Text: H.R.2730 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (07/27/2006)


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[Congressional Bills 109th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2730 Referred in Senate (RFS)]


109th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 2730


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                July 27 (legislative day, July 26), 2006

   Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and 
                           Natural Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To authorize funding for eligible joint ventures between United States 
     and Israeli businesses and academic persons, to establish the 
      International Energy Advisory Board, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``United States-Israel Energy 
Cooperation Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
            (1) it is in the highest national security interests of the 
        United States to ensure secure access to reliable energy 
        sources;
            (2) the United States relies heavily on the foreign supply 
        of crude oil to meet the energy needs of the United States, 
        currently importing 58 percent of the total oil requirements of 
        the United States, of which 45 percent comes from member states 
        of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC);
            (3) revenues from the sale of oil by some of these 
        countries directly or indirectly provide funding for terrorism 
        and propaganda hostile to the values of the United States and 
        the West;
            (4) in the past, these countries have manipulated the 
        dependence of the United States on the oil supplies of these 
        countries to exert undue influence on United States policy, as 
        during the embargo of OPEC during 1973 on the sale of oil to 
        the United States, which became a major factor in the ensuing 
        recession;
            (5) research by the Energy Information Administration of 
        the Department of Energy has shown that the dependence of the 
        United States on foreign oil will increase by 33 percent over 
        the next 20 years;
            (6) a rise in the price of imported oil sufficient to 
        increase gasoline prices by 10 cents per gallon at the pump 
        would result in an additional outflow of $18,000,000,000 from 
        the United States to oil-exporting nations;
            (7) for economic and national security reasons, the United 
        States should reduce, as soon as practicable, the dependence of 
        the United States on nations that do not share the interests 
        and values of the United States;
            (8) the State of Israel has been a steadfast ally and a 
        close friend of the United States since the creation of Israel 
        in 1948;
            (9) like the United States, Israel is a democracy that 
        holds civil rights and liberties in the highest regard and is a 
        proponent of the democratic values of peace, freedom, and 
        justice;
            (10) cooperation between the United States and Israel on 
        such projects as the development of the Arrow Missile has 
        resulted in mutual benefits to United States and Israeli 
        security;
            (11) the special relationship between Israel and the United 
        States has been and continues to be manifested in a variety of 
        jointly-funded cooperative programs in the field of scientific 
        research and development, such as--
                    (A) the United States-Israel Binational Science 
                Foundation (BSF);
                    (B) the Israel-United States Binational 
                Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD); and
                    (C) the Israel-United States Binational Industrial 
                Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation;
            (12) these programs, supported by the matching 
        contributions from the Government of Israel and the Government 
        of the United States and directed by key scientists and 
        academics from both countries, have made possible many 
        scientific breakthroughs in the fields of life sciences, 
        medicine, bioengineering, agriculture, biotechnology, 
        communications, and others;
            (13) on February 1, 1996, United States Secretary of Energy 
        Hazel R. O'Leary and Israeli Minister of Energy and 
        Infrastructure Gonen Segev signed the Agreement Between the 
        Department of Energy of the United States of America and the 
        Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure of Israel Concerning 
        Energy Cooperation, to establish a framework for collaboration 
        between the United States and Israel in energy research and 
        development activities;
            (14) Israeli scientists and researchers have long been at 
        the forefront of research and development in the field of 
        alternative renewable energy sources;
            (15) many of the top corporations of the world have 
        recognized the technological and scientific expertise of Israel 
        by locating important research and development facilities in 
        Israel;
            (16) among the technological breakthroughs made by Israeli 
        scientists and researchers in the field of alternative, 
        renewable energy sources are--
                    (A) the development of a cathode that uses 
                hexavalent iron salts that accept 3 electrons per ion 
                and enable rechargeable batteries to provide 3 times as 
                much electricity as existing rechargeable batteries;
                    (B) the development of a technique that vastly 
                increases the efficiency of using solar energy to 
                generate hydrogen for use in energy cells; and
                    (C) the development of a novel membrane used in new 
                and powerful direct-oxidant fuel cells that is capable 
                of competing favorably with hydrogen fuel cells and 
                traditional internal combustion engines; and
            (17) cooperation between the United States and Israel in 
        the field of research and development of alternative renewable 
        energy sources would be in the interests of both countries, and 
        both countries stand to gain much from such cooperation.

SEC. 3. GRANT PROGRAM.

    (a) Authority.--Pursuant to the responsibilities described in 
section 102(10), (14), and (17) of the Department of Energy 
Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7112(10), (14), and (17)) and section 
103(9) of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5813(9)), 
the Secretary, in consultation with the BIRD or BSF, shall award grants 
to eligible entities.
    (b) Application.--
            (1) Submission of applications.--To receive a grant under 
        this section, an eligible entity shall submit an application to 
        the Secretary containing such information and assurances as the 
        Secretary, in consultation with the BIRD or BSF, may require.
            (2) Selection of eligible entities.--The Secretary, in 
        consultation with the Directors of the BIRD and BSF, may review 
        any application submitted by any eligible entity and select any 
        eligible entity meeting criteria established by the Secretary, 
        in consultation with the Advisory Board, for a grant under this 
        section.
    (c) Amount of Grant.--The amount of each grant awarded for a fiscal 
year under this section shall be determined by the Secretary, in 
consultation with the BIRD or BSF.
    (d) Recoupment.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish procedures 
        and criteria for recoupment in connection with any eligible 
        project carried out by an eligible entity that receives a grant 
        under this section, which has led to the development of a 
        product or process which is marketed or used.
            (2) Amount required.--
                    (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), such 
                recoupment shall be required as a condition for award 
                and be proportional to the Federal share of the costs 
                of such project, and shall be derived from the proceeds 
                of royalties or licensing fees received in connection 
                with such product or process.
                    (B) In the case where a product or process is used 
                by the recipient of a grant under this section for the 
                production and sale of its own products or processes, 
                the recoupment shall consist of a payment equivalent to 
                the payment which would be made under subparagraph (A).
            (3) Waiver.--The Secretary may at any time waive or defer 
        all or some of the recoupment requirements of this subsection 
        as necessary, depending on--
                    (A) the commercial competitiveness of the entity or 
                entities developing or using the product or process;
                    (B) the profitability of the project; and
                    (C) the commercial viability of the product or 
                process utilized.
    (e) Private Funds.--The Secretary may accept contributions of funds 
from private sources to carry out this Act.
    (f) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.--The 
Secretary shall carry out this section through the existing programs at 
the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
    (g) Report.--Not later than 180 days after receiving a grant under 
this section, each recipient shall submit a report to the Secretary--
            (1) documenting how the recipient used the grant funds; and
            (2) evaluating the level of success of each project funded 
        by the grant.

SEC. 4. INTERNATIONAL ENERGY ADVISORY BOARD.

    (a) Establishment.--There is established in the Department of 
Energy an International Energy Advisory Board.
    (b) Duties.--The Advisory Board shall advise the Secretary on--
            (1) criteria for the recipients of grants awarded under 
        section 3(a);
            (2) the total amount of grant money to be awarded to all 
        grantees selected by the Secretary, in consultation with the 
        BIRD; and
            (3) the total amount of grant money to be awarded to all 
        grantees selected by the Secretary, in consultation with the 
        BSF, for each fiscal year.
    (c) Membership.--
            (1) Composition.--The Advisory Board shall be composed of--
                    (A) 1 member appointed by the Secretary of 
                Commerce;
                    (B) 1 member appointed by the Secretary of Energy; 
                and
                    (C) 2 members who shall be Israeli citizens, 
                appointed by the Secretary of Energy after consultation 
                with appropriate officials in the Israeli Government.
            (2) Deadline for appointments.--The initial appointments 
        under paragraph (1) shall be made not later than 60 days after 
        the date of enactment of this Act.
            (3) Term.--Each member of the Advisory Board shall be 
        appointed for a term of 4 years.
            (4) Vacancies.--A vacancy on the Advisory Board shall be 
        filled in the manner in which the original appointment was 
        made.
            (5) Basic pay.--
                    (A) Compensation.--A member of the Advisory Board 
                shall serve without pay.
                    (B) Travel expenses.--Each member of the Advisory 
                Board shall receive travel expenses, including per diem 
                in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with applicable 
                provisions of subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, 
                United States Code.
            (6) Quorum.--Three members of the Advisory Board shall 
        constitute a quorum.
            (7) Chairperson.--The Chairperson of the Advisory Board 
        shall be designated by the Secretary of Energy at the time of 
        the appointment.
            (8) Meetings.--The Advisory Board shall meet at least once 
        annually at the call of the Chairperson.
    (d) Termination.--Section 14(a)(2)(B) of the Federal Advisory 
Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Advisory Board.

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Advisory board.--The term ``Advisory Board'' means the 
        International Energy Advisory Board established by section 
        4(a).
            (2) BIRD.--The term ``BIRD'' means the Israel-United States 
        Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation.
            (3) BSF.--The term ``BSF'' means the United States-Israel 
        Binational Science Foundation.
            (4) Eligible entity.--The term ``eligible entity'' means a 
        joint venture comprised of both Israeli and United States 
        private business entities or a joint venture comprised of both 
        Israeli academic persons (who reside and work in Israel) and 
        United States academic persons, that--
                    (A) carries out an eligible project; and
                    (B) is selected by the Secretary, in consultation 
                with the BIRD or BSF, using the criteria established by 
                the Secretary, in consultation with the Advisory Board.
            (5) Eligible project.--The term ``eligible project'' means 
        a project to encourage cooperation between the United States 
        and Israel on research, development, or commercialization of 
        alternative energy, improved energy efficiency, or renewable 
        energy sources.
            (6) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Energy, acting through the Assistant Secretary of Energy for 
        Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

SEC. 6. TERMINATION.

    The grant program authorized under section 3 and the Advisory Board 
shall terminate upon the expiration of the 7-year period which begins 
on the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    The Secretary is authorized to expend not more than $20,000,000 to 
carry out this Act for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2012 from 
funds previously authorized to the Office of Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy.

SEC. 8. CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY.

    The Constitutional authority on which this Act rests is the power 
of Congress to regulate commerce with foreign nations as enumerated in 
Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution.

            Passed the House of Representatives July 26, 2006.

            Attest:

                                                 KAREN L. HAAS,

                                                                 Clerk.