to establish a task force to advise in the development of the energy efficiency update program. Authorizes appropriations.

Requires the Secretary to promulgate procedures that may be used by governmental entities and the private sector to assign efficiency ratings to residential buildings. Requires the Secretary to implement a technical assistance program utilizing energy efficiency rating systems based on such promulgated procedures. Directs the Secretary to report to the President and the Congress on such procedures and State actions to implement them. Authorizes appropriations.

Sets a deadline by which each Federal agency must: (1) install energy conservation measures in Federal buildings with a specified payback period; (2) submit a list of projects to the Secretary which meet such payback criterion; and (3) have substantially completed at least 25 percent of such projects or as many as would account for 25 percent of total energy savings. Directs the Secretary to develop guidelines for the selection of energy service contractors by Federal agencies.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish the Federal Energy Efficiency Fund to provide grants to Federal agencies to enable them to meet energy conservation requirements in Federal buildings; and (2) report annually to the Congress on progress. Authorizes appropriations.

Authorizes Federal agency participation in energy conservation programs conducted by gas or electric utilities. Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish a financial bonus program to reward outstanding facility energy managers in Federal agencies; (2) study the monetary value of the environmental benefits resulting from energy efficiency improvements in Federal buildings; (3) establish a program to install in Federal buildings commercial energy efficiency technologies developed by entities receiving Federal financial research and development assistance; and (4) disseminate an evaluation of each energy efficiency technology included in the program. Authorizes appropriations.

Requires the Administrator of the General Services Administration to: (1) issue guidelines to Federal Product Schedule users to encourage their purchase of preferred energy efficient models based upon a life-cycle-cost-benefit analysis; (2) provide assistance to manufacturers whose energy efficient products are not listed on the Federal Product Schedule to encourage inclusion of their products on it; and (3) submit a status report to the Congress on manufacturers on the Schedule. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle C: Standards and Information - Directs the Secretary to: (1) provide financial assistance to support a voluntary national window rating program to develop energy ratings and labels for windows and window systems; (2) develop voluntary national standards for industrial insulation; (3) review and report to the Congress on energy audit procedures in commercial, agricultural, and industrial sectors; (4) establish test procedures and develop energy conservation standards for lamps, appliance motors, and small package air conditioners; (5) evaluate for the Congress the feasibility of requiring electric lights and utility distribution transformers to meet minimum energy efficiency levels (and the possible replacement of existing transformers); and (6) submit to the Congress a program plan for promoting the early introduction of high-efficiency appliances by utilities and appliance manufacturers. Authorizes appropriations.

Subtitle D: Tax Provisions - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) exclude from gross income the value of energy and water conservation subsidies provided by a public utility to a customer; and (2) restore the tax credit for energy conservation expenditures on oil-heated homes.

Title II: Conservation in the Transportation Sector - Subtitle A: Alternative Fuels - Amends the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act to direct the Secretary of Transportation when amending fuel economy standards: (1) not to consider the fuel economy of alcohol-powered automobiles or natural gas-powered automobiles; but (2) to consider dual energy automobiles and natural gas dual energy automobiles to be operated exclusively on gasoline or diesel fuel. Sets forth acquisition and credit allocation guidelines for owners, operators and lessees of fleets of alternative fuel vehicles. Prescribes civil and administrative penalties for noncompliance with this Act.

Subtitle B: Natural Gas as a Transportation Fuel - Amends the Natural Gas Act to state that its provisions shall not apply to a person solely because such person sells or transports natural gas for subsequent use as a fuel in transportation vehicles.

Preempts any State regulation prior to January 1, 1989, with respect to natural gas transportation in closed containers, or the sale of natural gas for use as a fuel in transportation vehicles. Declares that a company shall not be considered a gas utility company under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 solely because it distributes or sells natural gas as a fuel for transportation vehicles.

Amends the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 to define a "high-priority user" as any person who uses natural gas as a fuel in transportation vehicles.

Subtitle C: Fuel Economy - Amends the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act to direct the Secretary of Transportation to amend the average fuel economy standard to levels which the Secretary determines are the maximum feasible average fuel economy level for model years beginning after model year 1996. Extends from ten to 30 days the period during which the Secretary of Energy may provide the Secretary of Transportation with written comments on the level of proposed amended fuel economy standards.

Directs the Secretary of Transportation to determine by rule an appropriate fuel economy credit to be given to electric vehicle manufacturers.

Subtitle D: Miscellaneous - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to exclude from the gross income of an employee the value of any qualified transportation benefit provided by the employer.

Requires the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue regulations providing for appropriate credits for complying with the Clean Air Act to persons who operate programs for the scrapping of older, less fuel efficient vehicles.

Directs the Secretary of Energy to study whether consumers use automotive fuel octane ratings higher than needed to operate their vehicles, and, if so, to take appropriate consumer education steps to reduce the excess use of premium gasoline.

Declares certain conservation requirements under the Clean Air Act applicable to all employers of 100 or more persons in standard metropolitan statistical areas of 250,000 or more people.

Declares it is U.S. policy that by 2000 at least ten percent of the Nation's vehicle transportation needs shall be served by domestic non-petroleum fuels.

Directs the Secretary of Energy to establish an electric vehicle research and development grant program to fund joint venture demonstrations of electric vehicles, and to develop an electric vehicle infrastructure.

Authorizes appropriations.

Declares that for purposes of the Natural Gas Act, vehicular natural gas, including gas sold wholesale or transported by persons with service area determinations, shall be deemed to be ultimately consumed in the State in which physical delivery of a natural gas sale occurs, whether or not physical combustion occurs in another State.

Directs the Administrator of EPA to approve use of methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) in unleaded gasoline in amounts up to .03125 grams per gallon.

Title III: Renewable Energy Sources - Subtitle A: PURPA Size Cap and Co-Firing Reform - Amends the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) to direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to prescribe rules requiring electric utilities to offer to purchase electric capacity from alternative power production facilities only through competitive acquisition. Subjects alternative power production facilities to current cogeneration and small power production rules.

Subtitle B: Hydroelectric Power Regulatory Reform - Amends the Federal Power Act to direct FERC to require hydroelectric power project license applicants to consult with certain Federal and State agencies and Indian tribes and file a plan and schedule for conducting studies as part of the licensing process. Sets forth guidelines for additional licensing procedures. Directs FERC to coordinate a single, consolidated licensing review (including review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969) of a hydropower project license application by all interested Federal and State agencies and Indian tribes.

Removes from FERC jurisdiction hydropower projects with installed capacities of five megawatts or less that have not received a license by the date of enactment of this Act. Permits such projects with licenses to petition for their surrender.

Subtitle C: Credit for Electricity Generated Using Solar, Wind, or Geothermal Energy - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow an income tax credit for electricity generated using solar, wind, or geothermal energy (renewable electricity generating credit). Extends the period allowing existing solar and geothermal energy credits.

Subtitle D: Study of Tax and Rate Treatment of Renewable Energy Projects - Directs the Secretary of Energy to study and report to the Congress on the tax and rate treatment of renewable energy projects.

Subtitle E: Encouragement of Energy Recovery From Waste - Requires each Federal agency to adopt policies and institute regulatory changes to encourage and remove regulatory obstacles to the burning of high-BTU secondary materials as a fuel substitute.

Title IV: Electric Power - Subtitle A: Public Utility Holding Company Act Reform - Sets forth regulatory guidelines for the treatment of public utility holding companies as exempt wholesale generators.

Subtitle B: Miscellaneous - Amends the Federal Power Act to mandate that FERC, as a prerequisite to approving a rate or charge filed as the result of an agreement between a public utility and a wholesale seller, require the purchasing utility to certify that the charge conforms to its least-cost planning as approved by a regulatory authority, or, if no such plan exists, that the charge is less than, or equal to, the utility's avoided cost.

Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary of Energy for electronic switching research.

Requires the Secretary to study and report to the Congress on legislative and regulatory reforms and incentives to provide improved electric transmission transfer capability between the councils comprising the North American Electric Reliability Council.

Title V: Natural Gas Regulatory Reform - Directs FERC to: (1) issue regulations to expedite pipeline certifications; and (2) report to certain congressional committees on recommended reforms to facilitate increased deliverability of natural gas to consumers.

Amends the Natural Gas Act to provide that, for purposes of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, a FERC certificate of public convenience and necessity for a natural gas facility construction or extension is the only Federal action requiring a detailed environmental impact statement. Directs FERC to permit natural gas facility construction on operation applicants to prepare such statements.

Amends the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 to authorize an interstate pipeline to construct facilities incidental to transportation service upon 30 days notice to the affected State commission.

Amends the Natural Gas Act to declare that a natural gas transportation rate mutually agreed-upon by a natural-gas company and the customer is deemed just and reasonable and in compliance with this Act. Sets forth expedited certification procedures for natural gas transportation and related facilities construction. Provides for the construction and operation of natural gas transportation facilities with an option not to obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity (thus taking such facility out of the jurisdiction of the Act).

Sets forth deadlines for a rehearing under the Natural Gas Act. Declares that facilities repair or replacement does not require a certificate of public convenience and necessity.

Sets forth certification procedures for priority natural gas facility.

Title VI: Oil and Gas Production - Subtitle A: Arctic Coastal Plain Domestic Energy Leasing - Arctic Coastal Plain Domestic Energy Leasing Act of 1991 - Directs the Secretary of the Interior to implement a competitive oil and gas leasing program for the Coastal Plain Study Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

States that this Act shall be considered the primary land management authorization for all exploration and production activities on the Coastal Plain. Provides that no land management review shall be required except as specifically authorized by this Act. Mandates that all receipts from sales, rentals, bonuses, and royalties on leases under this Act be deposited into the Treasury.

Directs the Secretary to promulgate regulations to ensure that oil and gas exploration and transportation activities are conducted to achieve the reasonable protection of animal and environmental resources (including subsistence uses of the Coastal Plain). States that the "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, Coastal Plain Resource Assessment," prepared by the Secretary, satisfies all legal requirements for such promulgation and that no further studies or assessments shall be required.

Directs the Secretary to provide impact aid and other assistance to communities on the North Slope and elsewhere in Alaska in order to ensure the public services needed to accommodate oil and gas production and transportation activities on the Coastal Plain.

Subtitle B: Tax Incentives for Oil and Natural Gas Exploration and Production - Amends the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to allow as an income tax credit 15 percent of: (1) any qualified investment in crude oil and natural gas exploration activities; and (2) the qualified cost of each barrel of eligible crude oil (marginal production credit).

Declares that intangible drilling and development costs with respect to oil and gas wells shall also apply to surface casting costs and geological and geophysical costs for ascertaining the existence, location, extent or quality of domestic oil or gas deposits (thus qualifying them for deduction).

Repeals the taxable income limitation on oil and gas well depletion allowances.

Defines tar sands for IRC purposes.

Removes from the alternative minimum tax purview oil and gas well depletion allowances and intangible drilling costs.

Declares that the tax treatment with respect to mineral sharing arrangements shall be determined without regard to Revenue Ruling 77-176.

Subtitle C: Oil Pipeline Deregulation - Oil Pipeline Regulatory Reform Act - Amends the Department of Energy Organization Act to terminate FERC jurisdiction over oil and other pipelines except the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.

Authorizes the Attorney General to petition the Secretary of Energy (the Secretary) for an adjudication of whether Commission rate regulation of an existing pipeline in any market is in the public interest. Prescribes adjudication guidelines. Provides that pipeline rates for service to markets which are not identified in a mandatory published adjudications list will no longer be subject to FERC regulatory jurisdiction.

Prescribes adjudication guidelines under which the Secretary shall find that regulation of a pipeline is in the public interest only if it is demonstrated that such regulation is necessary to constrain the exercise of substantial market power in the supply and demand of products transported by the pipeline in that market.

States that new pipelines shall not be subject to existing Commission regulatory jurisdiction or rate regulation, but shall be subject to common carrier regulation under such Act. States that Commission rate regulation shall be prospective only. Prohibits terminated Commission regulatory jurisdiction from reverting to any other Federal agency.

Confers exclusive, original jurisdiction over any petition for judicial review upon the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Precludes from such judicial review any action of the Attorney General under this Act, including adjudication petitions. Outlines the parameters within which pipelines are required to operate as common carriers. Requires pipelines to file terms of carriage schedules (except carriage rates) with the Commission.

Sets forth guidelines for maximum rates, on a market by market basis, subject to price cap regulation based on base rates and cumulative changes in a Competitive Pipeline Price Index. Precludes a pipeline from conditioning its services upon entering into other transactions or on taking or refraining from any action.

Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress regarding the results of this Act five years after the conclusion of all adjudications.

Retains the applicability of antitrust laws to pipeline transportation of crude oil or refined oil products.

Subtitle D: Leasing of Naval Petroleum Reserve - Naval Petroleum Reserve Leasing Act - Authorizes the President to lease Naval Petroleum Reserve Numbered 1 (California) if it is not necessary for national defense purposes. Sets forth leasing and antitrust guidelines. Mandates the use of competitive leasing procedures, minimum royalty payments, and crude oil set asides for sale to small refiners by Reserve lessees.

Authorizes the President to take certain steps to arrange and conduct a leasing action.

Authorizes the President to acquire privately owned lands or physical improvements within a Naval Petroleum Reserve if a lease of Naval Petroleum Reserve Numbered 1 cannot be arranged.

Amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to authorize the Secretary of Energy (the Secretary) to store within the Strategic Petroleum Reserve a Defense Petroleum Inventory of petroleum products (in addition to any other acquisition and storage for such Reserve required by law).

Directs the Secretary to obligate the United States share of funds available in the Naval Petroleum Reserve Lease Proceeds Special Account (created by this Act) for the acquisition of 10,000,000 barrels of petroleum products for the Defense Petroleum Inventory. Declares that upon request of the Secretary of Defense: (1) petroleum products acquired for or dedicated to the Defense Petroleum Inventory shall be drawn down and distributed by the Secretary of Energy for the Department of Defense for use, sale, or exchange; and (2) the Secretary of Energy shall replace in the Defense Petroleum Inventory those petroleum products drawn down on behalf of the Department of Defense. Requires the Department of Defense to reimburse the Department of Energy for services rendered under this Act.

Establishes the Naval Petroleum Reserve Lease Proceeds Special Account in the Treasury to implement this Act. Funds such Special Account with amounts realized from the lease of any United States interest in Naval Petroleum Reserve Numbered 1. Sets forth a payment scheme under which lease proceeds shall be used to make payments to the State of California.

Declares that: (1) the authority to lease under this Act extends to specified sections within Naval Petroleum Reserve Numbered 1; and (2) this Act does not affect the withdrawal of lands provided for in certain school land grants.

Subtitle E: Outer Continental Shelf Local Impact Assistance - Coastal State and Community Outer Continental Shelf Impact Assistance Act - Establishes the Coastal State and Community Outer Continental Shelf Impact Assistance Fund whose revenues shall be paid to and used by coastal States, especially for subdivisions socially or economically impacted by mineral development on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Subtitle F: Western Hemisphere Energy Policy - Directs the President to report to the Congress on actions taken to implement U.S. policy to focus attention in trade negotiations and international consultations on investment policies that expand worldwide production capacity and diversity of oil suppliers.

Title VII: Coal and Coal Technology - Directs the Secretary of Energy to: (1) conduct (and report annually to the Congress regarding) an advanced coal-based technologies research and development program; and (2) submit to the Congress a domestic coal export expansion plan.

Establishes the Clean Coal Technology Export Coordinating Council to: (1) expand the export and use of clean coal technologies with an emphasis on their use in lesser developed countries; and (2) provide certain congressional committees with a plan detailing actions to be taken to address specified recommendations of the Secretary.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) submit a status report to the Congress on commercialization of coal fuel mixtures; and (2) conduct a research and demonstration program for utilizing "ultra-clean coal-water slurry" in diesel locomotive engines. Authorizes appropriations.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to restore investment credits for pollution devices required by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.

Title VIII: Nuclear - Nuclear Standardization and Safety Reform Act of 1991 - Subtitle A: Licensing Reform - Amends the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to direct the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to issue a combined construction and operating license to an applicant after holding a public hearing and determining that facility construction and operation will comply with NRC rules and regulations. Directs the NRC to propose implementing regulations regarding combined license applications.

Subtitle B: Amendment of PUHCA - Amends the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA) to require the Securities and Exchange Commission to exempt a public utility holding company from coverage under such Act if it controls utility assets pursuant to an NRC-approved management agreement and otherwise meets at least one of the other criteria for exemption. Permits the acquisition of securities of a public utility company controlling utility assets by an affiliate or an affiliate of another public utility or holding company if the control is pursuant to such an agreement.

Subtitle C: Fast Flux Test Facility - Directs the Secretary of Energy to establish a research, development, and production center known as the "Research Reactor User Complex" (RRC) at the Hanford Reservation in Richland, Washington. Mandates that a contractor under contract with the Department of Energy to operate the RRC maintain and operate the Fast Flux Test Facility for the Department's account. Establishes the "RRC Fund" from which the Secretary may make expenditures to offset the cost of operating the RRC.

Subtitle D: Effective Date - Sets forth the effective date of this title.