Summary: S.348 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (11/19/1999)

Title I: National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 1999 - National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 1999 - Authorizes the oilheat industry to conduct a referendum through a qualified industry organization among retailers and wholesalers for the creation of a National Oilheat Research Alliance to develop programs concerning oilheat research and development, safety issues, consumer education, and training. Defines "oilheat industry" to include those persons involved in the production, transportation, and sale of oilheat, and those engaged in the manufacture and distribution of oilheat utilization equipment in the United States (but excluding the ultimate consumers of oilheat).

(Sec. 105) Permits State industry trade association participation in such Alliance. Prescribes guidelines for Alliance membership and representation.

(Sec. 107) Requires the Alliance to: (1) levy and collect annual assessments on the wholesale sale of No. 1 distillate and No. 2 dyed distillate; and (2) establish a program coordinating its operation with that of any similar State, local, or regional program.

Prescribes allocation guidelines governing Alliance funds made available to a qualified State association. Conditions fund availability upon the Alliance's determination that the funds will be used to benefit the oilheat industry directly.

(Sec. 108) Instructs the Secretary of Commerce, using only data provided by public sources, to make available to Congress, the Alliance, the Secretary of Energy, and the public, an analysis of changes in oilheat prices relative to other energy sources. Requires such price analysis to compare indexed changes in consumer grade oilheat prices to a composite of indexed changes in: (1) residential electricity; (2) residential natural gas; and (3) propane on an annual national average basis.

Restricts Alliance activities to research and development, training, and safety matters in any year in which the five-year average price composite index of consumer grade oilheat exceeds the five-year rolling average price composite index of residential electricity, residential natural gas, and propane in an amount greater than 10.1 percent.

(Sec. 109) Empowers the Alliance to bring suit in Federal district court to compel compliance with any assessments it levies.

(Sec. 111) Mandates that Alliance-funded consumer education activities include a statement that they were supported by the Alliance.

(Sec. 112) Prohibits such consumer education activities from including: (1) a reference to a private brand name if such activities were undertaken with funds derived from Alliance assessments; (2) a false or unwarranted claim on behalf of oilheat or related products; or (3) a reference regarding the attributes or use of any competing product. Prescribes procedural guidelines for the filing and transmittal of complaints, including judicial review in Federal court.

Title II: Small Hydroelectric Projects in Alaska - Amends the Federal Power Act to direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to discontinue its licensing and regulatory authority over certain new, small (power production capacity of 5,000 kilowatts or less) qualifying hydroelectric project works in Alaska effective upon FERC certification that Alaska has a regulatory program in place for water-power development that: (1) protects certain public and environmental interests to the same extent provided by FERC and specified Federal law; (2) gives equal consideration to energy conservation, fish and wildlife protection, recreational opportunities, environmental quality, the interests of Alaska Natives, and beneficial public uses; and (3) has licensing requirements for construction, operation and maintenance of lights, signals, and fishways by a licensee at its own expense, operation of navigation facilities subject to Secretary of the Army regulations, and fish and wildlife protection and enhancement based upon Federal and State agency recommendations.

(Sec. 201) Authorizes the licensee of a project works licensed before enactment of this Act to elect to subject such works to licensing and regulation by Alaska in accordance with this Act.

Declares that, with respect to project works on an Indian reservation, a conservation system unit, or Federal public lands, a State license or exemption from license shall be subject to the approval of the Secretary having jurisdiction over such lands, and such conditions as the Secretary may prescribe.

Requires FERC to consult with the Secretaries of the Interior, of Agriculture, and of Commerce before certifying Alaska's regulatory program.

Requires the State of Alaska to notify FERC within 30 days after making any significant modification to its regulatory program. Requires FERC to reassert its regulatory and licensing authority if Alaska has not complied with one or more requirements of this Act. Prescribes FERC compliance review procedures.

Title III: Hydroelectric Projects in Hawaii - Amends the Federal Power Act to remove hydroelectric power projects on fresh waters in the State of Hawaii from the voluntary licensing jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Title IV: Arrowrock Dam Hydroelectric Project - Authorizes FERC to extend until March 26, 2005, the construction commencement deadline for the Arrowrock Dam Hydroelectric Project in the State of Idaho.