Summary: H.R.2650 — 94th Congress (1975-1976)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.2650. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (02/04/1975)

Energy Independence Act - Title I: Naval Petroleum Reserves - Declares it to be the policy of the United States to fully explore and develop the Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves and to create with the petroleum and revenue produced therefrom a National Strategic Petroleum Reserve capacity. States that such reserves shall be held until needed for the emergency requirements of national security.

Provides that such reserve shall consist of not more than 1,300,000,000 barrels of petroleum of which 300,000,000 if for military use and up to 1,000,000,000 barrels is for civilian consumption.

Enumerates reserves that come within the Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves created by this title.

Establishes a National Strategic Petroleum Reserve Special Fund and credits into such Fund specified proceeds. Sets forth the purposes for which the Fund shall be available to the President, including the exploration, prospecting, conservation, development, use, operation, and production of the Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves.

Creates under the management of the Secretary of the Navy a National Strategic Petroleum Reserve (military) which shall include a stock of readily deliverable petroleum in the amount of 300,000,000 barrels to meet the emergency requirements of military use for national security.

Authorizes the Secretary to request the Attorney General to institute proceedings to acquire by condemnation, if necessary, any property essential to carrying out the establishment of such Reserve.

Provides that if the President determines that the national security is threatened by an emergency such as an embargo by a foreign country or armed conflicts, the resources of the National Strategic Petroleum Reserve (military) may be utilized as directed by the President to meet military requirements for the duration of such emergency.

Title II: National Strategic Petroleum Reserve (Civilian) Act - Creates a National Strategic Energy Reserve (civilian) and authorizes the President to: (1) acquire by purchase, condemnation, or otherwise lands or interests therein for the location of storage and related facilities; and (2) establish an Industrial Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of the National Strategic Petroleum Reserve (civilian) by requiring any person engaged in the importation or refining of petroleum to acquire, store, and maintain petroleum reserves under such terms as the President deems necessary.

Authorizes the President, upon a finding that the national security is threatened, to use, sell, or otherwise dispose of all or any part of the government owned portion of the National Strategic Petroleum Reserve (civilian) and order the disposition and allocation of all or any part of the Industrial Strategic Petroleum Reserve (civilian) portion of the National Strategic Petroleum Reserve (civilian).

Requires the President, within one year after the date of enactment of this title, to prepare and submit to Congress a report setting forth those actions taken under this title and his plans for providing a strategic energy reserve system in accordance with this title.

Title III: Amendments to the Natural Gas Act - States that the provisions of the Natural Gas Act, other than as specifically provided in such Act, shall not apply to sales or deliveries in interstate commerce by any person of natural gas: (1) which is dedicated to interstate commerce for the first time on or after January 1, 1975; (2) which is continued in interstate commerce after the expiration of a contract by its own terms for the sale or delivery of such natural gas existing as of such date; or (3) which is produced from wells commenced after such date.

Defines "new natural gas" and declares that the Federal Power Commission shall have no power to disallow in the rates and charges made by any natural gas company the amounts paid for new natural gas, except as provided by this title.

Title IV: Extension of and Amendments to the Energy Supply and Environmental Coordination Act - Provides, under the Energy Supply and Environmental Coordination Act, that the Federal Energy Administrator shall, by order, prohibit any powerplant, and may, by order, prohibit any major fuel burning installation, other than a powerplant, from burning natural gas or petroleum products as its primary energy source if such plant or installation had on June 22, 1974, or thereafter acquires, the capability to burn coal.

Title V: Clean Air Act Amendments - Provides that the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall extend for a period ending not later than January 1, 1985, any stationary source fuel or emission limitation respecting emissions of sulfur oxides from a powerplant using coal as its primary energy source, if he finds that such powerplant can apply interim measures which provide a means for attaining and maintaining national primary ambient air quality standards for sulfur oxides.

Requires the Administrator to give notice to the public and afford an opportunity for oral and written presentation of data, views, and arguments before issuing any compliance date extension.

Provides, under the Clean Air Act, that regulations applicable to emmissions of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons from light-duty vehicles and engines manufactured during model years 1971 through 1981, inclusive, shall contain standards equivalent to the emission standards for those pollutants that apply to new vehicles and engines offered for sale in the State of California during the model year 1975. Declares that during or after model year 1982, such regulations shall be established at such levels as the Administrator determines is appropriate considering specified factors, including air quality and energy efficiency.

States that the owner or operator of a "new source" of emissions may request the Administrator for authorization to attempt to meet applicable performance standards by means of a system or systems of emission reduction which have not been determined by the Administrator to be adequately demonstrated.

Provides that upon application by the Governor of a State on or after June 1, 1976, the Administrator may extend for not more than five years the deadline for attainment of national primary ambient air quality standards where transportation control measures are necessary for the attainment of such standards and where their implementation would have serious adverse social or economic consequences. States that where the Administrator denies an extension application, he may, after consultation with the appropriate State and local elected officials, propose and promulgate an implementation plan meeting the specified requirements.

Authorizes the Administrator to request the Attorney General to commence a civil action for appropriate relief for violations of specified provisions of the Clean Air Act, including a temporary or permanent injunction, and a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 per day of violation, or both.

Title VI: Amendment to the Clean Air Act - Provides, under the Clean Air Act, that nothing in such Act is intended to require or authorize the establishment by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency of standards more stringent than primary and secondary ambient air quality standards.

Title VII: Utilities Act - Declares that shortages and unreliable supplies of electricity caused by the financial problems of the utilities now exist or are imminent and jeopardize the normal flow of interstate and foreign commerce by creating severe economic dislocation, including loss of jobs, and curtailments of vital public services. States that the purpose of this title is to set minimum standards for specified regulatory practices and procedures governing electric utilities and for making rates more reflective of costs.

States that no regulatory authority (which is defined to include a State or local regulatory authority) may suspend or otherwise defer the operation of a utility's rate schedule properly filed with it and defer the use of the rate, charge, classification, or service established by such schedule for a period longer than five months from the date such schedule accompanied by all required supporting documentation is filed, or five months beyond the time when it would otherwise go into effect, whichever is later.

Provides that no regulatory authority may prohibit or otherwise make unlawful the inclusion in a utility's rate base of reasonable and prudent expenditures associated with construction work in progress, provided that such authority may limit the annual amount to be included to the lesser of (1) 15 percent of the total rate base, or (2) the value which such construction work would have if otherwise includable in the rate base.

States that no regulatory authority may prohibit the inclusion in a utility's rate base of capital costs associated with environmental control facilities and equipment required by Federal, State, or local law.

Authorizes to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this title.

Title VIII: Energy Facilities Planning and Development Act - Requires the Administrator of the Federal Energy Administration, within one year after the enactment of this title, to prepare and submit to the President and to Congress a National Energy Site and Facility Report, which shall analyze short and long term energy needs and demand and indicate the number, type, and general location of energy facilities required to meet national energy objectives. Declares that such Report shall be developed in consultation with the States, industry, and other appropriate Federal agencies. Sets forth types of information the Report shall include. Provides for public hearings prior to the completion of the Report.

Provides that, within one year from the issuance of the Administrator's Report, each State shall submit to the Administrator for approval an energy facility management program for long term energy facility planning and the achievement of energy production needs by the expeditious consideration and processing of applications to site, construct, and operate energy facilities.

States that the Administrator shall hold at least one public hearing on the State's program within the State and shall approve or disapprove such plan in whole or in part within 120 days after the date of its submission.

Allows any aggrieved party to bring suit to enforce an approved management program or promulgated State management program being administered by the State, in a appropriate Federal district court, or in any appropriate State court.

Empowers the Administrator to make grants to the States for the purposes of assisting in the development of management programs. States that such authority shall expire on September 30, 1980.

Directs the Administrator to encourage cooperative activities among the States regarding the siting and approval of energy facilities. Grants the consent of Congress for two or more States to enter into agreements or compacts for cooperative efforts and mutual assistance in selecting energy facility sites and approving energy facilities.

Provides that the actual authority to approve or disapprove applications for energy facilities shall continue to reside in these Federal agencies possessing specific statutory authority over proposed energy facilities or their appendages. Sets forth the Administrator's duties and authorities in such approval process.

Requires that a complete application for approval of a proposed energy facility other than a facility owned or to be owned by the Federal government shall be filed with the Administrator at least 18 months prior to the planned date of commencement of construction.

States that the applicant for a facility may, under specified circumstances, commence construction prior to being notified by the appropriate lead Federal agency (designated on a case-by-case basis by the Administrator) that all Federal approvals have been obtained.

Provides a judicial review process for persons aggrieved by a final order of a Federal agency granting or denying an application for energy facility approval.

Title IX: Energy Development Security Act - Declares that the purpose of this title is to authorize and direct the President to adopt appropriate measures to prevent the prices of imported petroleum from falling to such levels that continued importation at such price levels would significantly deter the development and exploitation of domestic petroleum resources.

Directs the Administrator of the Federal Energy Administration, at the order of the President or upon his own motion, to determine: (1) whether the average price of petroleum imported into the United States has fallen significantly from average price levels for such imports during a recent representative period determined by the Administrator; and (2) whether such reduction in price is of such degree that it threatens the economic viability of the United States' petroleum production and development, or that it threatens to cause a substantial increase in petroleum consumption.

Directs the President to impose restrictions for such time as he deems necessary to correct the conditions created by such circumstances, such restrictions to include, but not be limited to, the imposition of tariffs, quotas, and variable fees, unless he determines that such restrictions are contrary to the national interest.

Title X: Building Energy Conservation Standards - States that the purposes of this title include redirecting Federal policies and practices so that Federal financial assistance for construction purposes is provided only under conditions which assure that reasonable energy conservation features will be incorporated into new buildings receiving such assistance.

Requires the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, within six months after the enactment of this title, and after consultation with the Administrator of the Federal Energy Administration and the Secretary of Commerce, to develop and publish for public comment proposed prescriptive energy conservation standards for new residential buildings.

Directs the Secretary to develop and publish proposed performance energy conservation standards for new commercial buildings.

Provides that no Federal officer or agency shall approve any financial assistance for the construction of any building in any area of a State unless the State has certified that the unit of general local government having jurisdiction over such area has adopted and is implementing a building code or similar requirement which provides for the enforcement of any effective energy conservation standards or standards promulgated pursuant to this title.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to the States to assist them in meeting the costs of developing State building codes or State certification procedures to carry out the provisions of this title. Authorizes to be appropriated not more than $5,000,000 for fiscal year 1976 for such grants.

Title XI: Winterization Assistance Act - Declares that the purpose of this title is to encourage the States to develop and implement winterization programs to insulate the dwellings of low-income persons, particularly the low-income elderly, in order to conserve energy and aid these persons least able to afford higher energy costs.

Authorizes the Administrator of the Federal Energy Administration to provide grants to the Governors of the various States and the Mayor of the District of Columbia to assist them in carrying out programs designed to provide for winterization of dwellings of low-income persons. Directs the Administrator to develop and publish criteria to evaluate State applications, such criteria to include: (1) the amount of fuel to be conserved by the State's winterization program and (2) the number of dwellings to be winterized by the State.

Provides that the Administrator may not finally disapprove any State winterization program application without first affording the State reasonable notice and an opportunity for a hearing. Provides that no additional Federal funds may be granted if a State fails to comply with provisions of its approved application.

Allows a State to appeal final action of the Administrator in the appropriate U.S. court of appeals.

States that no person shall on the ground of race, color, national origin, or sex be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available under this title.

Requires the Administrator to submit to the President and Congress the results of winterization programs receiving Federal assistance under this title. Authorizes to be appropriated such sums not to exceed $9,000,000 for fiscal year 1975, and not to exceed $55,000,000 per year for each of fiscal years 1976, 1977, and 1978, to remain available until expended.

Title XII: National Appliance and Motor Vehicle Energy Labeling Act - Declares it to be the purpose of this title to provide information to the public on the energy consumption characteristics of major appliances and motor vehicles so that consumers by comparing such characteristics when purchasing such major appliances and motor vehicles may select those that can effect savings in energy consumption.

Authorizes the President to develop and promulgate energy conservation specifications for motor vehicles, room and central air-conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, dishwashers, clothes dryers, kitchen ranges and oven, water heaters, and comfort heating equipment.

Gives interested persons 30 days after publication in the Federal Register of the notice of intent to promulgate or amend a specification to submit written comments on such specification, or such other time as the President finds is in the public interest.

Requires each manufacturer of a product for which a specification and effective date has been promulgated to provide a label that meets and is displayed in accordance with the requirements of such specification. Provides that a specification may require the manufacturer or his agent to permit a representative designated by the President to observe and inspect tests performed on products under the terms of this title.

Requires that advertisements for products covered under this title include all information about the product required by the specification applicable to such product.

Declares it to be the intent of Congress that this title supersede any and all laws of the States or political subdivisions thereof insofar as they may now or hereafter provide for the disclosure of energy use or assumption, energy efficiency, efficiency ratio, or annual operating cost of any product if there is in effect and applicable any Federal specification with respect to such product.

Grants the President the power to sign and issue subpenas for the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of relevant books, records, papers, and documents. Requires that the President prepare and submit an annual report to Congress on April 1 of each year concerning the administration of this title.

States that this title shall not apply to exports but shall apply to imports under regulations issued by the President.

Makes it unlawful for any person to offer for sale in commerce any new product made after the effective date of an applicable specification unless there is provided with such product a label meeting the requirements of the specification. States that whoever violates any provision of this title shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each violation. Gives U.S. district courts the power to grant injunctions to restrain violations.

Title XIII: Standby Energy Authorities Act - States that the purposes of this title are to grant specific standby authority to impose end-use rationing and to reduce demand by regulating public and private energy consumption, and to authorize other specific temporary emergency actions to assure that the essential energy needs of the United States will be met in a manner which, to the fullest extent practicable: (1) is consistent with existing national commitments to protect and improve the environment; and (2) minimizes any adverse impact on employment.

Allows the President to require by regulation, rule, or order, as a condition to any person engaging in commerce, and in the business of importing, producing, refining, marketing, or distributing petroleum, that such person maintain inventories of petroleum in excess of his normal business or operating requirements. Empowers the President to order the use, sale, disposal, and allocation of all or any part of inventories held pursuant to this Act in order to alleviate domestic shortages, and for other purposes consistent with this title.

Authorizes the President to require measures to supplement domestic energy supplies, including: (1) production of specified designated existing domestic oil and gas fields at maximum practicable rates of production if necessary to meet the objectives of this title; and (2) the utilization of production on any oil and gas producing propoerties on federal lands. Gives the President the authority to provide for the allocation of petroleum for such purposes and to control the prices of petroleum allocated and to ration among classes of end-users of such product.

States that the President shall provide for the making of such adjustments pursuant to the authority of this title as are practicable to prevent special hardship, inequity, or unfair distribution of burdens.

Allows the President to promulgate by regulation one or more energy reservation plans which shall be designed to result in a reduction of energy consumption. Provides that the President shall transmit any energy conservation plan to each House of Congress on the date on which it is promulgated.

States that actions taken under authority of this title shall not be arbitrary or capricious.

Authorizes the President to encourage, support, and promote the planning and conduct of appropriate joint projects and cooperative programs in the United States and in foreign countries.

Authorizes the President to restrict the export of coal, natural gas, petroleum products, and petrochemical feedstocks subject to the Export Administration Act.

Makes it unlawful for any person to violate any provisions of this title or to violate any rule, regulation, or order issued pursuant to any provision and makes such violator subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation.

States that whoever willfully violates any provision of this title or rules issued pursuant thereto shall be fined not more than $10,000 for each violation.

Makes it unlawful for any person to offer for sale or distribute in commerce any product or commodity in violation of an applicable order or regulation issued pursuant to this title. States that any person who knowingly and willfully violates this title after having been subjected to a civil penalty for a prior violation of the same provision shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.

Authorizes the President to provide financial assistance in accordance with this title for the purpose of assisting eligible State or local energy conservation programs. Sets forth criteria for determining the amounts of financial assistance to be provided to each State.

Provides that the authority under this title to prescribe any rule, regulation, or order shall expire at midnight June 30, 1985, but such expiration shall not affect any action or pending civil or criminal proceedings not finally determined on such date, nor any action or proceeding based upon any act committed prior to such time.

Authorizes to be appropriated such funds as are necessary for the implementation of the provisions of this title.