Summary: H.R.7809 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.7809. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (07/24/1980)

Powerplant Fuel Conservation Act of 1980 - Title I: Accelerated Fuel Conversions of Certain Powerplants - Directs the Secretary of Energy to make a grant to any person who owns or operates any "designated powerplant" (as such term is defined in this Act) for the qualifying costs of converting from petroleum to coal or other alternate fuel, paid or incurred by that person.

Requires the amount of the grant to be a certain percentage of the qualifying conversion costs depending upon whether the powerplant has met the average preconversion sulfur dioxide limitation and when the costs were paid or incurred.

Requires the filing of a copy of each grant application with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Requires the Secretary and the Administrator to jointly determine that the operation of a designated powerplant using the fuel proposed in the application would meet the average preconversion sulfur dioxide limitation.

Permits the Secretary to make a grant even though the powerplant does not meet such limitation if the plant adopts recommendations for measures which would reduce the sulfur atmospheric pollutants emitted by the powerplant and which would be practicable.

Conditions any grant on the Secretary and the Administrator jointly determining that the operator of the powerplant using the fuel proposed in the application will apply measures which reduce the nitrogen oxides emitted by the powerplant and which are practicable.

Directs the Secretary to consult with certain State and Federal authorities before taking final action on an application.

Requires the Secretary to approve a grant for a designated powerplant unless the Secretary finds that the requirements of this Act have not been met or cost estimates and other information in the application cannot be adequately verified.

Requires any grant to be made under such terms and conditions as the Secretary deems appropriate. Sets forth certain requirements to be included in the terms and conditions.

Directs the Secretary to make payments under any grant according to a schedule established by the Secretary and the applicant which assures that funds are used only for qualifying conversion costs and that the terms and conditions of the grant are being met.

Requires each electric utility for which a grant is made to repay any portion of the grant that has been spent by the utility for purposes other than compliance with specified air quality limitations and other applicable environmental requirements.

Requires a schedule to be established which provides that the funds for the repayment will emanate from charges for the electricity produced by such electric utility and which will take into account the savings expected because of the use of a fuel other than petroleum as a primary energy source.

Allows the Secretary to relieve the electric utility from such repayment at any time after the schedule has been established to the extent that the utility shows that such savings have not been or are not expected to be realized to the extent anticipated.

Requires notification of the appropriate Federal and State agencies of grant approvals.

Allows the Secretary to make a grant to an electric utility which owns or operates an eligible coal-fired electric powerplant for qualifying sulfur removal system costs (the reasonable costs for facilities which reduce sulfur atmospheric pollutants).

Defines eligible coal-fired electric powerplants to be any electric powerplant which: (1) was placed in service before the enactment of this Act and is not a designated powerplant; (2) uses coal as its primary energy sources; and (3) has been identified by the Administrator.

Sets forth the application priority, notification, recommendation, environmental standard and monitoring program requirements which must be met before the Secretary can approve such a grant.

Allows the Secretary to make a grant for up to 20 percent of the qualifying costs for the design and installation of equipment and facilities for reducing the sulfur content of coal committed for use in a powerplant.

Sets forth the application priority, notification, recommendation, and monitoring program requirements which must be met before the Secretary can approve such a grant.

Limits recovery of costs incurred by an electric utility powerplant for use of petroleum or natural gas after December 31, 1985 by the use of an automatic adjustment clause to the extent the Secretary allows the utility an exemption.

Directs the Secretary to find certain attributes of the automatic adjustment clause before allowing the exemption. Exempts from such limitation a clause approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an electric utility subject to the Commission's jurisdiction.

Title II: Additional Incentives for Reduction of Powerplant Use of Petroleum and Natural Gas - Directs the Secretary to make a grant to any electric utility for reasonable costs incurred after enactment in carrying out an approved fuel displacement plan. Limits the amount of a utility's grant to its pro rata share of the total appropriation for such grants, determined according to the ratio of: (1) the utility's base period fuel usage to (2) the estimated base period fuel usage of all electric utilities. Keys the obligation of approved grant amounts to any utility to the fuel reduction target established in its fuel displacement plan, depending on the percentage by which such target meets or falls short of such utility's pro rato share of a national fuel reduction goal of 600,000 barrels per day of petroleum and natural gas. Makes available additional grant amounts for any excess of such pro rata share. Sets a maximum grant ceiling of $4.00 per barrel of petroleum or natural gas conserved under the utility's fuel displacement plan. Specifies application and reporting requirements. Sets a minimum funds pay-out schedule. Provides for recapture by the United States of funds paid out to any utility failing to meet the fuel displacement target established in its fuel displacement plan.

Sets the period beginning January 1, 1974, and ending December 31, 1978, as the base period for purposes of determining fuel usage. Specifies factors for appropriate adjustments to the base period fuel usage.

Specifies general contents of any fuel displacement plan. Requires prior approval of any such plan by the appropriate State regulatory authority in the case of a State regulated electric utility before the Secretary may approve.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to State regulatory authorities and non-regulated electric utilities to carry out duties with regard to the implementation of rules for cogeneration and small power production facilities.

Title III: Administrative Provisions - Directs the Secretary to make a grant to any State agency which meets specified requirements of an Office of Consumer Services for the purpose of assisting consumers in making presentations directly related to the development and review of fuel displacement plans.

Authorizes appropriations to carry out the provisions of this Act.

Specifies circumstances under which funds appropriated for the Economic Regulatory Administration of the Department of Energy may be used for program administration relating to this Act.

Limits the making of grants under this Act to capital costs. Requires final action on grant applications within six months after filing.