Text: H.R.6258 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/12/2008)


110th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6258


To accelerate the development and early deployment of systems for the capture and storage of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel electric generation facilities, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 12, 2008

Mr. Boucher (for himself, Mr. Upton, Mr. Murtha, Mr. Barton of Texas, Mr. Rahall, Mr. Whitfield of Kentucky, Mr. Costello, Mr. Shimkus, Mr. Matheson, Mr. Doyle, Mr. Holden, Mr. Ellsworth, Mr. Hill, Mr. Wilson of Ohio, and Ms. Pryce of Ohio) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Science and Technology, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To accelerate the development and early deployment of systems for the capture and storage of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel electric generation facilities, 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 “Carbon Capture and Storage Early Deployment Act” .

SEC. 2. Definitions.

(1) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Energy.

(2) DISTRIBUTION UTILITY.—The term “distribution utility” means an electric utility that has a legal, regulatory, or contractual obligation to deliver electricity directly to retail consumers.

(3) ELECTRIC UTILITY.—The term “electric utility” has the meaning provided by section 3(22) of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 796(22)).

(4) FOSSIL FUEL-BASED ELECTRICITY.—The term “fossil fuel-based electricity” means electricity that is produced from the combustion of fossil fuels.

(5) FOSSIL FUEL.—The term “fossil fuel” means coal, petroleum, natural gas or any derivative of coal, petroleum, or natural gas.

(6) CORPORATION.—The term “Corporation” means the Carbon Storage Research Corporation established in accordance with this Act.

(7) QUALIFIED INDUSTRY ORGANIZATION.—The term “qualified industry organization” means any association or group of owners or operators of distribution utilities delivering fossil fuel-based electricity who collectively represent at least 20 percent of the volume of fossil fuel-based electricity delivered by distribution utilities to consumers in the United States.

SEC. 3. Carbon Storage Research Corporation.

(a) Establishment.—Qualified industry organizations may conduct, at their own expense, a referendum among the owners or operators of distribution utilities delivering fossil fuel-based electricity for the creation of a Carbon Storage Research Corporation. Such referendum shall be conducted by an independent auditing firm agreed to by the qualified industry organizations. Voting rights in such referendum shall be based on the quantity of fossil fuel-based electricity delivered to consumers in the previous calendar year or other representative period. Upon approval of those persons representing two-thirds of the total quantity of fossil fuel-based electricity delivered to retail consumers, the Corporation shall be established. All distribution utilities voting in the referendum shall certify to the independent auditing firm the quantity of fossil fuel-based electricity represented by their vote.

(b) Termination.—The Corporation shall be authorized to collect assessments and conduct operations pursuant to this Act for a 10-year period from the date 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act. After such 10-year period, the Corporation is no longer authorized to collect assessments and shall be dissolved on the date 15 years after such date of enactment, unless the period is extended by an Act of Congress.

(c) Governance.—The Corporation shall operate as a division or affiliate of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and be managed by a Board of not more than 12 members responsible for its operations, including compliance with this Act. The Institute, working in consultation with industry organizations representing investor-owned utilities, utilities owned by a Federal or State agency or municipality, and rural electric cooperatives, shall appoint the Board. The Board shall include at least one representative of each of the following:

(1) Investor-owned utilities.

(2) Utilities owned by a Federal or State agency or a municipality.

(3) Rural electric cooperatives.

(4) Fossil fuel producers.

(d) Compensation.—Corporation Board members shall receive no compensation for their services, nor shall Corporation Board members be reimbursed for expenses relating to their service.

(e) Terms.—Corporation Board members shall serve terms of 4 years and may serve not more than 2 full consecutive terms. Members filling unexpired terms may serve not more than a total of 8 consecutive years. Former members of the Corporation Board may be reappointed to the Corporation Board if they have not been members for a period of 2 years. Initial appointments to the Corporation Board shall be for terms of 1, 2, 3, and 4 years, staggered to provide for the selection of 3 members each year.

(f) Status of Corporation.—The Corporation shall not be considered to be an agency, department, or instrumentality of the United States, and no officer or director or employee of the Corporation shall be considered to be an officer or employee of the United States Government, for purposes of title 5 or title 31 of the United States Code, or for any other purpose, and no funds of the Corporation shall be treated as public money for purposes of chapter 33 of title 31, United States Code, or for any other purpose.

SEC. 4. Functions and administration of the Corporation.

(a) In general.—Except as provided in subsection (d), the Corporation shall use all funds derived from assessments under section 5 to issue grants and contracts to private, academic, and governmental entities with the purpose of accelerating the commercial demonstration or availability of carbon dioxide capture and storage technologies and methods, including technologies which capture and store, or capture and convert, carbon dioxide. Grants and awards shall be made on a competitive basis reflecting best overall value and prospect for achieving the purposes of this Act. Board Members shall not participate in making grants or awards to entities with whom they are affiliated. The Corporation may use such funds to purchase carbon dioxide through reverse auctions or other acquisition methods, when needed to conduct tests of carbon dioxide storage sites, in the case of established projects that are storing carbon dioxide emissions or for other purposes consistent with the purposes of this Act. The Corporation shall support large-scale demonstrations of carbon capture and Storage technologies capable of advancing the technologies to commercial readiness. Pilot-scale and similar small-scale projects are not eligible for support by the Corporation. Supported projects should encompass a range of different coal and other fossil fuel varieties, be geographically diverse, involve diverse storage media, and employ capture and storage, or capture and conversion, technologies potentially suitable either for new or for retrofit applications. The Board shall also establish policies regarding the ownership of intellectual property developed as a result of Corporation grants and other forms of technology support. Such policies shall encourage individual ingenuity and invention.

(b) Relationship to Department of Energy and academic organizations.—The Board may approve grants or contracts to support programs or projects under the auspices of the Department of Energy or its affiliated national laboratories and other fossil energy research entities, including the Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships, where such support promises to accelerate the commercial development and demonstration of carbon capture and storage, or carbon capture and conversion, technologies. Grant and contract support also may be provided to projects or programs managed by academic organizations or consortia, where such support promises to accelerate the commercial development and demonstration of carbon capture and storage technologies.

(c) Administration.—The members of the Board of Directors of the Corporation shall elect a Chairman and other officers as necessary, may establish committees and subcommittees of the Corporation, and shall adopt rules and bylaws for the conduct of business and the implementation of this Act. The Corporation Board shall consult with the Electric Power Research Institute Advisory Council and the Secretary and the Director of the Department’s National Energy Technology Laboratory to obtain advice and recommendations on plans, programs, project selection criteria, and projects to be funded by the Corporation. The Board shall appoint an Executive Director and professional support staff who may be employees of the Electric Power Research Institute.

(d) Administrative expenses.—Up to 5 percent of the funds collected in any fiscal year under section 5 may be used for the administrative expenses of operating the Corporation (not including costs incurred in the determination and collection of the assessments pursuant to section 5).

(e) Budget.—Before August 1 each year, the Corporation shall publish for public review and comment a budget plan for the next calendar year, including the probable costs of all programs, projects, and contracts and a recommended rate of assessment sufficient to cover such costs. The Secretary may recommend programs and activities the Secretary considers appropriate.

(f) Records; audits.—The Corporation shall keep minutes, books, and records that clearly reflect all of the acts and transactions of the Corporation and make public such information. The books of the Corporation shall be audited by a certified public accountant at least once each fiscal year and at such other times as the Corporation may designate. Copies of each audit shall be provided to the Congress, all members of the Corporation, all qualified industry organizations, and to other members of the industry upon request. If the audit determines that the Corporation’s practices fail to meet generally accepted accounting principles the assessment collection authority of the Corporation under section 5 shall be suspended until a certified public accountant renders a subsequent opinion that the failure has been corrected.

(g) Public Access.—(1) The Corporation Board’s meetings shall be open to the public and shall occur after at least 30 days advance public notice. Meetings of the Board of Directors may be closed to the public where the agenda of such meetings includes only confidential matters pertaining to project selection, the award of grants or contracts, personnel matter, or the receipt of legal advice.

(2) The minutes of all meetings of the Corporation shall be made available to and readily accessible by the public.

(h) Annual report.—Each year the Corporation shall prepare and make publicly available a report which includes an identification and description of all programs and projects undertaken by the Corporation during the previous year as well as those planned for the coming year. The report shall also detail the allocation or planned allocation of Corporation resources for each such program and project.

SEC. 5. Assessments.

(a) Amount.—(1) In all calendar years following its establishment, the Corporation shall collect an assessment on distribution utilities for all fossil fuel-based electricity delivered directly to retail consumers. The assessments shall reflect the relative carbon dioxide emission rates of different fossil fuel-based electricity, and initially shall be not less than the following amounts for coal, natural gas, and oil:


Rate of assessment
 Fuel type: per kilowatt hour:
Coal $0.00043
Natural Gas $0.00022
Oil $0.00032

(2) The Corporation is authorized to adjust the assessments on fossil fuel-based electricity to reflect changes in the expected quantities of such electricity from different fuel types, such that the assessments generate not less than $1.0 billion and not more than $1.1 billion annually. The Corporation is authorized to supplement assessments through additional financial commitments.

(b) Investment of funds.—Pending disbursement pursuant to a program, plan, or project, the Corporation may invest funds collected through assessments under this section, and any other funds received by the Corporation, only in obligations of the United States or any agency thereof, in general obligations of any State or any political subdivision thereof, in any interest-bearing account or certificate of deposit of a bank that is a member of the Federal Reserve System, or in obligations fully guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States.

(c) Reversion of unused funds.—If the Corporation does not disburse, dedicate or assign 75 percent or more of the available proceeds of the assessed fees in any calendar year 7 or more years following its establishment, due to an absence of qualified projects or similar circumstances, it shall reimburse the remaining un­ded­i­cat­ed or unassigned balance of such fees, less administrative and other expenses authorized by this Act, to the distribution utilities upon which such fees were assessed, in proportion to their collected assessments.

SEC. 6. Compliance with Corporation assessments.

The Corporation may bring an action in the appropriate court of the United States to compel compliance with an assessment levied by the Corporation under this Act. A successful action for compliance under this section may also require payment by the defendant of the costs incurred by the Corporation in bringing such action.

SEC. 7. Midcourse review.

Not later than 5 years following establishment of the Corporation, the Comptroller General of the United States shall prepare an analysis, and report to Congress, assessing the Corporation’s activities, including project selection and methods of disbursement of assessed fees, impacts on the prospects for commercialization of carbon capture and storage technologies, and adequacy of funding. The report shall also make such recommendations as may be appropriate in each of these areas. The Corporation shall reimburse the Government Accountability Office for the costs associated with performing this midcourse review.

SEC. 8. Recovery of costs.

(a) In general.—All costs that are incurred by a distribution utility to comply with the requirements of this Act shall be deemed necessary and reasonable costs and shall be fully and contemporaneously recoverable in all jurisdictions. A distribution utility whose transmission, delivery, or sales of electric energy are subject to any form of rate regulation shall not be denied the opportunity to recover the full amount of the costs associated with complying with this Act, notwithstanding any other law, regulation, rule, administrative order, or any agreement, including any settlement agreement, between the distribution utility and any regulatory authority, including any State regulatory authority, or any other party.

(b) Ratepayer Rebates.—Regulatory authorities that approve cost recovery pursuant to section 8(a) may order rebates to ratepayers to the extent that distribution utilities are reimbursed undedicated or unassigned balances pursuant to section 5(c).

SEC. 9. Lobbying restrictions.

No funds collected by the Corporation shall be used in any manner for influencing legislation or elections, except that the Corporation may recommend to the Secretary and the Congress changes in this Act or other statutes that would further the purposes of this Act.

SEC. 10. Davis-Bacon Compliance.

The Corporation shall ensure that entities receiving grants, contracts, or other financial support from the Corporation for the project activities authorized by this Act are in compliance with the Davis-Bacon Act (40 U.S.C. 276a—276a–5).