Summary: H.R.1595 — 98th Congress (1983-1984)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.1595. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (02/23/1983)

Solar Energy National Security and Employment (SENSE) Act of 1983 - Title I: Use of Solar and Other Renewable Forms of Energy Developed By Private Sector - Renewable Energy Small Business Development Act of 1983 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to increase the energy percentage for energy property which is used in determining the qualified investment tax credit. Treats biomass recycling equipment as biomass property and includes biomass property as "energy property" for purposes of the energy percentage. Eliminates the requirement that the primary energy sources for a facility producing alcohol for fuel purposes not be oil or natural gas or a product of either one in order for such alcohol to be treated as "qualified fuel" for purposes of the energy percentage.

Amends the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 to require that a minimum of 12 percent of the loan authority of the Export-Import Bank in any fiscal year be made available only to businesses with $25,000,000 or less in previous-year sales and include an amount of loan authority for renewable energy transactions that is appropriate to the demand for such loans.

Amends the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 to require that the rates for purchases by an electric utility of electric energy from any qualifying cogeneration facility or qualifying small power production facility be established at the incremental cost of alternative electric energy of such utility, unless the State regulatory authority or a nonregulated electric utility determines that a different rate would encourage cogeneration and small power production, would not discriminate against cogenerators and small power producers, and would be in the consumers' and the public's interest. (Currently, such rates must be just and reasonable to the consumers and in the public interest and must not discriminate against cogenerators and small power producers.)

Requires a cogeneration facility or small power production facility to pay reasonable interconnection costs incurred by an electric utility which is required to offer to interconnect with such facility.

Requires the U.S. Trade Representative to issue policy guidance to departments and agencies with respect to international trade issues involving renewable energy.

Amends the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 to require that a reasonable portion of the funds appropriated for nonnuclear programs of the Department of Energy be set aside for renewable energy and energy conservation businesses.

Title II: Renewable Energy National Security - Renewable Energy National Security Act of 1983 - Requires the Secretary of a military department, when procuring energy systems, to procure systems that include energy-conserving equipment. Includes biofuels as a renewable form of energy for purposes of energy systems procurement by a military department. Requires the Secretary of Defense to provide for the use of biofuels in meeting Department of Defense energy needs to the extent feasible and consistent with overall defense needs. Requires the Secretary of Defense to encourage the use of energy-conserving devices and equipment in military construction projects, including family housing projects, where practical and economically feasible.

Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to include spoilt and contaminated grains among the accumulated stocks of agricultural commodities which the Commodity Credit Corporation may process into liquid fuels. Authorizes the Corporation to provide for the storage of liquid fuels so processed for use by the agricultural sector during periods of fuel shortages. Requires the Corporation to provide for the processing of spoilt and contaminated commodities into liquid fuels before the processing of stocks of usable feedstock.

Amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to require the Secretary of Energy to maintain a data base on the location of all stockpiles of renewable energy supplies and biofuels and of all renewable energy production facilities in the United States. Requires that such data be made available to Government departments and agencies upon request.

Requires the Secretary of Defense to assess and report to the Armed Services Committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate on the feasibility of using mobile energy systems that use renewable energy as emergency backup energy systems at military installations.

Title III: Federal Training and Economic Development Programs to Create Jobs in Energy Conservation Industries - Part A: Short Title; Findings - Renewable Energy Employment Act - Sets forth the short title of this title and congressional findings.

Part B: Job Training in Renewable Energy - Requires the Secretary of Labor to review all Federal job training or placement programs and to implement policies, procedures, and programs to develop a labor force skilled in energy conservation, weatherization of homes, and the use of renewable energy technologies.

Part C: Housing and Community Development Programs - Amends the Energy Conservation in Existing Buildings Act of 1976 to require the Secretary of Energy to maintain information on: (1) the areas to be served under the weatherization assistance program; (2) methods for providing priority assistance to elderly and severely handicapped low-income persons; (3) outreach activities with respect to such program; (4) labor plans; (5) policies to ensure that owners and renters are treated equitably; and (6) plans to ensure participation by Native Americans under such program. Requires the Secretary and the Director of the Community Services Administration to include in the annual report to the President and Congress on the weatherization program an evaluation of the effect of such program on energy conservation and employment.

Authorizes appropriations for the weatherization program for FY 1984 and succeeding fiscal years.

Amends the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 to include the potential for local energy development, including energy conservation and renewable energy use, among the factors which must be taken into account by the standards issued by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for determining the eligibility of cities and urban counties for urban development action grants.

Includes among the activities of Community Development Programs which are eligible for assistance under such Act those amounts spent for energy needs.

Amends the Housing Act of 1949 to authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to make loans for energy conservation and renewable energy development or retrofit for housing in rural areas.

Requires Federal agencies administering financial assistance programs for economic development or job creation to consider the development of energy conservation and renewable energy as significant criteria for the provision of such assistance.

Part D: Promotion of Sustainable Agriculture - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to include as non-fossil energy systems windmills, anaerobic digesters, alcohol distilleries, microhydroelectric generators, gasifiers, and solar heating systems.

Requires the Secretary of Agriculture, in making loans to farmers and ranchers, to promote sustainable agriculture (a set of agricultural production practices which are designed to produce long term, sustainable yields of agricultural products, involve the use of renewable resources, and avoid the use of chemical products).

Amends the Rural Development Act of 1972 to require that small farm extension programs assist small farm families in carrying out sustainable agriculture. Provides that sustainable agriculture extension programs shall consist of extension programs to provide farmers with assistance and current information with respect to sustainable agriculture.

Permits all other persons in a State, in addition to universities and colleges in such State, to participate in agricultural research and extension programs. (Under current law, only universities and colleges in a State may participate in such programs.)

Requires the Secretary of Agriculture, in carrying out the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977, to ensure that adequate national support of extension, teaching, and agricultural research is provided to establish integrated multidisciplinary organic farming research projects.

Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to report annually to Congress on sustainable agriculture in the United States.

Title IV: Renewable Energy Consumer Incentives - Renewable Energy Consumer Incentives Act of 1983 - Amends the Solar Energy and Energy Conservation Act of 1980 to extend the life of the Solar Energy and Energy Conservation Bank until September 30, 1990. (Under current law, the Bank will not exist after September 30, 1987.)

Requires that a portion of the payments by the Bank to financial institutions to provide financial assistance for the installation of solar energy systems in residential, commercial, and agricultural buildings be allocated for active solar energy. Provides that there shall be no Federal preference with respect to financial assistance between single-family and multifamily residences. Permits all financial institutions to apply directly to the Bank for financial assistance.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1985 through 1990 for the financial assistance program under the Solar Energy and Energy Conservation Act of 1980 for the purchase and installation of residential and commercial energy conserving improvements and solar energy systems.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to include passive solar energy property which uses convective, conductive, or radiant energy transfer and which has significant impact on home energy savings as a "renewable energy source property" which is eligible for the residential energy credit.

Makes the residential energy credit inapplicable to energy conservation and renewable energy source expenditures made after December 31, 1990. (Under current law, such credit is inapplicable to expenditures made after December 31, 1985.)

Amends the Low- Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 to permit a State to transfer up to ten percent of its allotment under the low-income home energy assistance program for States to block grants for support of energy related information systems.

Requires the Secretary of Energy to develop a formalized information exchange on the Federal, State, and local levels with respect to conservation and renewable energy. Authorizes appropriations to provide financial assistance to States and local governments to coordinate such program.

Amends the Solar Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration Act of 1974 to require the Secretary of Energy to maintain a renewable energy and energy conservation information program. (This program replaces the solar energy information program required to be established under current law.) Requires the Secretary to establish a National Appropriate Technology Service to provide individualized technical assistance to anyone interested in renewable energy and energy efficient technologies.

Amends the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act to require the Secretary of Transportation to consider the use or integration of renewable fuels and any approaches which maximize conservation and renewable energy applications in determining maximum feasible average fuel economy.

Amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to require the Federal Trade Commission to prescribe labeling requirements for consumer goods particularly in cases where there is a direct consumer benefit to save energy or utilize renewable energy.

Amends the Small Business Act to authorize the Small Business Administration to provide reduced-rate loans to small businesses for acquisition of system performance ratings from testing laboratories for energy conservation and renewable energy systems and technologies.

Amends the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 to require State regulatory authorities to adopt and publish standard contracts with respect to: (1) the sale of electric energy by utilities to small power production facilities of not more than 100 kilowatts capacity; and (2) the purchase of electric energy produced by such facilities by utilities.

Requires the Secretary of Energy to include renewable energy as a discrete energy sector in all publications of "The Monthly Energy Review."

Requires Federal agencies with renewable energy programs to submit annual reports on such programs to Congress. Sets forth reporting requirements which apply to specified Federal agencies.