H. Rept. 109-543 - 109th Congress (2005-2006)

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House Report 109-543 - UNITED STATES-ISRAEL ENERGY COOPERATION ACT

[House Report 109-543]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-543
======================================================================
 
              UNITED STATES-ISRAEL ENERGY COOPERATION ACT

                                _______
                                

 June 29, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Barton of Texas, from the Committee on Energy and Commerce, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2730]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2730) to establish a grant program to fund 
eligible joint ventures between United States and Israeli 
businesses and academic persons, to establish the International 
Energy Advisory Board, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment 
and recommend that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Hearings.........................................................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     2
Committee Votes..................................................     2
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     2
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     2
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     3
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     3
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     3
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     4
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     4
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     4
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     4
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     5
Exchange of Committee Correspondence.............................     6

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    The purpose of H.R. 2730, the United States-Israel Energy 
Cooperation Act, is to establish a program within the 
Department of Energy to provide grants for joint ventures 
between the United States and Israel concerning alternative 
energy, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The United States needs access to reliable energy sources. 
Currently, the United States relies heavily on imported crude 
oil, much of which comes from the Organization of Petroleum 
Exporting Countries. Moreover, research by the Energy 
Information Administration has shown that U.S. dependence on 
imported oil will increase by 33 percent over the next twenty 
years.
    The United States and Israel have cooperated in the past on 
projects benefiting both nations. In 1996, the United States 
and Israel entered into an agreement to facilitate 
collaboration between the countries on energy research and 
development activities. Israeli scientists have undertaken 
research into alternative and renewable energy resources. Thus, 
it benefits both countries to cooperate in the research and 
development of alternative, renewable energy resources. H.R. 
2730 provides the framework to expand the cooperation between 
the United States and Israel on renewable energy, alternative 
energy and energy efficiency.

                                HEARINGS

    The Committee on Energy and Commerce has not held hearings 
on the legislation.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On Tuesday, June 20, 2006, the Committee on Energy and 
Commerce met in open markup session and ordered H.R. 2730 
reported to the House, without amendment, by a voice vote, a 
quorum being present.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. 
There were no record votes taken in connection with ordering 
H.R. 2730 reported. A motion by Mr. Barton to order H.R. 2730 
reported to the House, without amendment, was agreed to by a 
voice vote.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee has not held oversight 
or legislative hearings on this legislation.

         STATEMENT OF GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    The goal of H.R. 2730 is to promote and facilitate joint 
ventures between the United States and Israel concerning 
renewable energy, alternative energy and energy efficiency.

   NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY, ENTITLEMENT AUTHORITY, AND TAX EXPENDITURES

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
2730, the United States-Israel Energy Cooperation Act, would 
result in no new or increased budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues.

                        COMMITTEE COST ESTIMATE

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                  CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974:

                                                    June 22, 2006. 
Hon. Joe Barton,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2730, the United 
States-Israel Energy Cooperation Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan 
Carroll.
            Sincerely,
                                          Donald B. Marron,
                                                   Acting Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2730--United States-Israel Energy Cooperation Act

    Summary: H.R. 2730 would authorize appropriations for 
grants to support cooperative efforts by nonfederal U.S. and 
Israeli entities to research, develop, and commercialize 
alternative and renewable energy sources. Assuming 
appropriation of the specified amounts, CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 2730 would cost $5 million in 2007 and $75 
million over the 2007-2011 period. Enacting the bill would not 
affect direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 2730 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would not directly affect the budgets of state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 2730 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 270 
(energy).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      By fiscal year, in millions of
                                                 dollars--
                                 ---------------------------------------
                                   2007    2008    2009    2010    2011
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Authorization Level.............      20      20      20      20      20
Estimated Outlays...............       5      10      20      20      20
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: H.R. 2730 would authorize the 
appropriation of $20 million a year over the 2006-2012 period 
for the Department of Energy (DOE) to provide grants to support 
cooperative efforts by nonfederal U.S. and Israeli entities to 
research, develop, and commercialize alternative and renewable 
energy sources. The bill would authorize DOE to establish an 
advisory board to carry out the proposed program in 
consultation with existing organizations that support similar 
cooperative work between U.S. and Israeli businesses, academic 
institutions, and researchers.
    For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 2730 will be 
enacted near the start of fiscal year 2007 and that the 
authorized amounts will be appropriated for each year. Based on 
information from DOE regarding historical spending of similar 
programs, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 2730 would cost 
$5 million in 2007 and $75 million over the 2007-2011 period, 
with additional spending occurring in later years.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 2730 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not directly affect the budgets of 
state, local, or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Megan Carroll; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Lisa Ramirez-Branum; 
Impact on the Private Sector: Craig Cammarata.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds that the 
Constitutional authority for this legislation is provided in 
Article I, section 8, clause 3, which grants Congress the power 
to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the several 
States, and with the Indian tribes.

                  APPLICABILITY TO LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE LEGISLATION

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides that the short title of the bill is the 
``United States-Israel Energy Cooperation Act.''

Section 2. Findings

    Section 2 provides the findings of Congress supporting the 
Act.

Section 3. Grant program

    Section 3 establishes the framework for the grant program 
within the Department of Energy (DOE). Specifically, it directs 
the Secretary of Energy (Secretary), to consult with the United 
States-Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development 
Foundation (BIRD) and the United States-Israel Binational 
Science Foundation (BSF) on the development of the program, the 
application process, the determination of entities eligible to 
receive grants and the amount of the grants. Section 3(d) 
provides the Secretary with the discretion to seek recoupment 
of grants from grant recipients where the project has led to a 
product or process which is marketed or used. Section 3 also 
authorizes the Secretary to accept private funds to carry out 
the purposes of the Act. Finally, each grant recipient must 
submit a report to the Secretary within 180 days of receiving 
the grant.

Section 4. International Energy Advisory Board

    Section 4 establishes an International Energy Advisory 
Board within DOE to advise the Secretary on criteria for 
recipients of the grants and the amounts of the grants. The 
Board is to be composed of two members from the United States 
and two members from Israel. The Board members are not paid, 
except for travel expenses and per diem.

Section 5. Definitions

    Section 5 provides definitions of terms used in the Act.

Section 6. Termination

    Section 6 provides that the grant program and the Advisory 
Board established under the Act terminate seven years after 
enactment of the Act.

Section 7. Authorization of Appropriations

    Section 7 authorizes $20 million per year for fiscal years 
2006 through 2012.

Section 8. Constitutional Authority

    Section 8 provides the Constitutional authority for the 
Act.

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    This legislation does not amend any existing Federal 
statute.