Summary: H.R.6796 — 95th Congress (1977-1978)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (09/23/1977)

(Measure passed House, amended, roll call #580 (317-47))

Authorizes the appropriation of $6,747,889,000 to the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) for energy research, development, demonstration, and related activities for fiscal year 1978.

=Title I: Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration, and Related Activities= - Details authorizations for operating expenses for programs for fossil energy development, solar energy development, geothermal energy development, conservation research and development, environment and safety research and development, nuclear research and development, and other related programs.

Lists authorizations for additional plant and capital equipment expenditures. Rescinds authorizations for prior projects relating to preliminary planning of molten salt breeder reactors.

Directs the Administrator of the Energy Research and Development Administration to prepare and transmit a plan to the Congress within a year on the options for management, ownership, and ultimate disposition of the radioactive waste disposal operations at the Western New York Nuclear Service Center.

=Title II: General Provisions= - Amends the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 to impose limitations and conditions upon annual expenditures for energy research and development activities. Prohibits the vesting of title to facilities or property in entities other than the United States without prior Congressional review. Places dollar and percentage limits in cost overruns allowable on specific projects without prior Congressional review. Imposes additional limitations on cost overruns allowable without additional Congressional authorization.

Requires ERDA within six months to report on the impact of the Administration's nonproliferation policy on cooperation between the U.S. and other nations in the development of nuclear technologies.

Requires ERDA to provide reasonable opportunities for small competitors to participate in its programs, and to report to Congress at least once every six months on its progress in awarding small business contracts.

Extends the authority of the ERDA Administrator to make assistance payments to the County of Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Los Alamos School District. Permits ERDA to use the guidelines and contract provisions of the Atomic Energy Community Act of 1955, as amended, during the ten year extension.

Directs the Administrator to develop and transmit to the Congress a comprehensive environment and safety program which evaluates all environmental, health, and safety consequences associated with each energy technology program. Requires the detailed description of ongoing or completed environmental and safety research, development and demonstration efforts and of procedures adopted to mitigate undesirable impacts.

Directs ERDA to encourage and promote participation of State governments in the development of the Administration's plans and programs. Allows ERDA to provide matching funds to States which are expending State funds for complimentary energy activities.

Authorizes the Administrator to make loan guarantees for alternative fuel demonstration facilities. Sets forth guidelines and procedures concerning applications for loan guarantees and the awarding of loan guarantees. Directs the Administrator to submit annual reports to the Congress setting forth his recommendations on the best opportunities to implement a program of Federal financial assistance with the objective of demonstrating production and conservation of energy, and reports concerning actions taken or not taken by the Administrator during the previous year, regarding this objective. Requires further action by the Congress prior to issuing any guarantee or commitment to guarantee or cooperative agreement.

Provides energy traineeships for up to 500 graduate students per year in engineering, physical and social sciences. Establishes 100 vocational courses in solar heating, cooling and conservation.

Authorizes $28,000,000 for Federal procurement of solar photovoltaic equipment.

Restricts the airshipment of plutonium to containers capable of withstanding high-speed aircraft crashes.

Authorizes ERDA to provide loan guarantees to finance municipal and private projects that use solid waste (biomass) as an energy source.

Limits the application of all provisions contained in this title to authorizations and appropriations made to ERDA for programs and functions which include: (1) military applications of nuclear energy; (2) research and development in support of the armed forces; and (3) the common defense and security.

=Title III: Automotive Propulsion Research and Development= - Automotive Propulsion Research and Development Act - Establishes within ERDA a research and development program to insure the development, within five years or sooner, of advanced automobile propulsion systems, advanced automobile subsystems and integrated test vehicles. Sets forth the duties of the Administrator in conducting such programs, including: (1) establishing and conducting new projects and accelerating existing projects in furtherance of the goals; (2) giving priority attention to the development of advanced propulsion systems, with appropriate attention to those which are flexible in the type of fuel used; and (3) insuring that the program supplements but neither supplants nor duplicates private industry programs.

Requires that the Administrator coordinate his activities with the Secretary of Transportation, and utilize, to the maximum extent practicable, the expertise of the Department of Transportation, with respect to safety and damageability, in conducting programs under such Act. Provides for the participation of other Federal agencies which have appropriate capabilities. Directs the Administrator to collect, analyze, and disseminate to developers information, data, and materials that may be relevant to the development of advanced automobile technology.

Requires that the Administrator submit to Congress an annual report of activities under such program, and sets forth the contents of such report.

Directs the Administrator to conduct a survey of developers, lending institutions, and others, and to make a study in order to determine whether, and under what conditions, research, development, and demonstration, and commercializations of advanced automobile technology may be aided by loan guarantees. Requires the Administrator to report the results of such survey to the Congress.

Amends the National Aeronautics and Space Act to provide authority for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to undertake development of advanced automotive propulsion systems.

=Title IV: Establishment of Financial Support Programs for Municipal Waste Reprocessing Demonstration Facilities= - Amends the Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 1974 to establish a financial support program for reprocessing municipal waste into fuel and energy intensive products. Authorizes ERDA to make grants, contracts, price supports, and cooperative agreements to foster municipal waste demonstration facilities. Directs the Administrator to consult with the Environmental Protection Agency, and defines the responsibilities of each agency. Requires that the Administrator submit annual reports to the Congress, and sets forth the contents of such reports.

=Title V: Basis for Government Charge for Uranium Enrichment Services= - Amends the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to allow ERDA to obtain fair value for uranium enriching services sold to domestic and foreign customers. Sets forth guidelines for establishing prices for services.

=Title VI: Technical Amendments to the Geothermal Energy Research, Development and Demonstration Act= - Amends the Geothermal Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1974 to permit ERDA to administer the Geothermal Loan Program on the same basis as the loan guaranty programs of other Federal agencies. Authorizes the Administrator to borrow funds from the Treasury whenever ERDA lacks sufficient funds to meet its guaranty obligations.

Authorizes the Administrator to assist States, political subdivisions, and Indian tribes to plan and prepare for any potential economic, environmental and social impacts which may result from projects guaranteed under the Geothermal Loan Guaranty Program. Authorizes such assistance to be in the form of loan guarantees, direct loans, or grants.

=Title VII: Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development and Demonstration Program= - Provides for an ongoing research and development program in the area of electric vehicle demonstration. Establishes the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Development Fund for the purpose of carrying out a loan guarantee and assistance program.