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AUTHORIZING THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL TO ESTABLISH BATTERY RECHARGING STATIONS
(Senate - May 24, 2012)

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[Pages S3657-S3658]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




     AUTHORIZING THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL TO ESTABLISH BATTERY 
                          RECHARGING STATIONS

  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to the consideration of Calendar No. 44, S. 739.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the bill by title.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 739) to authorize the Architect of the Capitol 
     to establish battery recharging stations for privately owned 
     vehicles in parking areas under the jurisdiction of the 
     Senate at no net cost to the Federal Government.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to the bill.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I am very pleased that the Senate today is 
passing legislation that would allow the Senate to continue its 
leadership of our country toward a clean-energy future. This bill 
provides the authority for the Architect of the Capitol to provide for 
charging of batteries for privately owned vehicles in parking areas 
under the jurisdiction of the Senate and, of great importance, at no 
cost to the Federal Government.
  Plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles offer great potential in meeting 
our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and auto manufacturers 
are moving toward developing a broad choice of electric-drive vehicles. 
Batteries and components are now being manufactured in the U.S., and we 
are developing the supply chain necessary to support these home-grown 
technologies. But in addition to making the vehicles and components 
available, we also need to take steps to ensure the infrastructure 
exists to make these vehicles desirable and accessible to consumers. 
Increased use of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles will bring 
changes in how we think about cars and driving. Instead of looking for 
gas stations, drivers will need to have places where they can replenish 
the batteries that power their vehicles.
  This bill will ensure that the Senate leads by example as we 
transition to that cleaner-energy future. It will ensure that the 
capability to charge plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles will exist in 
the Senate--at no cost to the taxpayer. I am a proud owner of a 
Chevrolet Volt, but I also want to ensure that the taxpayers do not 
subsidize the cost of my or anyone else's use of electricity to power 
these vehicles.
  I appreciate the efforts and support of the cosponsors of this bill--
Senators Alexander, Schumer, Kerry, Murkowski, Bingaman, Stabenow, and 
Merkley--and the great assistance of the staffs of Senators Schumer and 
Alexander on the Rules Committee in getting this bill passed. It has 
been our explicit intention to ensure there would be no cost to the 
taxpayer in providing access to electricity for those wishing to charge 
their vehicle batteries in the parking areas of the Senate, but I am 
pleased that we were able to include language to clarify any questions 
in that regard.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I rise today to discuss S. 739, a bill 
which authorizes the Architect of the Capitol, AOC, at no cost to the 
Federal government, to create and install electric vehicle recharging 
stations in Senate parking facilities.
  This bill likely would have never seen the light of day it were it 
not for the perseverance and hard work of my good friend Senator Levin. 
He worked tirelessly to make this bill a reality, and I am so proud to 
stand with him. This bill was drafted with bipartisan support. Senator 
Alexander and I join Senators Kerry, Murkowski, Bingaman, Merkley and 
Stabenow in supporting this bill sponsored by Senator Levin.
  It bears repeating: This bill creates a program that will not cost 
the Federal government one dime. S. 739 funds the installation and 
maintenance of the charging stations by billing the individuals who use 
the plug-in stations. S. 739 works on a simple premise: the more people 
who drive electric cars on campus, the more plug-in stations the AOC 
will install. S. 739 insures that the demand for plug-in stations will 
match the number of dues paying participants who fund the program.
  This bill is needed as more and more people decide to buy electric 
cars. Currently, the Architect does not have the authority to install 
plug-in stations on the Capitol campus. This bill fixes that problem in 
a smart, cost effective manner.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that a Levin 
amendment be agreed to, the bill, as amended, be read a third time and 
passed, the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table, with no 
intervening action or debate, and any statements related to the bill be 
printed in the Record.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment (No. 2155) was agreed to, as follows:

 (Purpose: To improve oversight over the program and ensure no subsidy 
                 is received by Senators and employees)

       On page 4, strike lines 14 through 19, and insert the 
     following:
       (e) Reports.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 30 days after the end of 
     each fiscal year, the Architect of the Capitol shall submit a 
     report on the financial administration and cost recovery of 
     activities under this section with respect to that fiscal 
     year to the Committee on Rules and Administration of the 
     Senate.
       (2) Avoiding subsidy.--
       (A) Determination.--Not later than 3 years after the date 
     of enactment of this Act and every 3 years thereafter, the 
     Architect of the Capitol shall submit a report to the 
     Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate 
     determining whether Senators and covered employees using 
     battery charging stations as authorized by this Act are 
     receiving a subsidy from the taxpayers.
       (B) Modification of rates and fees.--If a determination is 
     made under subparagraph (A) that a subsidy is being received, 
     the Architect of the Capitol shall submit a plan to the 
     Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate on how to 
     update the program to ensure no subsidy is being received. If 
     the committee does not act on the plan within 60 days, the 
     Architect of the Capitol shall take appropriate steps to 
     increase rates or fees to ensure reimbursement for the cost 
     of the program consistent with an appropriate schedule for 
     amortization, to be charged to those using the charging 
     stations.

  The bill (S. 739), as amended, was ordered to be engrossed for a 
third reading, was read the third time, and passed, as follows:

                                 S. 739

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. BATTERY RECHARGING STATIONS FOR PRIVATELY OWNED 
                   VEHICLES IN PARKING AREAS UNDER THE 
                   JURISDICTION OF THE SENATE AT NO NET COST TO 
                   THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

       (a) Definition.--In this Act, the term ``covered employee'' 
     means--
       (1) an employee whose pay is disbursed by the Secretary of 
     the Senate; or
       (2) any other individual who is authorized to park in any 
     parking area under the jurisdiction of the Senate on Capitol 
     Grounds.

[[Page S3658]]

       (b) Authority.--
       (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (3), funds 
     appropriated to the Architect of the Capitol under the 
     heading ``Capitol Power Plant'' under the heading ``ARCHITECT 
     OF THE CAPITOL'' in any fiscal year are available to 
     construct, operate, and maintain on a reimbursable basis 
     battery recharging stations in parking areas under the 
     jurisdiction of the Senate on Capitol Grounds for use by 
     privately owned vehicles used by Senators or covered 
     employees.
       (2) Vendors authorized.--In carrying out paragraph (1), the 
     Architect of the Capitol may use 1 or more vendors on a 
     commission basis.
       (3) Approval of construction.--The Architect of the Capitol 
     may construct or direct the construction of battery 
     recharging stations described under paragraph (1) after--
       (A) submission of written notice detailing the numbers and 
     locations of the battery recharging stations to the Committee 
     on Rules and Administration of the Senate; and
       (B) approval by that Committee.
       (c) Fees and Charges.--
       (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), the Architect of 
     the Capitol shall charge fees or charges for electricity 
     provided to Senators and covered employees sufficient to 
     cover the costs to the Architect of the Capitol to carry out 
     this section, including costs to any vendors or other costs 
     associated with maintaining the battery recharging stations.
       (2) Approval of fees or charges.--The Architect of the 
     Capitol may establish and adjust fees or charges under 
     paragraph (1) after--
       (A) submission of written notice detailing the amount of 
     the fee or charge to be established or adjusted to the 
     Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate; and
       (B) approval by that Committee.
       (d) Deposit and Availability of Fees, Charges, and 
     Commissions.--Any fees, charges, or commissions collected by 
     the Architect of the Capitol under this section shall be--
       (1) deposited in the Treasury to the credit of the 
     appropriations account described under subsection (b); and
       (2) available for obligation without further appropriation 
     during--
       (A) the fiscal year collected; and
       (B) the fiscal year following the fiscal year collected.
       (e) Reports.--
       (1) In general.--Not later than 30 days after the end of 
     each fiscal year, the Architect of the Capitol shall submit a 
     report on the financial administration and cost recovery of 
     activities under this section with respect to that fiscal 
     year to the Committee on Rules and Administration of the 
     Senate.
       (2) Avoiding subsidy.--
       (A) Determination.--Not later than 3 years after the date 
     of enactment of this Act and every 3 years thereafter, the 
     Architect of the Capitol shall submit a report to the 
     Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate 
     determining whether Senators and covered employees using 
     battery charging stations as authorized by this Act are 
     receiving a subsidy from the taxpayers.
       (B) Modification of rates and fees.--If a determination is 
     made under subparagraph (A) that a subsidy is being received, 
     the Architect of the Capital shall submit a plan to the 
     Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate on how to 
     update the program to ensure no subsidy is being received. If 
     the committee does not act on the plan within 60 days, the 
     Architect of the Capitol shall take appropriate steps to 
     increase rates or fees to ensure reimbursement for the cost 
     of the program consistent with an appropriate schedule for 
     amortization, to be charged to those using the charging 
     stations.
       (f) Effective Date.--This Act shall apply with respect to 
     fiscal year 2011 and each fiscal year thereafter.

                          ____________________