July 29, 2009 - Issue: Vol. 155, No. 116 — Daily Edition111th Congress (2009 - 2010) - 1st Session
STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS; Congressional Record Vol. 155, No. 116
(Senate - July 29, 2009)
Text available as:
Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.
[Pages S8274-S8278] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS By Mr. REID (for himself, Mr. Nelson of Florida, Mr. Ensign, and Mr. Martinez): S. 1530. A bill to prohibit an agency or department of the United States from establishing or implementing an internal policy that discourages or prohibits the selection of a resort or vacation destination as the location for a conference or event, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record. There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: S. 1530 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 ``Protecting Resort Cities from Discrimination Act of 2009''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress makes the following findings: (1) Tourism, including conventions and meetings, is an important part of the United States economy that generates billions of dollars in tax revenues for many localities. (2) Analysts estimate that approximately 90 percent of employers in the travel industry are small businesses and more than 12 percent of United States employees are employed by the travel industry. (3) Many local economies around the country have developed into destinations for vacationers and conventioneers alike, and those local economies depend on the travel industry to support local employment, create new jobs, and generate tax revenues for critical public services. (4) These same destinations are home to large and small businesses that have unique skills, amenities, and resources for planning and facilitating meetings and conventions for all purposes and, consequently, may deliver value and convenience for individuals and organizations in need of a location for an official event. (5) Locating an official event in such a city frequently may save taxpayer dollars, as compared to other locations. (6) Agencies and departments of the United States have a responsibility to find ways to maximize taxpayer dollars in conducting official business, including planning and conducting official meetings attended by Federal employees. (7) In deciding where to locate an official government meeting by applying this principle of maximizing taxpayer dollars, government officials often will conclude that many locations known as resort destinations also will provide the best value and convenience for official meetings and business. (8) Resort and vacation destination cities tend to be affected disproportionally during economic downturns and, therefore, are especially vulnerable to discrimination by meeting and convention planners, which could exacerbate unemployment and related demands on United States taxpayers. SEC. 3. LIMITATION ON CERTAIN TRAVEL AND CONFERENCES POLICIES OF AGENCIES OF THE UNITED STATES. No agency or department of the United States may establish or implement an internal policy regarding travel, event, meeting, or conference locations that discourages or prohibits the selection of such a location because the location is perceived to be a resort or vacation destination. ______ By Mr. REID (for Mr. Byrd (for himself, Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Casey, Mr. Webb, Mr. Shelby, and Mr. Warner)): S. 1534. A bill to complete construction of the 13-States Appalachian development highway system, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. Mr. BYRD. Mr. President, today I am introducing legislation to reauthorize the Appalachian Development Highway System. This network of highways and corridors, known as the ADHS, was designed to provide access to and from communities in Appalachia. The concept of the ADHS was born 45 years ago. It was, and is, an important promise made by the Federal Government to the people of my State and the rest of Appalachia. I thank the cosponsors of my bill: Senators Rockefeller, Casey, and Webb, and I look forward to working with Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Boxer to have my legislation included in the next highway reauthorization. While serving in the House of Representatives, I cast my vote in favor of establishing the Interstate Highway System back in 1958. I have had a long history of advancing the cause of our Nation's highway systems and of emphasizing the immense economic and safety benefits that come with the improvement of all surface transportation. The ADHS's inception was in 1964, when it was recognized by the first Appalachian Regional Commission that, while the Interstate Highway System would provide historic economic benefits to most of our Nation, the system was designed to bypass the Appalachian region. This was primarily due to the difficulties involved in building roads upon Appalachia's beautiful, but very rugged topography. Absent the Appalachian Development Highway System, my State, as well as the whole of the Appalachian region, would have been left solely with a transportation infrastructure of dangerous, narrow, winding roads which follow the paths of river valleys and stream beds, winding around mountains and hills. Thus, the limited access to these regions has tended to stifle economic opportunities for countless communities--a problem that still exists all these years later. In addition to the Federal Government's responsibility to keep the promise made decades ago to the people of Appalachia, new benefits-- benefits to the entire Nation--have evolved because of the ADHS. In a recent economic analysis conducted by the Appalachian Regional Commission, the study found that completion of the ADHS will result in significant reductions in travel time for personal, business, and long- distance freight trips. By 2020, the aggregate savings in travel time is estimated to be over 67 million hours, 240,000 hours daily of travel time saved, and grow to almost 180 million hours of reduced travel time by 2035. ADHS corridor improvements will produce significant monetized travel benefits to individuals and businesses both within and outside the ARC region. Total user benefits--travel time, fuel and non-fuel operating costs, and safety--are estimated to be $1.3 billion in 2020, the year of system completion, and grow to $4.3 billion by 2035. Over half the benefit is expected to accrue to business-related travel--commodity- based truck flows, local nonfreight truck trips, and on-the-clock auto trips. The reason for the existence of the Appalachian Development Highway System is no less valid today than when it was established in 1964. The benefits of completion of the ADHS are twofold: continue to make inroads into isolated communities, and address and alleviate an already overly burdened Interstate Highway System. Unfortunately, there are still children in Appalachia who lack decent transportation routes to local schools. There are thousands upon thousands of people who cannot obtain sustainable, well-paying jobs because of poor transportation access to major employment centers. Some of the most beautiful places in the country are in Appalachia, but for tourism to thrive, Americans must be able to actually get to these beautiful destinations. It is time for this Congress, in concert with the administration, to take the last great leap forward and to authorize sufficient contract authority to finally complete the Appalachian Development Highway System. The legislation I am introducing today will provide sufficient contract authority to complete the system, and the completion of the system will provide additional economic opportunities, safer modes of travel, and ease the strain on our current transportation infrastructure. ______ By Mrs. FEINSTEIN (for herself and Mr. Cardin): S. 1535. A bill to amend the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 to establish additional prohibitions on shooting wildlife from aircraft, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce legislation to prevent the cruel and unsportsmanlike practice of hunting from airplanes. This practice undermines the hunting principle of a fair chase and often leads to a slow and painful death for the hunted animals. I firmly believe that slaughter must be the very last option when it comes [[Page S8275]] to wildlife management. Moreover, if slaughter must be carried out, it should be done in the most humane method possible. In my opinion, allowing private citizens to hunt from airplanes runs contrary to this belief. Specifically, the Protect America's Wildlife Act closes the loophole in current law that allows private citizens to hunt from aircraft. It limits airborne hunting to employees of state fish and wildlife agencies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior. It eliminates the practice of ``land-and-shoot'' hunting by prohibiting the chasing or exhausting of animals from an aircraft. It provides an exception to allow airborne hunting during biological emergencies, which is defined as a case where a wildlife population's sustainability is significantly threatened by an excess of predators. It also ensures that this exception only applies to when it is the only way to prevent a biological emergency, and limits the number of animals killed to a minimum. Finally, it increases fines for violations of the Airborne Hunting Act from $5,000 to $50,000. It does not preclude States or Federal agencies from carrying out responsible wildlife management programs. Congress initially passed the Airborne Hunting Act of 1971 as a result of the public's reaction to film of this practice broadcast over television. Currently, a loophole in the Airborne Hunting Act permits States to allow private citizens to engage in airborne hunting of wildlife--in most cases wolves and bears--under the guise of wildlife management. It was clear in the 1970's, as it is now, that airborne hunting is inhumane and must be stopped. In my opinion, aerial hunting methods are cruel and unnecessary for wildlife management--and undermine the principles of sportsmanship. Since 2003, more than 1,000 wolves have been killed from the air in the State of Alaska. According to the animal welfare group the Defenders of Wildlife, more than 250 wolves have been shot dead during the current hunting season alone. Aerial hunting is typically carried out in one of two ways: In the first method, a hunter will shoot the wolf directly from the aircraft while flying overhead. This frequently wounds the wolf, leading to a slow, painful death. In the second method, known as ``land-and-shoot,'' a hunter flying in an aircraft will chase the wolf until it is exhausted, land, and kill the animal from point-blank range. So, I am introducing a bill today to close the airborne hunting loophole that allows it to continue. This legislation would not impinge on legitimate hunting rights. This bill does not prohibit the use of airplanes for transportation. A hunter would still be able to legally fly anywhere, anytime, and hunt as they otherwise would. Further, all other legal methods of transportation or hunting may also continue: on foot, by snowmobile, by all-terrain vehicle, etc. The State of Alaska, where airborne hunting is more prevalent, argues that wolf populations must be limited to support sustainable levels of moose and caribou. The State continues to carry out airborne hunting by private citizens with authority from the State Department of Game, which argues that the moose and caribou populations must be increased. It is estimated that the State's resident hunters alone contribute roughly $662 million annually to the economy. The hunting industry also sustains 10,000 jobs. With this in mind, it is certainly not my intention to prevent Alaska, or any other state for that matter, from maintaining a robust hunting and tourism industry. This is a balanced bill that will enable states to responsibly manage wildlife populations, while banning the most egregious cases of aerial hunting by civilians. It limits the practice of airborne hunting to employees of State and Federal wildlife agencies without impinging on legitimate sport hunting practices. It is also supported by former members of the Alaska Board of Game that agree this practice should be controlled. I became concerned about inhumane wildlife management practices due to the slaughter of nonnative deer in my own State. Beginning in the summer of 2007, the National Park Service began culling Axis and Fallow deer at Point Reyes National Seashore near San Francisco. This inhumane shooting resulted in a number of deer dying slow and painful deaths. Some were left to rot in the Park. Hundreds of constituents from the Bay Area raised an outcry about this practice and I am pleased that the National Park Service has stopped slaughtering the deer. In conclusion, this bill prohibits the cruel practice of aerial sport hunting, while safeguarding the rights of legitimate hunters and allowing States and the Federal Government to maintain responsible wildlife management. I am certainly open to the suggestions of my colleagues who have ideas for improving this legislation and look forward to working with them to pass it quickly. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record. There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: S. 1535 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 ``Protect America's Wildlife Act of 2009''. SEC. 2. ADDITIONAL PROHIBITIONS. Section 13(a) of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742j-1(a)) is amended-- (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``or'' after the semicolon; (2) in paragraph (2), by striking ``or'' after the semicolon; (3) in paragraph (3), by adding ``or'' after the semicolon; and (4) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following: ``(4) knowingly violates any regulation promulgated under this Act;''; and (5) in the matter following paragraph (4) (as inserted by this section), by striking ``$5,000'' and inserting ``$50,000''. SEC. 3. EXCEPTIONS TO PROHIBITIONS. Section 13(b) of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742j-1(b)) is amended-- (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``This section'' and inserting ``Subject to paragraph (3), this section''; (2) in paragraph (2)-- (A) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking ``issues a permit referred to in'' and inserting ``authorizes an employee, agent, or person operating under a license or permit to take an action under''; (B) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``to whom a permit was issued'' and inserting ``so authorized''; (C) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``thereunder''; (D) in subparagraph (C), by striking ``to whom a permit was issued''; and (E) in subparagraph (D), by striking ``issuing the permit'' and inserting ``authorizing the action, including the scientific basis for actions identified in subsection (a) that are warranted to administer or protect or aid in the administration or protection of land, water, wildlife, livestock, domesticated animals, human life, or crops''; and (3) by adding at the end the following: ``(3) Enhancing the propagation and survival of wildlife.-- No person exempted under paragraph (1) may shoot, attempt to shoot, or harass any wolf, bear, or wolverine for the purpose of enhancing the propagation and survival of wildlife, including game populations, unless-- ``(A) the head of the fish and wildlife agency of the State and, for game populations on land under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior, the Secretary of the Interior, or for game populations on land under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture, the Secretary of Agriculture, determines, based on the best scientific data available, that-- ``(i) a biological emergency is imminent; and ``(ii) all other practicable means to prevent the biological emergency, including stopping regulated takes of the declining population, have been implemented; ``(B) the action is carried out-- ``(i) by an officer or employee of-- ``(I) the fish and wildlife agency of the State; or ``(II)(aa) for game populations on land under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior, the Department of the Interior; or ``(bb) for game populations on land under the jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Agriculture; and ``(ii) only in the specific geographical area in which the imminent biological emergency is located; and ``(C) the action results in the removal of not more than the minimum number of predators necessary to prevent the biological emergency. [[Page S8276]] ``(4) Exception relating to actions authorized by secretary of the interior.--The Secretary of the Interior may authorize any action described in subsection (a)-- ``(A) to prevent the extinction of a species that is listed as a threatened or endangered species under section 4(c)(1) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(c)(1)); and ``(B) if the Secretary of the Interior determines that there is no other means available to address the threat of extinction of the species described in subparagraph (A).''. SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS. Section 13 of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742j-1) is amended by striking subsection (c) and inserting the following: ``(c) Definitions.--In this section: ``(1) Aircraft.--The term `aircraft' means any contrivance used for flight in the air. ``(2) Biological emergency.--The term `biological emergency' means the likely extirpation or a significant and imminent threat to the sustainability of a wildlife population due to predation by wolves, bears, or wolverines, or any combination of those animals. ``(3) Harass.--The term `harass' means-- ``(A) chasing or exhausting an animal; and ``(B) such other activities as are determined by the Secretary.''. ______ By Mr. ROCKEFELLER (for himself, Ms. Cantwell, Mr. Nelson of Florida, and Mr. Begich): S. 1538: A bill to establish a black carbon and other aerosols research program in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that supports observations, monitoring, modeling, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, as our Nation wrestles with the impacts of a changing climate, we need strong science to inform our decision-making. Today, I am introducing two bills to support that effort. The first, the Black Carbon, S. 1538, and Other Aerosols Research Act, S. 1539, would direct research dollars towards improving our understanding of a major component of climate change--atmospheric aerosols. We need more information about how aerosols, including black carbon, impact climate change and how limiting their emissions will ultimately affect the rate of melting in the Arctic and overall climate change. Emerging research shows that black carbon and other aerosols have a major impact on global climate change. In fact, the effect of black carbon is thought to be second only to carbon dioxide. In order to reduce the impacts of aerosols on climate and air quality, we need to better understand their effects. Improved aerosols monitoring, measurements, and models are therefore necessary to improve our response to climate change. This legislation would authorize a program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to observe, monitor, and model black carbon and other aerosols to better understand the roles of black carbon and other aerosols in climate change. Identifying and quantifying human and natural emissions of greenhouse gases are necessary to make informed decisions about emission reduction strategies. Effective policy to address climate change requires monitoring and validation of emissions from specific sources and projects. Given the investments required to meet the challenge of greenhouse gas reductions, it is critical that efforts to reduce emissions be verifiable at local, regional, national, and international levels and consistent with evidence in the atmosphere. The second bill I am introducing today, the Greenhouse Gas Observing and Analysis System Act, would establish a robust monitoring and analysis program to provide more precise and verified estimates of the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This would help us monitor the effectiveness of programs and policies designed to reduce emissions. We need continued research investments to answer the ``hows,'' and the ``whys,'' regarding climate change. How are we going to be impacted? Why is our atmosphere and planet responding the way it is? We need sound answers to these questions to be agile and to adapt to the changes our globe is experiencing. These bills will help us answer these and many other questions. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record. There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: S. 1538 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 ``Black Carbon and Other Aerosols Research Act of 2009''. SEC. 2. PURPOSES. The purposes of this Act are-- (1) to develop a monitoring and research plan-- (A) to identify natural and anthropogenic sources of black carbon and other aerosols and to monitor their atmospheric and deposited concentrations on both a temporal and a spatial scale; (B) to measure, monitor, model, and assess black carbon and other aerosols in regard to their atmospheric concentrations and deposited forms-- (i) to establish how these substances impact regional- and global-scale climate change and air quality; (ii) to determine their regional impacts, with a focus on the polar regions and other snow and ice covered areas; and (iii) to estimate, in the United States and globally, spatial and temporal black carbon and other aerosol concentrations, and deposition trends in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other appropriate partners; and (C) to develop models to assist policy makers and to increase understanding of-- (i) the transport and transformation of black carbon and other aerosols to improve knowledge of their distributions and climate-forcing properties; and (ii) the individual and combined roles of black carbon and other aerosols on regional and global climate change on both a temporal and a spatial scale; and (2) to establish a black carbon and other aerosols monitoring and research program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2) Black carbon.--The term ``black carbon'' means the strongly light absorbing aerosol that-- (A) is composed of fine particles containing carbon produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuel, and biomass and other activities; (B) exists in both atmospheric and deposited forms; and (C) is sometimes associated with impaired air quality and climate change. (3) Other aerosols.--The term ``other aerosols'' means the components of atmospheric aerosols, fine particles suspended in air, that contribute to climate-forcing and climate change, including inorganic, organic, dust, and carbonaceous substances, either separately or in combination. SEC. 4. BLACK CARBON AND OTHER AEROSOLS MONITORING AND RESEARCH PLAN. (a) In General.--The Administrator shall develop an observation, monitoring, modeling, and research plan for black carbon and other aerosols that includes-- (1) analysis of gaps in scientific methods and research on-- (A) black carbon and other aerosols; and (B) the effect of black carbon, both singly and in combination with other factors, on climate change and air quality on both a regional and a global scale; and (2) identification of priorities for Federal research on black carbon and other aerosols necessary to understand their role in climate change and air quality on both a regional and a global scale; (3) a framework for modeling-- (A) the temporal and spatial effects of black carbon and other aerosols on climate, both singly and in combination, on regional and global scales and processes; (B) the transportation and transformation of black carbon and other aerosols to gain insight into their distribution and climate-forcing properties; and (C) the influence of black carbon on clouds and cloud particles to understand and quantify their role in large- scale circulation and the hydrologic cycle; (4) appropriate methods that-- (A) identify sources of black carbon and other aerosols, both anthropogenic and naturally occurring, and (B) measure, monitor, and increase understanding of the atmospheric concentrations and properties as well as the deposited forms, on both a temporal and a spatial scale; (5) a comparative evaluation of the global and regional climate-forcing properties of black carbon and other aerosols and their effect on regional and global climate change and the loss of Arctic sea ice; and (6) observation systems, needs, and assets necessary to develop and implement a black carbon and other aerosols monitoring and research program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (b) Advisory Panel.--The Administrator shall establish a Black Carbon and Other Aerosols Advisory Panel to assist in the development and implementation of the plan. (c) Report.--No later than 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology describing the plan required by subsection (a). [[Page S8277]] SEC. 5. BLACK CARBON AND OTHER AEROSOLS RESEARCH AND MONITORING PROGRAM. (a) In General.--The Administrator shall establish and maintain a black carbon and other aerosols monitoring and research program that combines observations, research, monitoring, modeling, and other activities within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, consistent with the plan required by section 4(a), that includes-- (1) coordinated monitoring and research activities to improve understanding of the sources, atmospheric concentrations, deposited forms, and interactions among black carbon and other aerosols that influence their contribution to climate change processes on both a regional and a global scale; (2) strategic modeling activities that improve understanding of-- (A) the transportation and transformation of aerosols, to improve knowledge of their distributions and climate-forcing properties; and (B) the separate and combined roles of black carbon and other aerosols in regional and global climate change and air quality, on regional, global and temporal scales, to improve understanding of these substances and their roles in climate change; (3) educational opportunities that-- (A) encourage an interdisciplinary and international approach to exploring the associated sources and impacts of black carbon and other aerosols; and (B) increase interactions between the measurement and modeling communities in order to optimize use of available data; (4) public outreach activities that improve understanding of the current scientific knowledge of black carbon and other aerosols and their impact on climate change; (5) coordination of black carbon and other aerosols monitoring research with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other appropriate international and national government agencies, private entities, and others; and (6) an assessment of the role black carbon and other aerosols have in regional and global climate change and air quality. (b) Grant Program.-- (1) In general.--The Administrator shall establish a grant program to provide grants for critical research and projects that improve the ability to measure, monitor, model, and assess black carbon and other aerosols with respect to their atmospheric concentrations and deposited forms, including research that supports means of reducing the impacts of black carbon and other aerosols on climate. (2) Consultation with panel.--The Administrator shall consult with the Black Carbon and Other Aerosols Advisory Panel, and shall work cooperatively with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other Federal agencies, to establish criteria for such research and projects. (3) Participation by federal agencies.--Federal agencies may collaborate with, and participate in, such research and projects to the extent requested by the grant recipient. (4) Award process.--Grants under this subsection shall be awarded extramurally through a competitive peer-reviewed, merit-based process that may be conducted jointly with other Federal agencies working on black carbon and aerosols and their role in and relationship to climate change. (c) Coordination with Other Agencies.--The Administrator shall coordinate development of the plan under section 4 and the monitoring and research program under subsection (a) of this section with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other relevant Federal agencies. (d) Additional Authority.--In conducting the program, the Administrator may execute and perform such contracts, leases, grants, or cooperative agreements as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act on such terms as the Administrator considers appropriate. SEC. 6. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. There are authorized to be appropriated to the Administrator for each of fiscal years 2010 through 2015-- (1) $10,000,000 for grants under section 5(b); and (2) $10,000,000 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to carry out the other provisions of this Act. ______ By Mr. ROCKEFELLER (for himself and Mr. Nelson, of Florida): S. 1539. A bill to authorize the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to establish a comprehensive greenhouse gas observation and analysis system, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record. There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: S. 1539 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 ``Greenhouse Gas Observation and Analysis System Act''. SEC. 2. PURPOSES. The purposes of this Act are-- (1) to establish a comprehensive national greenhouse gas observation and analysis system to support verification of greenhouse gas emissions; (2) to establish a baseline characterizing the influence of current and past greenhouse gas emissions on atmospheric composition; and (3) to provide a scientifically-robust record of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF GREENHOUSE GAS OBSERVATION AND ANALYSIS SYSTEM. (a) In General.--The Administrator shall establish a greenhouse gas observation and analysis system that will offer the resolution and widespread coverage required to verify reduction and mitigation of greenhouse gases. In establishing the system, the Administrator shall coordinate with the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Agriculture, and the United States Geological Survey. (b) System Components.--The system-- (1) shall be an operational and scientifically-robust greenhouse gas observation and analysis system that includes local and regional ground-based observations, space-based observations, carbon-cycle modeling, greenhouse gas inventories, meta-analysis, and extensive data integration and distribution to provide quantitative information about sources, sinks, and fluxes of greenhouse gases at relevant temporal and spatial scales; and (2) shall be capable of-- (A) differentiating between source and sink exchanges; (B) identifying types of emissions (fossil-fuel and non- fossil fuel sources); and (C) tracking agricultural and other sinks; and (3) shall include-- (A) sustained ground, sea, and air-based measurements; (B) sustained space-based observations; (C) measurements of tracer, including isotopes and non- carbon dioxide gases; (D) carbon cycle monitoring; (E) carbon cycle modeling; (F) traceability to the International System of Units; and (G) data assimilation and analysis. (c) Coordination.--The Administrator shall, to the extent appropriate-- (1) facilitate coordination of-- (A) observations and modeling; (B) data and information management systems, including archive and access; and (C) the development and transfer of technologies to facilitate the evaluation of greenhouse gas emission reductions, offsets, and other mitigation strategies; (2) coordinate with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to make sure that the greenhouse gas observation and analysis system is based upon quantitative measurements traceable to international standards; and (3) coordinate with other Federal agencies and international organizations and agencies involved in international or domestic programs. SEC. 4. SYSTEM PLAN. (a) In General.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall, in coordination with the agencies described in section 3, develop and submit a plan for an integrated and comprehensive greenhouse gas observation and analysis system to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology. (b) Plan Requirements.--The plan shall-- (1) identify and describe current national and international greenhouse gas observation networks, modeling, and data analysis efforts; (2) contain an inventory of agency data relevant to greenhouse gases; (3) assess gaps, conflicts, and opportunities with respect to the matters described in paragraphs (1) and (2); (4) establish priorities, define agency roles, and make recommendations on necessary capacity and capabilities for-- (A) ground, sea, air-based measurements; (B) sustained space-based observations; (C) measurements of tracer, including isotopes and non- carbon dioxide gases; (D) carbon cycle monitoring; (E) carbon cycle modeling; (F) measurement traceability and comparability; (G) data assimilation and analysis; and (H) data archive management and data access; and (5) establish and define mechanisms for ensuring continuity of domestic and international greenhouse gas measurements, and contribute to international efforts to build and operate a global greenhouse gas information system, in coordination with the World Meteorological Organization and other international organizations and agencies, as appropriate. SEC. 5. REPORTS. The Administrator shall, not less than every 4 years after the date of enactment of this Act and in coordination with the agencies described in section 3, submit a report to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology that includes-- [[Page S8278]] (1) an analysis of the progress made toward achieving the goals and objectives of the plan outlined in section 4; (2) an evaluation of the effectiveness of the system; (3) recommendations concerning modifications to the system; (4) an analysis of the consistency of reported greenhouse gas emission reductions with independent observations of atmospheric and Earth-system trends; and (5) an update on changes or trends in Earth-system sources and sinks of greenhouse gases. SEC. 6. AGREEMENTS. (a) In General.--The Administrator may enter into and perform such contracts, leases, grants, cooperative agreements, or other agreements as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act. (b) Specific Authority.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Administrator may-- (1) enter into long-term leases of up to 20 years for the use of unimproved land to site small shelter facilities, antennae, and equipment including weather, tide, tidal currents, river, and air sampling or measuring equipment; (2) enter into long-term licenses of up to 20 years at no cost to site facilities and equipment including weather, tide, tidal currents, river, and air sampling or measuring equipment; (3) acquire (by purchase, lease, or otherwise), lease, sell, and dispose of or convey services, money, securities, or property (whether real, personal, intellectual, or of any other kind) or an interest therein; (4) construct, improve, repair, operate, maintain, outgrant, and dispose of real or personal property, including buildings, facilities, and land; and (5) waive capital lease scoring requirements for any lease of space on commercial antennas to support weather radio equipment, air sampling, or measuring equipment. (c) Certain Leased Equipment.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, rule, or regulation, leases of antenna or equipment on towers or other structures shall be considered operating leases for the purpose of capital lease scoring. SEC. 7. EFFECT ON OTHER LAWS. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to supersede or alter the existing authorities of any Federal agency with respect to Earth science research or greenhouse gas mitigation. SEC. 8. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (2) Earth-system.--The term ``Earth-system'' means the Earth's biosphere, including the ocean, atmosphere, and soils that influence the amounts of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. (3) Greenhouse gas.--The term ``greenhouse gas'' means a gas in the atmosphere that increases the radiative forcing of the Earth-atmosphere system. (4) International system of units.--The term ``International System of Units'' means the modern metric system of units established in 1960 by the 11th General Conference on Weight and Measures. (5) Radiative forcing.--The term ``radiative forcing'' means the measure of the influence that a substance or process has in altering the balance of incoming and outgoing energy in the Earth-system. (6) Sink.--The term ``sink'' means the removal of a greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. (7) Source.--The term ``source'' means the emission of a greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. (8) System.--The term ``system'' means the national greenhouse gas observation and analysis system established under section 3. (9) Tracer.--The term ``tracer'' means an atmospheric substance that can be used to assess or determine the origin of a greenhouse gas. SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce such sums as appropriate to carry out this Act. ____________________