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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    110-203

======================================================================



 
    ADVANCED GEOTHERMAL ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2007

                                _______
                                

 June 21, 2007.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Gordon of Tennessee, from the Committee on Science and Technology, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2304]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Science and Technology, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2304) to direct the Secretary of Energy to 
conduct a program of research, development, demonstration, and 
commercial application for geothermal energy, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
   I. Amendment.......................................................1
  II. Purpose of the Bill.............................................6
 III. Background and Need for the Legislation.........................7
  IV. Hearing Summary.................................................8
   V. Committee Actions...............................................9
  VI. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill, as Reported...........10
 VII. Section-by-Section Analysis (by Title and Section), as Reported11
VIII. Cost Estimate..................................................15
  IX. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate......................16
   X. Compliance With Public Law 104-4...............................17
  XI. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations...............18
 XII. Statement on General Performance Goals and Objectives..........18
XIII. Constitutional Authority Statement.............................18
 XIV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement...........................18
  XV. Congressional Accountability Act...............................18
 XVI. Earmark Identification.........................................18
XVII. Statement on Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law.........18
XVIII.Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported..........18

 XIX. Committee Recommendations......................................18
  XX. Proceedings of the Subcommittee Markup.........................19
 XXI. Proceedings of the Full Committee Markup.......................51

                              I. AMENDMENT

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Advanced Geothermal Energy Research 
and Development Act of 2007''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  The Congress finds the following:
          (1) The United States has a critical national interest in 
        developing clean, domestic, renewable sources of energy in 
        order to mitigate the causes of climate change, reduce other 
        environmental impacts of energy production, increase national 
        security, improve public health, and bolster economic 
        stability.
          (2) Geothermal energy is a renewable energy resource.
          (3) Geothermal energy is unusual among renewable energy 
        sources because of its ability to provide an uninterrupted 
        supply of baseload electricity.
          (4) Recently published assessments by reputable experts, 
        including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the 
        Western Governors Association, and the National Renewable 
        Energy Laboratory, indicate that the Nation's geothermal 
        resources are widely distributed, vast in size, and barely 
        tapped.
          (5) Sustained and expanded research, development, 
        demonstration, and commercial application programs are needed 
        to locate and characterize geothermal resources, and to develop 
        the technologies that will enable their widespread commercial 
        development.
          (6) Federal support is critical to reduce the financial risk 
        associated with developing new geothermal technologies, thereby 
        encouraging the private sector investment necessary to make 
        geothermal resources commercially viable as a source of 
        electric power and for other applications.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

  For purposes of this Act:
          (1) Engineered.--When referring to enhanced geothermal 
        systems, the term ``engineered'' means subjected to 
        intervention, including intervention to address one or more of 
        the following issues:
                  (A) Lack of effective permeability or porosity or 
                open fracture connectivity within the reservoir.
                  (B) Insufficient contained geofluid in the reservoir.
                  (C) A low average geothermal gradient, which 
                necessitates deeper drilling.
          (2) Enhanced geothermal systems.--The term ``enhanced 
        geothermal systems'' means geothermal reservoir systems that 
        are engineered, as opposed to occurring naturally.
          (3) Geofluid.--The term ``geofluid'' means any fluid used to 
        extract thermal energy from the Earth which is transported to 
        the surface for direct use or electric power generation, except 
        that such term shall not include oil or natural gas.
          (4) Geopressured resources.--The term ``geopressured 
        resources'' mean geothermal deposits found in sedimentary rocks 
        under higher than normal pressure and saturated with gas or 
        methane.
          (5) Geothermal.--The term ``geothermal'' refers to heat 
        energy stored in the Earth's crust that can be accessed for 
        direct use or electric power generation.
          (6) Hydrothermal.--The term ``hydrothermal'' refers to 
        naturally occurring subsurface reservoirs of hot water or 
        steam.
          (7) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        Energy.
          (8) Systems approach.--The term ``systems approach'' means an 
        approach to solving problems or designing systems that attempts 
        to optimize the performance of the overall system, rather than 
        a particular component of the system.

SEC. 4. HYDROTHERMAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall support programs of research, 
development, demonstration, and commercial application to expand the 
use of geothermal energy production from hydrothermal systems, 
including the programs described in subsection (b).
  (b) Programs.--
          (1) Advanced hydrothermal resource tools.--The Secretary, in 
        consultation with other appropriate agencies, shall support a 
        program to develop advanced geophysical, geochemical, and 
        geologic tools to assist in locating hidden hydrothermal 
        resources, and to increase the reliability of site 
        characterization before, during, and after initial drilling. 
        The program shall develop new prospecting techniques to assist 
        in prioritization of targets for characterization. The program 
        shall include a field component.
          (2) Industry coupled exploratory drilling.--The Secretary 
        shall support a program of cost-shared field demonstration 
        programs, to be pursued, simultaneously and independently, in 
        collaboration with industry partners, for the demonstration of 
        technologies and techniques of siting and exploratory drilling 
        for undiscovered resources in a variety of geologic settings. 
        The program shall include incentives to encourage the use of 
        advanced technologies and techniques.

SEC. 5. GENERAL GEOTHERMAL SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

  (a) Subsurface Components and Systems.--The Secretary shall support a 
program of research, development, demonstration, and commercial 
application of components and systems capable of withstanding extreme 
geothermal environments and necessary to cost-effectively develop, 
produce, and monitor geothermal reservoirs and produce geothermal 
energy. These components and systems shall include advanced casing 
systems (expandable tubular casing, low-clearance casing designs, and 
others), high-temperature cements, high-temperature submersible pumps, 
and high-temperature packers, as well as technologies for under-
reaming, multilateral completions, high-temperature logging, and 
logging while drilling.
  (b) Reservoir Performance Modeling.--The Secretary shall support a 
program of research, development, demonstration, and commercial 
application of models of geothermal reservoir performance, with an 
emphasis on accurately modeling performance over time. Models shall be 
developed to assist both in the development of geothermal reservoirs 
and to more accurately account for stress-related effects in stimulated 
hydrothermal and enhanced geothermal systems production environments.
  (c) Environmental Impacts.--The Secretary shall--
          (1) support a program of research, development, 
        demonstration, and commercial application of technologies and 
        practices designed to mitigate or preclude potential adverse 
        environmental impacts of geothermal energy development, 
        production or use, and seek to ensure that geothermal energy 
        development is consistent with the highest practicable 
        standards of environmental stewardship; and
          (2) in conjunction with the Assistant Administrator for 
        Research and Development at the Environmental Protection 
        Agency, support a research program to identify potential 
        environmental impacts of geothermal energy development, 
        production, and use, and ensure that the program described in 
        paragraph (1) addresses such impacts, including effects on 
        groundwater and local hydrology.
Any potential environmental impacts identified as part of the 
development, production, and use of geothermal energy shall be measured 
and examined against the potential emissions offsets of greenhouses 
gases gained by geothermal energy development, production, and use.

SEC. 6. ENHANCED GEOTHERMAL SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall support a program of research, 
development, demonstration, and commercial application for enhanced 
geothermal systems, including the programs described in subsection (b).
  (b) Programs.--
          (1) Enhanced geothermal systems technologies.--The Secretary 
        shall support a program of research, development, 
        demonstration, and commercial application of the technologies 
        and knowledge necessary for enhanced geothermal systems to 
        advance to a state of commercial readiness, including advances 
        in--
                  (A) reservoir stimulation;
                  (B) reservoir characterization, monitoring, and 
                modeling;
                  (C) stress mapping;
                  (D) tracer development;
                  (E) three-dimensional tomography;
                  (F) understanding seismic effects of reservoir 
                engineering and stimulation; and
                  (G) laser-based drilling technology.
          (2) Enhanced geothermal systems reservoir stimulation.--
                  (A) Program.--In collaboration with industry 
                partners, the Secretary shall support a program of 
                research, development, and demonstration of enhanced 
                geothermal systems reservoir stimulation technologies 
                and techniques. A minimum of 5 sites shall be selected 
                in locations that show particular promise for enhanced 
                geothermal systems development. Each site shall--
                          (i) represent a different class of subsurface 
                        geologic environments; and
                          (ii) take advantage of an existing site where 
                        subsurface characterization has been conducted 
                        or existing drill holes can be utilized, if 
                        possible.
                  (B) Consideration of existing sites.--The following 2 
                sites, where Department of Energy and industry 
                cooperative enhanced geothermal systems projects are 
                already underway, may be considered for inclusion among 
                the sites selected under subparagraph (A):
                          (i) Desert Peak, Nevada.
                          (ii) Coso, California.

SEC. 7. GEOTHERMAL ENERGY PRODUCTION FROM OIL AND GAS FIELDS AND 
                    RECOVERY AND PRODUCTION OF GEOPRESSURED GAS 
                    RESOURCES.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall establish a program of research, 
development, demonstration, and commercial application to support 
development of geothermal energy production from oil and gas fields and 
production and recovery of energy from geopressured resources. In 
addition, the Secretary shall conduct such supporting activities 
including research, resource characterization, and technology 
development as necessary.
  (b) Geothermal Energy Production From Oil and Gas Fields.--The 
Secretary shall implement a grant program in support of geothermal 
energy production from oil and gas fields. The program shall include 
grants for a total of not less than three demonstration projects of the 
use of geothermal techniques such as organic rankine cycle systems at 
marginal, unproductive, and productive oil and gas wells. The Secretary 
shall, to the extent practicable and in the public interest, make 
awards that--
          (1) include not less than five oil or gas well sites per 
        project award;
          (2) use a range of oil or gas well hot water source 
        temperatures from 150 degrees Fahrenheit to 300 degrees 
        Fahrenheit;
          (3) cover a range of sizes up to one megawatt;
          (4) are located at a range of sites;
          (5) can be replicated at a wide range of sites;
          (6) facilitate identification of optimum techniques among 
        competing alternatives;
          (7) include business commercialization plans that have the 
        potential for production of equipment at high volumes and 
        operation and support at a large number of sites; and
          (8) satisfy other criteria that the Secretary determines are 
        necessary to carry out the program and collect necessary data 
        and information.
The Secretary shall give preference to assessments that address 
multiple elements contained in paragraphs (1) through (8).
  (c) Grant Awards.--Each grant award for demonstration of geothermal 
technology such as organic rankine cycle systems at oil and gas wells 
made by the Secretary under subsection (b) shall include--
          (1) necessary and appropriate site engineering study;
          (2) detailed economic assessment of site specific conditions;
          (3) appropriate feasibility studies to determine whether the 
        demonstration can be replicated;
          (4) design or adaptation of existing technology for site 
        specific circumstances or conditions;
          (5) installation of equipment, service, and support;
          (6) operation for a minimum of one year and monitoring for 
        the duration of the demonstration; and
          (7) validation of technical and economic assumptions and 
        documentation of lessons learned.
  (d) Geopressured Gas Resource Recovery and Production.--(1) The 
Secretary shall implement a program to support the research, 
development, demonstration, and commercial application of cost-
effective techniques to produce energy from geopressured resources 
situated in and near the Gulf of Mexico.
  (2) The Secretary shall solicit preliminary engineering designs for 
geopressured resources production and recovery facilities.
  (3) Based upon a review of the preliminary designs, the Secretary 
shall award grants, which may be cost-shared, to support the detailed 
development and completion of engineering, architectural and technical 
plans needed to support construction of new designs.
  (4) Based upon a review of the final design plans above, the 
Secretary shall award cost-shared development and construction grants 
for demonstration geopressured production facilities that show 
potential for economic recovery of the heat, kinetic energy and gas 
resources from geopressured resources.
  (e) Competitive Grant Selection.--Not less than 90 days after the 
date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall conduct a 
national solicitation for applications for grants under the programs 
outlined in subsections (b) and (d). Grant recipients shall be selected 
on a competitive basis based on criteria in the respective subsection.
  (f) Well Drilling.--No funds may be used under this section for the 
purpose of drilling new wells.

SEC. 8. COST SHARING AND PROPOSAL EVALUATION.

  (a) Federal Share.--(1) The Federal share of costs of projects funded 
under this Act shall be in accordance with section 988 of the Energy 
Policy Act of 2005.
  (2) The Secretary may waive the Federal cost share requirement for 
grants awarded to universities, national laboratories, or similar 
noncommercial entities awarded grants under this Act.
  (3) The Secretary shall allow for a competitive bidding process to 
play a role in determining the final cost-share ratio.
  (b) Organization and Administration of Programs.--Programs under this 
Act shall incorporate the following organizational and administrative 
elements:
          (1) Non-Federal participants shall be chosen through a 
        competitive selection process.
          (2) The request for proposals for each program shall 
        stipulate, at a minimum, the following:
                  (A) The non-Federal funding requirements for 
                projects.
                  (B) The funding mechanism to be used (i.e. grants, 
                contracts, or cooperative agreements).
                  (C) Milestones and a schedule for completion.
                  (D) Criteria for evaluating proposals.
          (3) In evaluating proposals, the Secretary shall give 
        priority to proposals that draw on relevant expertise from 
        industry, academia, and the national laboratories, as 
        appropriate.
          (4) The Secretary shall coordinate with, and where 
        appropriate may provide funds in furtherance of the purposes of 
        this Act to, other Department of Energy research and 
        development programs focused on drilling, subsurface 
        characterization, and other related technologies.
          (5) In evaluating proposals, the Secretary shall consult with 
        relevant experts from industry, academia, and the national 
        laboratories, as appropriate.
          (6) In evaluating proposals, the Secretary shall give 
        priority to proposals that demonstrate clear evidence of 
        employing a systems approach.
          (7) In evaluating proposals for projects with a field 
        component, the Secretary shall, where appropriate, give 
        priority consideration to proposals that contain provisions to 
        study local environmental impacts of the technologies developed 
        or the operations undertaken.
          (8) Data collected by the Secretary as a result of any 
        project supported with funds provided under this Act shall be 
        made available to the public, except to the extent that they 
        contain information that is protected from disclosure under 
        section 552(b) of title 5, United States Code.

SEC. 9. CENTERS FOR GEOTHERMAL TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary shall award grants to institutions of 
higher education (or consortia thereof) to establish 2 Centers for 
Geothermal Technology Transfer.
  (b) Centers.--
          (1) Hydrothermal center.--The purpose of one Technology 
        Transfer Center shall be to serve as an information 
        clearinghouse for the geothermal industry, collecting and 
        disseminating information on best practices in all areas 
        related to developing and managing hydrothermal resources, 
        including data available for disclosure as provided under 
        section 8(b)(8). This Center shall be based at the institution 
        west of the Mississippi River that the Secretary considers to 
        be best suited to the purpose. The Center shall collect and 
        disseminate information on all subjects germane to the 
        development and user of hydrothermal systems, including--
                  (A) resource location;
                  (B) reservoir characterization, monitoring, and 
                modeling;
                  (C) drilling techniques;
                  (D) reservoir management techniques; and
                  (E) technologies for electric power conversion or 
                direct use of geothermal energy.
          (2) Enhanced geothermal systems center.--The purpose of a 
        second Technology Transfer Center shall be to serve as an 
        information clearinghouse for the geothermal industry, 
        collecting and disseminating information on best practices in 
        all areas related to developing and managing enhanced 
        geothermal systems resources, including data available for 
        disclosure as provided under section 8(b)(8). This Center is 
        encouraged to seek opportunities to coordinate efforts and 
        share information with international partners engaged in 
        research and development of enhanced geothermal systems or 
        engaged in collection of data related to enhanced geothermal 
        systems development. This Center shall be based at an academic 
        institution east of the Rocky Mountains which, in the opinion 
        of the Secretary, is best suited to provide national leadership 
        on enhanced geothermal systems-related issues. The Center shall 
        collect and disseminate information on all subjects germane to 
        the development and use of enhanced geothermal systems.
  (c) Award Duration.--An award made by the Secretary under this 
section shall be for an initial period of 5 years, and may be renewed 
for additional 5-year periods on the basis of--
          (1) satisfactory performance in meeting the goals of the 
        research plan proposed by the Center; and
          (2) other requirements as specified by the Secretary.

SEC. 10. GEOPOWERING AMERICA.

  The Secretary shall expand the Department of Energy's GeoPowering the 
West program to extend its geothermal technology transfer activities 
throughout the entire United States. The program shall be renamed 
``GeoPowering America''. The program shall continue to be based in the 
Department of Energy office in Golden, Colorado.

SEC. 11. REPORTS.

  (a) Reports on Advanced Uses of Geothermal Energy.--Not later than 1 
year, 3 years, and 5 years, after the date of enactment of this Act, 
the Secretary shall report to the Committee on Science and Technology 
of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources of the Senate on advanced concepts and technologies to 
maximize the geothermal resource potential of the United States. The 
reports shall include--
          (1) the use of carbon dioxide as an alternative geofluid with 
        potential carbon sequestration benefits;
          (2) mineral recovery from geofluids;
          (3) use of geothermal energy to produce hydrogen;
          (4) use of geothermal energy to produce biofuels;
          (5) use of geothermal heat for oil recovery from oil shales 
        and tar sands; and
          (6) other advanced geothermal technologies, including 
        advanced drilling technologies and advanced power conversion 
        technologies.
  (b) Progress Reports.--(1) Not later than 36 months after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on 
Science and Technology of the House of Representatives and the 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate an interim 
report describing the progress made under this Act. At the end of 60 
months, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the results 
of projects undertaken under this Act and other such information the 
Secretary considers appropriate.
  (2) As necessary, the Secretary shall report to the Congress on any 
legal, regulatory, or other barriers encountered that hinder economic 
development of these resources, and provide recommendations on 
legislative or other actions needed to address such impediments.

SEC. 12. APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAWS.

  Nothing in this Act shall be construed as waiving the applicability 
of any requirement under any environmental or other Federal or State 
law.

SEC. 13. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out 
this Act $90,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2008 through 2012, of 
which $10,000,000 for each fiscal year shall be for carrying out 
section 7.

                              II. PURPOSE

    The purpose of the H.R. 2304 is to direct the Secretary of 
Energy to conduct a program of research, development, 
demonstration, and commercial application for geothermal 
energy, and to establish technology transfer centers to 
facilitate the collection and dissemination of technological, 
scientific, and best practices information relevant to 
geothermal energy development and use.

              III. BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR THE LEGISLATION

    Geothermal energy is heat from the Earth's core that is 
trapped in the Earth's crust. It can be tapped and used either 
to generate electricity or for direct use (e.g. heating 
buildings, greenhouses, or aquaculture operations). It is very 
attractive as an energy resource because it is not only 
renewable and emits no greenhouse gases, but can also provide 
continuously dispatchable, baseload power, day and night, 365 
days a year. Geothermal energy is also a domestic resource, 
creating domestic jobs and increasing national security.
    In locations where high temperatures coincide with 
naturally-occurring, underground, fluid-filled reservoirs, the 
resulting hot water or steam can be tapped directly to run a 
geothermal power plant. Such locations are referred to as 
hydrothermal (hot water) resources, and they have been the 
focus of traditional geothermal energy development. The United 
States is the world's largest producer of electric power from 
geothermal energy with approximately 2,800 megawatts (MW) of 
geothermal electrical generating capacity currently connected 
to the grid, mostly in California and the Intermountain West, 
where high grade hydrothermal systems have been found close to 
the surface. However, significant hydrothermal potential 
remains untapped. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates 
there are between 95,000 MW and 127,000 MW of hydrothermal 
resources sufficient for electrical power generation in the 
United States. However, many of these resources remain 
undiscovered and unconfirmed, as they are in locations without 
obvious surface manifestations.
    Even that large number, however, pales in comparison to the 
potential of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). EGS differ from 
hydrothermal systems in that they lack either a natural 
reservoir (i.e. the cracks and spaces in the rock through which 
fluid can circulate), the fluid to circulate through the 
reservoir, or both. In EGS development, sometimes referred to 
as ``heat mining'', an injection well is drilled to a depth 
where temperatures are sufficiently high; if necessary, a 
reservoir is created, or ``cracked'', in the rock using one of 
various methods to apply pressure; and a fluid is introduced to 
circulate through the reservoir and absorb the heat. The fluid 
is extracted through a production well, the heat is used to run 
a geothermal power plant or for some direct use application and 
the fluid is reinjected to start the loop all over again.
    Although it has been the subject of preliminary 
investigations in the United States, Europe, and Australia, the 
EGS concept has yet to be demonstrated as a commercially viable 
source of power production. However, experts familiar with the 
resource and the associated technologies believe the technical 
and economic hurdles are surmountable. In January 2007, a panel 
led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology produced a 
report entitled The Future of Geothermal Energy, which 
contained an updated assessment of EGS potential in the United 
States. The authors of the report conservatively estimate that 
two percent of the EGS resource could be economically 
recoverable--an amount more than 2,000 times larger than all 
the primary energy consumed in the United States in 2005.\1\ If 
the technological and economic hurdles to EGS development can 
be overcome, the potential of the resource is enormous. The 
authors of the report believe it is reasonable to develop 100 
Gigawatts of electric generating capacity from EGS resources by 
2050.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ The Future of Geothermal Energy; Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology, 2006; p. 1-17.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The United States has been involved in geothermal energy 
R&D since the 1970s. The program reached a high point, in terms 
of funding, in FY 1980, when it received approximately $310 
million (2006 dollars). Since then, funding has gradually 
declined to its present level of $5 million (2006 dollars) in 
FY 2007. The current Administration has attempted to phase out 
the geothermal program entirely, requesting zero dollars in FY 
2007 and FY 2008.
    As justification for terminating the geothermal program, 
the Administration asserts that geothermal technologies are 
mature--a claim strongly disputed by researchers and the 
geothermal industry. Proponents point out that geothermal is 
not a single technology, but a complex resource, available in 
different grades in different places. While the technologies to 
tap the highest grade resources may indeed be mature (some have 
provided electric power at competitive rates for decades) these 
high grade locations, that are easily identifiable from the 
surface, represent a very small fraction of the total resource. 
To develop technologies capable of tapping lower grade 
resources, both hydrothermal and EGS, further research and 
development is essential. Recent indications suggest DOE 
officials may be open to reexamining investment in geothermal 
research and development, particularly in light of the 
opportunities in Enhanced Geothermal Systems that were 
highlighted in the recent MIT report: The Future of Geothermal 
Energy.
    H.R. 2304 is intended to reinvigorate geothermal energy R&D 
in the United States in order to unlock the potential of this 
vast resource, across the full spectrum of grades, for the 
benefit of the nation.

                          IV. HEARING SUMMARY

    The Energy and Environment Subcommittee held a hearing on 
Thursday, May 17, 2007 to hear testimony on H.R. 2304 (and also 
H.R. 2313, The Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development 
Act of 2007) from the following witnesses:
     Dr. Jefferson Tester, the HP Meissner Professor of 
Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology, an internationally recognized expert in Enhanced 
Geothermal Systems and chair of the MIT-led panel that produced 
the report: The Future of Geothermal Energy, released in 
January 2007.
     Mr. Paul Thomsen, Public Policy Manager for Ormat 
Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of geothermal 
exploration, development, and power conversion technologies. 
Mr. Thomsen testified on behalf of both Ormat and the 
Geothermal Energy Association.
     Mr. Nathanael Greene, a Sr. Energy Policy 
Specialist with the Natural Resources Defense Council with 
expertise in utility regulation, renewable energy, energy 
taxes, energy efficiency, and the environmental impacts of 
energy production.
    The following witnesses testified at the hearing, but their 
testimony was directed to H.R. 2313, The Marine Renewable 
Energy Research and Development Act of 2007.
     Dr. Annette von Jouanne, Professor of Energy 
Systems and Power Electronics in the School of Electrical 
Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University 
(OSU). Dr. von Jouanne also leads the Wave Energy program at 
OSU.
     Mr. Sean O'Neill, President of the Ocean Renewable 
Energy Coalition (OREC), a trade association representing the 
marine renewable energy industry.

                          V. COMMITTEE ACTIONS

    On May 14, 2007, Rep. Jerry McNerney, for himself, Science 
and Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon, and Energy and 
Environment Subcommittee Chairman Nick Lampson, introduced H.R. 
2304, The Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development 
Act of 2007. The bill was referred to the House Committee on 
Science and Technology, Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.
    The Subcommittee on Energy and Environment met to consider 
H.R. 2304 on June 6, 2007 and consider the following amendment 
to the bill:
    1. On behalf of Mr. McNerney which, in addition to changes 
of a technical nature, revises instructions for establishing 
the Federal/non-Federal cost-share ratios for projects funded 
under the Act to provide greater leeway to tailor cost-share 
levels to individual projects; allows for a competitive bidding 
process to play a role in determining the cost-share ratio for 
a projects; eliminates cost-share requirements for research 
that is of a ``fundamental or basic nature''; establishes an 
R&D program to develop technologies and techniques to mitigate 
or avoid adverse environmental impacts of geothermal energy 
development, production, or use; directs the Secretary to 
coordinate with the Environmental Protection Agency to study 
the environmental impacts of geothermal energy development, 
production, and use; directs the Secretary to give priority 
consideration for funding, where appropriate, to project 
proposals that include provisions to study the project's 
environmental impacts; encourages the Enhanced Geothermal 
Systems Technology Transfer Center established in the bill to 
seek opportunities for coordination with appropriate 
international partners; and expands the scope of an existing, 
domestic geothermal technology transfer program from the 
western U.S. to the entire country. The amendment was agreed to 
by voice vote.
    Following consideration of the amendments, the bill, as 
amended, was passed by voice vote.
    Mr. Inglis then moved that the Subcommittee favorably 
report the bill, H.R. 2304, to the full Committee on Science 
and Technology. The motion was agreed to by voice vote.
    The House Committee on Science and Technology met to 
consider H.R. 2304 on June 13, 2007 and considered the 
following amendments to the bill:
    1. On behalf of Mr. Hall, which adds a section on co-
produced (with oil and gas operations) and geopressured 
resources. It also adds $10 million for those activities in 
authorized appropriations to the bill. It also streamlines the 
instructions for determining cost-share ratios for projects, 
and calls for interim progress reports on projects funded under 
the Act. The amendment was agreed to by voice vote.
    The following three amendments were offered and considered 
en bloc:
    2. On behalf of Mr. Bartlett, which replaces ``Study on 
Advanced Uses of Geothermal Energy'' with ``Reports on Advanced 
Uses of Geothermal Energy''. The amendment was agreed to by 
voice vote.
    3. On behalf of Mr. Bartlett, which replaces ``Geopower 
America'' with ``Geopowering America''. The amendment was 
agreed to by voice vote.
    4. On behalf of Mr. Bartlett, which requires environmental 
impacts from geothermal energy production to be measured and 
examined against the potential for geothermal energy production 
to offset greenhouse gas emissions. The amendment was agreed to 
by voice vote.
    The following two amendments were offered and considered en 
bloc:
    5. On behalf of Mr. McCaul, which requires the Secretary of 
Energy to coordinate with other DOE research and development 
programs focused on drilling and related activities. The 
amendment was agreed to by voice vote.
    6. On behalf of Mr. McCaul, which adds ``laser-based 
drilling technology'' to the EGS research and development 
program. The amendment was agreed to by voice vote.
    7. On behalf of Ms. Biggert, which strikes the section 
establishing two university-based, geothermal technology 
transfer centers and transfers these responsibilities to the 
Geopowering America program. The amendment was rejected by 
voice vote.
    8. On behalf of Ms. Biggert, which instructs the Secretary 
to choose a location for the EGS Technology Transfer Center 
east of the ``Rocky Mountains'', rather than east of the 
``Mississippi River''. The amendment was agreed to by voice 
vote.
    9. On behalf of Mr. Matheson, which increases the total 
authorization by $5,000,000 for each of the five fiscal years 
2008 through 2012, to fund the Intermountain West Geothermal 
Consortium. The amendment was offered and withdrawn.
    Following consideration of the amendments, the bill, as 
amended, was passed by voice vote.
    Mr. Hall then moved that the committee favorably report the 
bill, H.R. 2304, as amended, to the House for consideration. 
The motion was agreed to by a voice vote.

        VI. SUMMARY OF MAJOR PROVISIONS OF THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    H.R. 2304 authorizes $90 million a year for each of the 
fiscal years 2008-2012 ($450 million total) for research, 
development, demonstration, and commercial application of 
technologies to locate, characterize, and develop geothermal 
resources for energy production. Of the $90 million annual 
authorization, $10 million per year is specifically authorized 
for projects to develop co-produced and geopressured resources. 
The bill also establishes a research program, to be coordinated 
with EPA, to identify potential environmental impacts of 
geothermal energy production, and a program of research, 
development, demonstration, and commercial application of 
technologies to mitigate or avoid adverse environmental 
impacts. The bill provides guidance for the Secretary to use in 
evaluation of project proposals, and calls for the inclusion of 
a competitive bidding process in the process used for 
establishing Federal/non-Federal cost-share ratios for 
projects. The bill establishes or expands several technology 
transfer programs to promote dissemination of technological and 
scientific information and best practices on geothermal energy 
development and use. Finally, the bill requires DOE to issue 
several reports: the first, to be issued 36 and 60 months after 
enactment, is a report on the progress made under the Act; the 
second, to be issued 12, 36, and 60 months after enactment, is 
a report tracking the development of advanced concepts and 
technologies related to geothermal energy development but not 
funded under the Act; the third, to be issued when and if 
necessary, is a report to Congress on any barriers 
encountered--legal, regulatory, or otherwise--that hinder 
economic development of geothermal resources.

                    VII. SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Act may be cited as the ``Advanced Geothermal Energy 
Research and Development Act of 2007''

Section 2. Findings

    Geothermal energy is a renewable resource capable of 
providing baseload power generation (and other applications) 
with minimal environmental impact. The geothermal energy 
potential in the United States is widely distributed and vast 
in size, yet it remains barely tapped. Sustained and expanded 
funding for research, development, demonstration, and 
commercial application programs is needed to improve the 
technologies to locate, characterize, and develop geothermal 
resources.

Section 3. Definitions

    Provides definitions for the following terms used in the 
Act: `Engineered' (as it pertains to enhanced geothermal 
systems), `Enhanced Geothermal Systems', `Geofluid', 
`Geopressured Resources', `Geothermal', `Hydrothermal', 
`Secretary', and `Systems Approach'

Section 4. Hydrothermal research and development

    Instructs the Secretary to support research, development, 
demonstration, and commercial application of technologies 
designed to assist in locating and characterizing undiscovered 
hydrothermal resources.
    Section 4(b)(1) instructs the Secretary to support the 
development of geoscientific tools and technologies that can 
assist in the process of locating hidden hydrothermal resources 
that do not exhibit obvious manifestations at the earth's 
surface. This research and tool development would likely be 
carried out by researchers at universities and national labs, 
though qualified candidates based at other institutions or 
organizations may also apply for funding. The bill specifies 
that this program shall include a field component, to encourage 
development of these tools under real world conditions, but 
this is not intended to suggest that only field-based research 
may qualify for funding under this Section.
    Section 4(b)(2) establishes an ``industry-coupled 
exploratory drilling'' program, which is a cost-shared program 
with industry partners to demonstrate and apply advanced 
exploration technologies in the field. This is not intended as 
research and development program for drilling technologies per 
se; rather, it is intended as a demonstration program to apply 
existing technologies--especially the most advanced 
technologies available--in a practical setting to discover and 
confirm hidden hydrothermal resources and expand the confirmed 
hydrothermal resource base.

Section 5. General geothermal systems research and development

    The programs under Section 5 are intended to support the 
development of technologies applicable to the locating, 
developing, and using all geothermal systems, whether they are 
hydrothermal systems, Enhanced Geothermal Systems, or a hybrid 
of the two. Subsection (a) establishes a program of research, 
development, demonstration, and commercial application of 
system components and materials capable of withstanding the 
extreme environment (high temperatures and corrosiveness) in 
geothermal wells. The Section includes a list of specific types 
of components and systems that shall qualify for funding under 
this Section, though in practice, any subsurface component that 
is essential to drilling to extreme depths and temperatures 
shall qualify for research, development, demonstration, and 
commercial applications funding under this section.
    Subsection (b) establishes a program of research, 
development, demonstration, and commercial application of 
improved models of geothermal reservoir performance. The intent 
is to improve upon the accuracy of existing models. The models 
can be of any useful type, whether numerical, computer-based, 
or other.
    Subsection (c)(1) establishes a program of research, 
development, demonstration, and commercial application of 
technologies to mitigate or preclude adverse environmental 
impacts from geothermal energy development, production or use. 
Subsection (c)(2) directs the Secretary, in conjunction with 
the Office of Research and Development at EPA, to study what 
such impacts of geothermal energy development might be, and 
ensure that the program in (c)(1) addresses such impacts. The 
intent is to ensure that all reasonable efforts are undertaken 
to ensure that geothermal energy development may proceed with 
the smallest possible environmental impact. This subsection 
also calls for any identified potential adverse environmental 
impacts of geothermal energy development to be weighed against 
the potential benefit of providing power production without 
greenhouse gas emissions.

Section 6. Enhanced geothermal systems research and development

    Subsection (a) instructs the Secretary to support a program 
of research, development, demonstration, and commercial 
application of technologies necessary to advance EGS to a state 
of commercial readiness.
    Subsection (b) establishes a cost-shared, field-based 
program of research, development, and demonstration of 
technologies to create and stimulate EGS reservoirs. The 
purpose of this subsection is to promote research, development, 
and demonstration of functional EGS systems capable of 
producing hot geofluid that could be used for electric power 
production or direct use. (However, this section deliberately 
stops short of authorizing demonstration of the actual power 
conversion step, which is already considered commercially 
viable. The aim of this section is strictly to engineer a 
productive reservoir.) The subsection stipulates that a minimum 
of 5 sites be selected, each representing geologic conditions 
that are different from other sites and also showing potential 
for EGS development. The intent is to prove the viability of 
EGS technology in as many different geological settings as 
possible. The Secretary may pursue EGS reservoir stimulation 
work at more than 5 sites, and s/he is encouraged to do so if 
sufficient funds are available.
    Finally, two sites where DOE has already sponsored some EGS 
research (Coso, CA and Desert Peak, NV) are listed as candidate 
sites that may be considered for further funding under this 
section, if the Secretary deems it appropriate to invest 
further in those sites. This decision, however, is left to the 
Secretary's discretion and should be based on the potential for 
these sites to yield additional useful information or 
developments.

Section 7. Geothermal energy production from oil and gas fields and 
        recovery and production of geopressured gas resources

    Establishes a demonstration program to prove the 
feasibility of co-producing geothermal power from hot water 
``co-produced'' from oil and gas fields. This section also 
directs the Secretary of Energy to hold a design competition to 
produce preliminary designs for state-of-the-art approaches to 
recovering the energy contained in geopressured resources--
which contain heat, pressure, and dissolved methane--in and 
near the Gulf of Mexico. The Secretary shall select the most 
promising preliminary designs submitted and award grants (which 
may be cost-shared) for the completion of the full engineering 
and other technical design work. Then, based upon an evaluation 
of the final designs, the Secretary is authorized to select the 
design that shows the greatest potential for economic recovery 
of the heat, kinetic energy and gas (the chosen design must 
effectively tap all three sources of energy) from geopressured 
resources, and award cost-shared grants for construction of a 
demonstration facility based on that design. The authorization 
for the overall bill includes $10 million per year specifically 
for this Section. None of the appropriated funds may be used to 
drill new wells. This is to encourage developers to take 
advantage of the many existing wells already drilled.

Section 8. Cost sharing and proposal evaluation

    Instructs the Secretary to use the guidelines established 
in Section 988 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to determine 
the Federal/non-Federal cost-share ratios for projects funded 
under this Act, but, in addition, to incorporate a competitive 
bidding process into the process of determining the cost-share 
ratio for each project. The intent of the competitive bidding 
process is to encourage funding applicants to offer to finance 
the greatest possible portion of a project's total costs that 
they can afford. In addition, the cost-share guidelines allow 
the Secretary to waive cost-share requirements for projects 
awarded to non-commercial entities, such as universities or 
national laboratories.

Section 9. Centers for geothermal technology transfer

    Provides for the creation of two Centers of technology 
transfer to function as information clearinghouses for the 
benefit of geothermal researchers and the geothermal industry. 
These centers shall be dedicated to collecting and 
disseminating all available information relevant to locating, 
developing, and managing geothermal resources to produce 
energy. Relevant information is intended to include, but not be 
limited to, operational best practices in all stages of 
geothermal energy development, technological advances, and 
scientific data collected as a result of projects funded under 
the Act. One of the centers is to be located west of the 
Mississippi River, probably west of the Rocky Mountains, and 
shall be dedicated to managing information relevant to 
hydrothermal systems development; the other center shall be 
located east of the Rocky Mountains, and shall be dedicated to 
managing information relevant to Enhanced Geothermal Systems 
development.
    It was decided that two Centers should be established, 
rather than one, for two reasons. First, the regions for the 
two Centers were chosen to match each Center's mission. The 
western Center is to be dedicated to collecting and 
disseminating information related to developing hydrothermal 
systems because the West is the geologically suited to be the 
center of hydrothermal development. The eastern Center is to be 
dedicated to Enhanced Geothermal Systems to emphasize the 
applicability of this enormous resource to the entire nation, 
including in the East--a region not commonly associated with 
geothermal energy development.
    The second reason for establishing two Centers is that 
there are different engineering and scientific issues 
associated with developing the different types of resources. To 
the extent that those areas of expertise overlap, it may be 
appropriate and useful for the two Centers to handle duplicate 
information, and such appropriate duplication is not 
discouraged. Both centers are intended to serve the entire 
nation in their respective areas of expertise, not just their 
respective region. The eastern Center is specifically 
encouraged to seek opportunities for international cooperation 
because there is significant EGS research happening in other 
countries.
    The rationale for locating the Centers at universities is 
two-fold: first, the close proximity of the Centers to 
university faculty and students is intended to create a 
valuable asset to the university research community and 
encourage the development of a new generation of geothermal 
scientists and engineers; second, there are numerous 
universities with strong programs in the geosciences that would 
make very attractive candidates for hosting these facilities.
    It should be noted that these Centers are not intended as 
research Centers per se. Rather, they are intended as 
information clearinghouses or repositories--sort of specialized 
libraries that will actively seek to collect and disseminate 
relevant data. It is hoped that they will be of significant 
value to researchers, as well as the geothermal development 
industry, but their mandate does not include conducting 
original research themselves.

Section 10. Geopowering America

    Expands the scope of an existing, domestic geothermal 
technology transfer program from the western U.S. to the entire 
country, so as to encourage the transfer and adoption of 
appropriate geothermal energy technologies throughout the 
entire United States.

Section 11. Reports

    Subsection 11(a) requires the Secretary to track 
technological advances impacting geothermal energy development 
and advanced uses of geothermal energy and fluids, and report 
back to the Committee every other year for the next five years 
(a total of three times). This report is intended to focus on 
areas of potential future interest for the geothermal program, 
but these areas are not considered appropriate candidates for 
Federal research, development, demonstration, and commercial 
application support at the current time, owing to their early 
stages of development and speculative nature. The report is not 
intended to be limited to the topics listed here. The bi-annual 
tracking effort is intended to highlight when these 
technologies become less speculative and more appropriate for 
Federal support.
    Subsection 11(b)(1) requires the Secretary to report back 
to the Committee after 3 years describing the progress made 
under this Act up to that point. At the end of 5 years, the 
Secretary shall report on the results of projects undertaken 
under this Act.
    Subsection 11(b)(2) requires the Secretary to report back 
to Congress, as necessary, on any legal, regulatory, or other 
barriers encountered that hinder economic development of 
geothermal resources and provide recommendations on legislative 
or other actions needed to address such impediments.

Section 12. Applicability of other laws

    Affirms the applicability of all requirements under Federal 
and State laws, including environmental laws, to projects 
undertaken under this Act.

Section 13. Authorization of appropriations

    Authorizes appropriations of $90,000,000 for each of the 
fiscal years 2008 through 2012, of which $10,000,000 for each 
fiscal year shall be for carrying out section 7.

                          VIII. COST ESTIMATE

    A cost estimate and comparison prepared by the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974 has been timely submitted to 
the Committee on Science and Technology prior to the filing of 
this report and is included in Section X of this report 
pursuant to House Rule XIII, clause 3(c)(3).
    H.R. 2304 does not contain new budget authority, credit 
authority, or changes in revenues or tax expenditures. Assuming 
that the sums authorized under the bill are appropriated, H.R. 
2304 does authorize additional discretionary spending, as 
described in the Congressional Budget Office report on the 
bill, which is contained in Section X of this report.

             IX. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

H.R. 2304--Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act of 
        2007

    Summary: H.R. 2304 would authorize the appropriation of 
$450 million over the 2008-2012 period for the Department of 
Energy (DOE) to support research and development activities 
related to the production and use of geothermal energy (heat 
energy stored in the Earth's surface). Funds authorized by the 
bill would also be used to establish two Centers for Geothermal 
Technology Transfer within institutions of higher education to 
act as information clearinghouses for industry on geothermal 
energy development and management. CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 2304 would cost $396 million over the 2008-
2012 period, assuming the appropriation of the specified funds. 
Enacting H.R. 2304 would have no effect on direct spending or 
revenues.
    H.R. 2304 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would benefit public institutions of higher education.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 2304 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 250 
(general science, space, and technology).

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      By fiscal year, in millions of
                                                 dollars--
                                 ---------------------------------------
                                   2008    2009    2010    2011    2012
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Geothermal Energy Research and
 Development Programs:
    Authorization Level.........      80      80      80      80      80
    Estimated Outlays...........      44      68      80      80      80
Other Geothermal Energy
 Programs:
    Authorization Level.........      10      10      10      10      10
    Estimated Outlays...........       6       8      10      10      10
    Total Changes:
        Authorization Level.....      90      90      90      90      90
        Estimated Outlays.......      50      76      90      90      90
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
bill will be enacted in fiscal year 2007 and that the amounts 
specified by the bill will be appropriated for each fiscal 
year.

          GEOTHERMAL ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

    H.R. 2304 would authorize the appropriation of $80 million 
for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012 for DOE to support 
research and development programs that expand the production of 
geothermal energy. Funds authorized by this legislation would 
be used to:
     Develop tools to locate hydrothermal resources 
(naturally occurring bodies of hot water or steam located below 
the earth's surface) and improve site characterization;
     Establish field demonstration programs, in 
cooperation with industry partners, to demonstrate techniques 
and technologies used in exploratory drilling;
     Develop components and systems capable of 
sustaining the extreme geological environments necessary to 
produce geothermal energy;
     Model geothermal resource performance;
     Examine the environmental impacts of geothermal 
energy development, production and use, as well as technologies 
and practices to mitigate such impacts;
     Develop technologies to advance enhanced 
geothermal systems (sources of geothermal energy which require 
human invention to facilitate production) to the stage of 
commercial readiness;
     Establish at least five demonstration programs to 
develop geothermal energy stimulation techniques and 
technologies;
     Award five-year renewable grants to institutions 
of higher education to establish two Centers for Geothermal 
Technology Transfer to act as an information clearinghouse for 
industry on best practices to develop and manage hydrothermal 
resources and enhanced geothermal systems resources; and
     Expand the GeoPowering the West program to address 
the private market and institutional barriers of bringing 
geothermal energy to all areas of the United States.
    Under the legislation, the federal share of such projects 
would be limited to 80 percent. Based on information from DOE, 
CBO expects that funds authorized to be appropriated by the 
bill would be used to establish new programs within DOE, as 
well as fund research projects already in existence. Assuming 
the appropriation of the specified funds, and based on the 
historical spending of DOE research and development programs, 
CBO estimates that implementing these provisions would cost $44 
million in 2008 and $352 million over the 2008-2012 period.

                    OTHER GEOTHERMAL ENERGY PROGRAMS

    H.R. 2304 would authorize the appropriation of $10 million 
for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012 for DOE to make 
grants to establish three demonstration projects that use 
geothermal techniques at oil and gas wells. Funds authorized by 
this legislation would also be used to support the research and 
development of techniques to produce energy from geopressured 
sources (rock deposits under high pressure and saturated with 
gas or methane) in and near the Gulf of Mexico. Based on 
information from DOE, CBO estimates that implementing these 
programs would cost $6 million in 2008 and $44 million over the 
2008-2012 period.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 2304 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would benefit participating public 
institutions of higher education. The bill would authorize 
several grant programs for geothermal energy research, 
development, and demonstration. It would also authorize funding 
for information clearinghouses at institutions of higher 
education. Any costs incurred by public institutions applying 
to host the centers would be incurred voluntarily.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Daniel Hoople; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Neil Hood; Impact on 
the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                  X. COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    H.R. 2304 contains no unfunded mandates.

          XI. COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    The oversight findings and recommendations of the Committee 
on Science and Technology are reflected in the body of this 
report.

       XII. STATEMENT ON GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    Pursuant to clause (3)(c) of House Rule XIII, the goal of 
H.R. 2304 is to advance geothermal research and development 
through programs of hydrothermal research and development, 
general geothermal systems research and development, enhanced 
geothermal systems research and development; the establishment 
of centers for geothermal technology transfer; and a report on 
advanced uses of geothermal energy.

                XIII. CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact H.R. 2304.

               XIV. FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    H.R. 2304 does not establish nor authorize the 
establishment of any advisory committee.

                  XV. CONGRESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY ACT

    The Committee finds that H.R. 2304 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 (Public Law 104-1).

                      XVI. EARMARK IDENTIFICATION

    H.R. 2304 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e), or 9(f) of rule XXI.

      XVII. STATEMENT ON PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL, OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any state, local, or 
tribal law.

      XVIII. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    The bill does not change existing law.

                     XIX. COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

    On June 13, 2007, the Committee on Science and Technology 
favorably reported H.R. 2304, as amended, by a voice vote and 
recommended its enactment.



    XX. PROCEEDINGS OF THE MARKUP BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND 
 ENVIRONMENT ON H.R. 2304, THE ADVANCED GEOTHERMAL ENERGY RESEARCH AND 
                        DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2007

                              ----------                              


                        WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6, 2007

                  House of Representatives,
            Subcommittee on Energy and Environment,
                       Committee on Science and Technology,
                                                    Washington, DC.

    The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 9:44 a.m., in 
Room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Nick 
Lampson [Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.
    Chairman Lampson. Good morning. The Subcommittee on Energy 
and Environment will come to order. Pursuant to notice, the 
Subcommittee on Energy and Environment meets to consider the 
following measures: H.R. 906, the Global Change Research and 
Data Management Act of 2007; H.R. 2304, the Advanced Geothermal 
Energy Research and Development Act of 2007; and H.R. 2313, the 
Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development Act of 2007.
    We will now proceed with the markup beginning with opening 
statements, and I will begin.
    Today the Subcommittee will consider three bills: H.R. 906, 
the Global Change Research and Data Management Act; H.R. 2304, 
the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act; 
and H.R. 2313, the Marine Renewable Energy Research and 
Development Act of 2007.
    First, we will take up H.R. 906, the Global Change Research 
and Data Management Act of 2007, which will re-orient the 
current interagency climate research program to produce 
information that supports efforts of resource managers, 
businesses and individuals to understand and reduce our 
vulnerability to extreme weather events and climate change.
    The U.S. Global Change Research Program has been in 
existence in some form since the late 1970s. This important 
program has vastly expanded our knowledge of Earth's land, 
water and atmospheric systems. However, fires, droughts, 
hurricanes and other natural events have highlighted our 
increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and climate 
changes. With better planning and implementation adaptation 
strategies, these costs can be reduced.
    Next, we will consider two pieces of legislation to expand 
our country's renewable energy portfolio in the areas of 
geothermal and ocean power. These resources are both 
potentially vast in size and have potential to provide clean 
power at competitive rates but they require support to advance 
to the stage of commercial viability.
    H.R. 2304, the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and 
Development Act of 2007, would reinvigorate geothermal research 
and development in this country. It would provide support and 
guidance for researchers to develop technologies capable of 
tapping into the vast quantities of thermal energy that is 
stored in the Earth's crust.
    H.R. 2313, the Marine Renewable Energy Research and 
Development Act of 2007, would support renewable energy 
development by exploiting the energy of ocean tides and 
currents. Today this promising industry is at roughly the same 
development stage that wind was back 20 years ago. With the 
support provided by this bill, this industry is posed to grow 
into a significant contributor of clean electricity to our 
nation's power grid.
    In short, these bills are about addressing overlooked 
opportunities in our collective efforts to create good American 
jobs, diversify our energy supply, increase our security and 
reduce the environmental impact of energy production. All three 
pieces of legislation are important to our environment and our 
economy. Therefore, I urge their passage and I look forward to 
getting them to the House Floor.
    [The prepared statement of Chairman Lampson follows:]

              Prepared Statement of Chairman Nick Lampson

   Today, the Subcommittee we will consider three bills, H.R. 906, the 
Global Change Research and Data Management Act; H.R. 2304, the Advanced 
Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act; and H.R. 2313, the 
Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development Act.
    First, we will take up H.R. 906, the Global Change Research and 
Data Management Act of 2007, which will re-orient the current 
interagency climate research program to produce information that 
supports efforts of resource managers, businesses, and individuals to 
understand and reduce our vulnerability to extreme weather events and 
to climate change.
    The U.S. Global Change Research Program has been in existence in 
some form since the late 1970s. This important program has vastly 
expanded our knowledge of Earth's land, water, and atmospheric systems.
    However, fires, droughts, hurricanes, and other natural events have 
highlighted our increasing vulnerability to extreme weather and climate 
changes. With better planning and implementation of adaptation 
strategies these costs can be reduced.
    Next, we will consider two pieces of legislation to expand our 
country's renewable energy portfolio in the areas of geothermal and 
ocean power. These resources are both potentially vast in size and have 
potential to provide clean power at competitive rates, but they require 
support to advance to the stage of commercial viability.
    H.R. 2304, the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development 
Act of 2007, would reinvigorate geothermal research and development in 
this country. It would provide support and guidance for researchers to 
develop technologies capable of tapping into the vast quantities of 
thermal energy that is stored in the Earth's crust.
    H.R. 2313, the Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development Act 
of 2007, would support renewable energy development by exploiting the 
energy of ocean tides and currents.
    Today, this promising industry is at roughly the same developmental 
stage that wind was at 20 years ago. With the support provided by this 
bill, this industry is poised to grow into a significant contributor of 
clean electricity to our nation's power grid.
    In short, these bills are about addressing overlooked opportunities 
in our collective efforts to create good American jobs, diversify our 
energy supply, increase our security, and reduce the environmental 
impact of energy production.
    All three pieces of legislation are important to our environment 
and our economy. Therefore, I urge their passage, and look forward to 
getting them to the House Floor.

    Chairman Lampson. At this time I will recognize Mr. Inglis 
to present his opening remarks.
    Mr. Inglis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for 
holding this markup.
    I am happy to be a co-sponsor of Mr. Udall's bill, the 
Global Change Research and Data Management Act. For a number of 
years, the U.S. Global Research Program has coordinated a 
successful interagency research program on global environmental 
change and implications of a changing climate for society. H.R. 
906 continues support for this research and makes that research 
user-friendly for federal, State and local decision-makers who 
are tasked with the job of creating policies that address the 
challenges associated with climate change.
    We also have an opportunity to address the development of 
clean, renewable energy sources in today's markup of H.R. 2304, 
the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act, 
and H.R. 2313, the Marine Renewable Energy Research and 
Development Act. Geothermal and marine-related energy should be 
sources of energy for us and I am looking forward to promoting 
research that will make these alternatives commercially 
feasible. I hope we can build on what we have already learned 
and that experience scientists in that program have already 
achieved and move forward to even greater use of these sources 
of energy.
    And Mr. Chairman, I hope that by the time that we have 
concluded opening statements, that more Members will appear 
from the Republican conference that is still underway, and when 
they do, I suppose we will have a quorum for votes on these 
bills.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Inglis follows:]

            Prepared Statement of Representative Bob Inglis

    Thank you for holding this markup, Mr. Chairman.
    I'm happy to be a co-sponsor of Mr. Udall's bill, the Global Change 
Research and Data Management Act. For many years, the United States 
Global Research Program has coordinated a successful interagency 
research program on global environment change and implications of a 
changing climate for society. H.R. 906 continues support for this 
research, and makes that research ``user-friendly'' for federal, State, 
and local decision-makers who are tasked with the job of creating 
policies that address the challenges associated with climate change.
    We also have an opportunity to address the development of clean, 
renewable energy sources in today's markup of H.R. 2304, the Advanced 
Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act, and H.R. 2313, the 
Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development Act. Geothermal and 
marine-related energy should be sources of energy for us, and I'm 
looking forward to promoting research that will make these alternatives 
commercially affordable. I hope that we can build on what we've already 
learned and that experienced scientists and other professionals are 
included so that duplication.
    Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to working with 
you to advance this legislation.

    Chairman Lampson. We will be ready for the votes when they 
come in. We may get a little ahead of them.
    Without objection, Members may place statements in the 
record at this point.
    We will now consider H.R. 2304, the Advanced Geothermal 
Energy Research and Development Act of 2007. I yield Mr. 
McNerney five minutes to describe his bill.
    Mr. McNerney. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your support of 
my bill, H.R. 2304, the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and 
Development Act of 2007, and for holding this markup today.
    Geothermal energy derived from the Earth's heat is an 
under-utilized renewable energy resource. Studies show that new 
geothermal sources known as enhanced geothermal energy systems, 
or EGS, offer the potential to generate as much as 100 
gigawatts of power in the next 50 years. Utilizing EGS involves 
creating underground reservoirs that do not occur naturally but 
rather are mechanically or chemically engineered out of hot 
rock. Fluid is introduced to circulate and absorb the heat and 
then pumped out to extra energy. EGS is in the early stages of 
its maturation and federal support is necessary to ensure that 
full potential of this resource is utilized.
    My bill authorizes further research, development, 
demonstration and commercial application of advanced 
technologies to develop more traditional geothermal sources and 
EGS. H.R. 2304 specifically authorizes the research and 
development of both the technologies and techniques necessary 
to fully utilize EGS. Geothermal energy should be an important 
component of our country's efforts to combat climate change and 
achieve energy independence. As a domestically produced energy 
source, expanding geothermal will also create high-paying jobs 
here at home. I hope that my colleagues here today will join me 
in supporting H.R. 2304 and I thank Mr. Lampson for holding 
this markup.
    I yield back the balance of my time.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. McNerney follows:]

          Prepared Statement of Representative Jerry McNerney

    Thank you, Chairman Lampson, for your support for my bill, H.R. 
2304, the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act of 
2007, and for holding this markup today.
    Geothermal energy derived from the Earth's heat is an under-
utilized renewable energy source. Studies show that new geothermal 
resources, known as Enhanced Geothermal Systems, or EGS, offer the 
potential to generate as much as 100 Gigawatts of power in the next 50 
years. Utilizing EGS involves creating underground reservoirs that do 
not occur naturally, but rather are mechanically or chemically 
engineered out of hot rock. Fluid is introduced to circulate and absorb 
the heat, and is then pumped out to extract the energy. EGS is in early 
stages of its maturation, and federal support is necessary to ensure 
that the full potential of this resource is realized.
    My bill authorizes further research, development, demonstration, 
and commercial application of advanced technologies to develop both 
traditional geothermal sources and EGS. H.R. 2304 specifically 
authorizes the research and development of both the technologies and 
techniques necessary to fully utilize EGS.
    Geothermal energy should be an important component of our country's 
efforts to combat climate change and achieve energy independence. As a 
domestically-produced energy source, expanding geothermal will also 
create high paying jobs at home. I hope that my colleagues here today 
will join me in supporting H.R. 2304, and I thank Chairman Lampson 
again for holding this markup. I yield back the balance of my time.

    Chairman Lampson. Thank you, Mr. McNerney.
    I now recognize Mr. Inglis to present any remarks on the 
bill.
    Mr. Inglis. As I said in my opening statement, Mr. 
Chairman, this too is a good bill and I am happy to be 
supporting it, and look forward to development of this 
resource.
    Chairman Lampson. Thank you very much.
    Does anyone else wish to be recognized?
    I ask unanimous consent that the bill is considered as read 
and open to amendment at any point, and that the Members 
proceed with amendments in the order of the roster. Without 
objection, so ordered.
    The first amendment on the roster is an amendment offered 
by the gentleman from California, Mr. McNerney. Are you ready 
to proceed with your amendment?
    Mr. McNerney. Yes, I am, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Lampson. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 2304 offered by Mr. McNerney 
of California.
    Chairman Lampson. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize Mr. McNerney for five minutes to explain the 
amendment.
    Mr. McNerney. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    This amendment, like the prior one, takes into account 
suggestions made by our witnesses at legislative hearings held 
on May 17 as well as numerous comments from outside experts in 
geothermal energy, industry, researchers and the environmental 
community. Most of the changes are simple housekeeping measures 
intended to refine or clarify language but there are some 
substantive changes as well.
    First among these is a revision to the instructions for 
establishing federal/non-federal cost-sharing ratios for the 
projects. Revision instructions are intended to make the 
process more flexible both for the administrators and the 
participants. The revised instructions provide greater leeway 
for program administrators to tailor cost-sharing levels to 
individual projects depending on the project's risk profile and 
the opportunities for commercial benefits. It allows for a 
competitive bidding process to play a role in determining the 
cost-sharing ratio for a project so as to encourage 
participating entities to invest as much of their own capital 
as they can.
    The amendment also strengths the environmental provisions 
of the bill considerably. It directs the Secretary to support 
an R&D program to develop technologies and techniques to 
mitigate or avoid adverse environmental impacts of geothermal 
energy production or use. It also directs the Secretary to 
coordinate with the Environmental Protection Agency to study 
the environmental impacts of geothermal energy development, 
production and use. In addition, the amendment directs the 
Secretary to give priority consideration for funding where 
appropriate to project proposals that include provisions to 
study the project's environmental impacts.
    Finally, the amendment strengthens some geothermal 
technology transfer programs. It encourages the Enhanced 
Geothermal Systems Technology Transfer Center established in 
the bill to seek opportunities for coordination with 
appropriate international partners so we can benefit from 
lessons learned by other countries as they are advancing the 
frontier of EGS technology. The amendment also expands the 
scope of an existing domestic geothermal technology transfer 
program from the Western United States to the entire country so 
as to encourage the transfer and adoption of appropriate 
geothermal energy technologies throughout the United States. As 
indicated before, this amendment is a product of close 
collaboration with witnesses and other experts and it makes 
some solid improvements in the original bill.
    I strongly encourage my colleagues to vote for its passage, 
and I yield the balance of my time.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. McNerney follows:]

          Prepared Statement of Representative Jerry McNerney

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This amendment takes into account 
suggestions made by our witnesses at the legislative hearing held on 
May 17, as well as numerous comments from outside experts in the 
geothermal industry, researchers, and the environmental community. Most 
of the changes are simple ``housekeeping'' measures intended to refine 
or clarify language, but there are a few substantive changes as well:

    First among these is a revision to the instructions for 
establishing the federal/non-federal cost-sharing ratios for projects. 
The revised instructions are intended to make the process more 
flexible, both for administrators and participants. The revised 
instructions provide greater leeway for program administrators to 
tailor cost-sharing levels to individual projects, depending on the 
project's risk profile and the opportunities for commercial benefits. 
It also allows for a competitive bidding process to play a role in 
determining the cost-share ratio for a project, so as to encourage 
participating entities to invest as much of their own capital as they 
can.
    This amendment also strengthens the environmental provisions of the 
bill considerably. It directs the Secretary to support an R&D program 
to develop technologies and techniques to mitigate or avoid adverse 
environmental impacts of geothermal energy development, production, or 
use. It also directs the Secretary to coordinate with the Environmental 
Protection Agency to study the environmental impacts of geothermal 
energy development, production, and use. In addition, the amendment 
directs the Secretary to give priority consideration for funding--where 
appropriate--to project proposals that include provisions to study the 
project's environmental impacts.
    Finally, the amendment strengthens some geothermal technology 
transfer programs. It encourages the Enhanced Geothermal Systems 
Technology Transfer Center established in the bill to seek 
opportunities for coordination with appropriate international partners, 
so we can benefit from lessons learned by other countries that are 
advancing the frontier of EGS knowledge. The amendment also expands the 
scope of an existing, domestic geothermal technology transfer program 
from the western U.S. to the entire country, so as to encourage the 
transfer and adoption of appropriate geothermal energy technologies 
throughout the entire United States.
    As indicated before, this amendment is the product of close 
collaboration with witnesses and other experts, and it makes some solid 
improvements to the original bill. I strongly encourage my colleagues 
to vote for its passage. I yield the balance of my time.

    Chairman Lampson. Thank you. Is there further discussion on 
the amendment? Further discussion on the amendment? If not, the 
vote occurs on the amendment. All in favor say aye. Those 
opposed say no. The ayes have it and the amendment is agreed 
to.
    Are there other amendments? Hearing none, the vote is on 
the bill, H.R. 2304, the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research 
and Development Act of 2007, as amended. All those in favor--
yes, ma'am, Ms. Biggert?
    Ms. Biggert. If I could ask a question on the bill. In 
section 8, the Centers for geothermal technology transfers, my 
concern with the two Centers is that it splits the Midwest into 
two by dividing it at the Mississippi River. Was there any 
reason for that designation? One is to be in the western and 
the other Center in the Eastern United States, and the poor 
Midwest gets split in two.
    Mr. McNerney. Thank you for the question. What this bill 
does is, it gives the Secretary quite a bit of flexibility in 
where these two Centers will go. We wanted to make sure that 
the western half of the country had a Center because of the 
geothermal properties in the West are significantly different 
than the East, so we didn't intend to split it exactly on the 
line but I think the Secretary will have a lot of flexibility 
in where those two Centers go.
    Ms. Biggert. It won't necessarily be just where it leaves 
the Mississippi, they can't use that Center if you are on one 
side of the Mississippi?
    Mr. McNerney. No, it doesn't have that intent, and that 
wasn't the intent at all.
    Ms. Biggert. Okay. Is there any difference in the geology 
in the Midwest versus the West or the East?
    Mr. McNerney. Well, in the western part of the country we 
have the most accessible geothermal energy. In the eastern, it 
is going to require more of the EGS technology so it is 
important that we develop that technology so that we can use 
this sort of energy source throughout the country because there 
is significant resource throughout the United States but the 
part in the western is more accessible with this existing 
technology, which is again why it is so important for us to 
develop the EGS within the bill, that is identified within the 
bill.
    Ms. Biggert. Having been up in Iceland and seeing what they 
do up there, it is amazing, the geology up there, that this can 
then be created by----
    Mr. McNerney. That is right. In Iceland they have the 
resources really near the surface of the Earth. The rock 
formations are particularly well suited for geothermal. What is 
missing in most of our resources that the rock formations are 
not appropriate. They are little deeper so we have to develop 
technology to crack the rocks or to open up the reservoirs deep 
underground.
    Ms. Biggert. Thank you. I yield back.
    Chairman Lampson. Are there any other questions?
    The vote then will be on the bill. All those in favor, say 
aye. Those opposed, no. In the opinion of the Chair, the ayes 
have it.
    I recognize Mr. Inglis to offer a motion.
    Mr. Inglis. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Subcommittee 
favorably report H.R. 2304 as amended to the Full Committee. 
Furthermore, I move that the staff be instructed to prepare the 
Subcommittee legislative report and make necessary technical 
and conforming changes to the bill as amended in accordance 
with the recommendations of the Subcommittee.
    Chairman Lampson. The question is on the motion to report 
the bill favorably. Those in favor of the motion will signify 
by saying aye. Opposed, no. The ayes have it, and the bill is 
favorably reported.
    Without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the 
table. Subcommittee Members may submit additional or minority 
views on the measure.
    I want to thank the Members for their attendance, and this 
concludes our Subcommittee markup. We are adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 10:25 a.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]

                               Appendix:

                              ----------                              


        H.R. 2304, Section-by-Section Analysis, Amendment Roster



               Section-by-Section Analysis of H.R. 2304,
                Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and
                        Development Act of 2007

Summary

    H.R. 2304 directs the Secretary of Energy to support programs of 
research, development, demonstration, and commercial application in 
advanced geothermal energy technologies. It also establishes or expands 
several programs for technology transfer and information sharing on 
geothermal energy.

Section-by-Section

Section 1. Short Title

    Act may be cited as the ``Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and 
Development Act of 2007.''

Section 2. Findings

    Geothermal energy is a renewable resource capable of providing 
baseload power generation (and other applications) with minimal 
environmental impact. The geothermal energy potential in the United 
States is widely distributed and vast in size, yet it remains barely 
tapped. Sustained and expanded funding for research, development, 
demonstration, and commercial application programs is needed to improve 
the technologies to locate, characterize, and develop geothermal 
resources.

Section 3. Definitions

    Provides definitions for the following terms used in the Act: 
`Enhanced Geothermal Systems,' `Geofluid,' `Geothermal,' 
`Hydrothermal,' `Secretary,' and `Systems Approach.'

Section 4. Hydrothermal Research and Development

    Instructs the Secretary to support research, development, 
demonstration, and commercial application of technologies designed to 
assist in locating and characterizing undiscovered hydrothermal 
resources. Establishes an ``industry-coupled exploratory drilling'' 
program, which is a cost-shared program with industry partners to 
demonstrate and apply advanced exploration technologies.

Section 5. General Geothermal Systems Research and Development

    Establishes a program of research, development, demonstration, and 
commercial application of system components and materials capable of 
withstanding the extreme environment (high temperatures and 
corrosiveness) in geothermal wells. Also establishes a program of 
RDD&CA of improved models of geothermal reservoir performance.

Section 6. Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) Research and Development

    Instructs the Secretary to support a program of RDD&CA of 
technologies necessary to advance EGS to a state of commercial 
readiness. Also establishes a cost-shared, field based program of 
research, development, and demonstration of technologies to create and 
stimulate EGS reservoirs.

Section 7. Cost Sharing

    Establishes guidelines for the ratio of federal/non-federal 
contributions to cost-shared programs established under this Act. Also 
describes certain organizational and administrative elements to be 
integrated into the structure of cost-shared programs.

Section 8. Centers for Geothermal Technology Transfer

    Provides for the creation of two Centers of technology transfer to 
function as information clearinghouses for the geothermal industry, 
dedicated to collecting and sharing industry-relevant information. One 
Center, to be located in the western U.S., shall be dedicated to 
hydrothermal-specific development information; the other Center, 
located in the eastern U.S., shall be dedicated to EGS-specific 
development information.

Section 9. Study on Advanced Uses of Geothermal Energy

    Requires the Secretary to track technological advances impacting 
geothermal energy development and advanced uses of geothermal energy 
and fluids, and report back to the Committee every other year for the 
next five years (a total of three times).

Section 10. Authorization of Appropriations

    Authorizes appropriations of $80,000,000 for each of the fiscal 
years 2008 through 2012.





    XXI. PROCEEDINGS OF THE FULL COMMITTEE MARKUP ON H.R. 2304, THE 
    ADVANCED GEOTHERMAL ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2007

                              ----------                              


                        WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2007

                          House of Representatives,
                       Committee on Science and Technology,
                                                    Washington, DC.

    The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:12 a.m., in Room 
2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Bart Gordon 
[Chairman of the Committee] presiding.
    Chairman Gordon. Pursuant to notice, the Committee meets to 
consider the following measures: H.R. 2304, the Advanced 
Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act of 2007, and 
H.R. 2313, the Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development 
Act of 2007.
    We will now proceed with the markup. I begin with a brief 
statement.
    Today the Committee will consider two bills, H.R. 2304, the 
Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act, 
introduced by Mr. McNerney, and H.R. 2313, the Marine Renewable 
Energy Research and Development Act, introduced by Ms. Hooley 
and co-sponsored by Mr. Rohrabacher who has had a great deal of 
input into this bill. Each of these two bills is designed to 
expand our country's renewable energy production portfolio. 
Both geothermal energy and marine energy are enormous resources 
that have great potential to make significant contributions to 
meeting our nation's energy needs at a competitive cost. But 
they require more support for research and development in order 
to advance to a state of commercial readiness.
    Geothermal energy is the energy stored as heat in the 
Earth's crust. It is a resource of truly vast potential. Yet 
most of this potential goes untapped due to a lack of resources 
to develop the technologies that would make geothermal energy 
widely accessible.
    H.R. 2304, the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and 
Development Act of 2007, will build on and expand the existing 
geothermal energy programs and provide support to develop a 
wide range of hydrothermal and enhanced geothermal systems. In 
the process, the bill would reinvigorate geothermal research 
and development in the United States and elevate geothermal 
energy to a position as a major contributor to our nation's 
power production portfolio.
    Marine renewable energy technologies today are at a stage 
of development similar to where wind power was about 20 years 
ago. The prototype technologies show great promise, and the 
resource is huge, potentially able to provide as much as 10 
percent of our nation's energy needs. But here again, 
researchers and industry require more support if they are going 
to move these technologies from the experimental stage to 
commercial viability. H.R. 2313, the Marine Renewable Energy 
Research and Development Act, is designed to do just that.
    Both of these bills are designed to address overlooked 
opportunities in our efforts to create a 21st century energy 
policy that emphasizes good American jobs, diversity of supply, 
increased national security, and reduced environmental impact.
    I want to thank my colleagues, Mr. McNerney and Mrs. Hooley 
for introducing them. I urge their passage and look forward to 
getting them to the House Floor.
    I would also like to make one final comment, and before we 
get down to business I want to offer my sincere thanks and 
appreciation to my friend and colleague and our Ranking Member, 
Mr. Hall, and his colleagues on the Minority side for proposing 
some very thoughtful, meaningful amendments to today's bills 
for our consideration.
    I cannot guarantee that we will be supporting all of them, 
but we will definitely be supporting many of them; and the 
Committee staff informs me that the amendments have contributed 
significantly to the quality of this legislation.
    I think this is another very good example of the bipartisan 
spirit with which we will strive to conduct the business of the 
Science and Technology Committee.
    [The prepared statement of Chairman Gordon follows:]

               Prepared Statement of Chairman Bart Gordon

    Today, the Committee will consider two bills, H.R. 2304, the 
Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act, introduced by 
Mr. McNerney, and H.R. 2313, the Marine Renewable Energy Research and 
Development Act, introduced by Ms. Hooley and Mr. Rohrabacher.
    Each of these two bills is designed to expand our country's 
renewable energy production portfolio. Both geothermal energy and 
marine energy are enormous resources that have great potential to make 
significant contributions to meeting our nation's energy needs at a 
competitive cost. But they require support for research and development 
in order to advance to a state of commercial readiness.
    Geothermal energy is the energy stored as heat in the Earth's 
crust, and it is a resource of truly vast potential. Yet most of this 
potential goes untapped due to lack of resources to develop the 
technologies and techniques that would make geothermal energy widely 
accessible.
    H.R. 2304, the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development 
Act of 2007, will build on and expand the existing DOE geothermal 
energy program and provide the support to develop a wide range of 
Hydrothermal and Enhanced Geothermal Systems. In the process, the bill 
would reinvigorate geothermal research and development in the United 
States, and elevate geothermal energy to a position as major 
contributor to our nation's power production portfolio.
    Marine renewable energy technologies today are at a stage of 
development similar to where wind power was about 20 years ago. The 
prototype technologies show great promise, and the resource is huge, 
potentially able to provide as much as 10 percent of our nation's 
electricity needs. But here again, researchers and industry require 
more support if they are going to move these technologies from the 
experimental stage to commercial viability. H.R. 2313, the Marine 
Renewable Energy Research and Development Act of 2007, is designed to 
do just that.
    Both of these bills are designed to address overlooked 
opportunities in our efforts to create a 21st century energy policy 
that emphasizes good American jobs, diversity of supply, increased 
national security, and reduced environmental impact.
    I want to thank my colleagues, Mr. McNerney and Ms. Hooley and Mr. 
Rohrabacher, for introducing them. I urge their passage, and look 
forward to getting them to the House Floor.
    I would like to make one final comment before we get down to 
business. I want to offer my sincere thanks and appreciation to my 
friend and colleague, the Ranking Member Mr. Hall, and his colleagues 
on the Minority side for proposing some very thoughtful amendments to 
these bills for our consideration today.
    I can't guarantee that we'll be supporting all of them, but we will 
definitely be supporting some of them, and the Committee staff informs 
me that the amendments have contributed significantly to the quality of 
this legislation.
    I think this is another fine example of the bipartisan spirit with 
which we strive to conduct the business of the Science and Technology 
Committee.
    Thank you to everyone for your thorough consideration of these 
important bills, and for your substantive contributions to make them 
even better.

    Chairman Gordon. Now, I recognize Mr. Hall to present his 
opening statement.
    Mr. Hall. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The two renewable energy 
research and development bills before us today are two more 
ways that the Science Committee is going to help to further our 
country's effort to become energy independent. It is no secret, 
I am an oil and gas guy. I am from an oil and gas state, fossil 
fuel state; and for those that think we can do away with fossil 
fuels are just dreaming. These lights would go out, the 
stations would stop, roads would not be built. We cannot do 
without fossil fuels, and there is an attack on energy today in 
general; and certainly there is an attack on fossil fuels, 
there is an attack on nuclear, even on wind. I think I would 
like to see our country do this in conjunction with our 
renewable and alternative thrust. We still need affordable, 
reliable energy that comes from fossil fuels while we do 
research, such as that in the bills we are marking up today in 
order for our country to continue to be a leader in all the 
areas in the global community. Both bills are going to spur the 
use of domestic, renewable resources available to us within our 
borders and in our waters for the production of energy. While I 
support the thrust of these bills, I do have some concern with 
them that will be addressed through amendments.
    I have one to the geothermal bill that will address the 
production of geothermal energy from oil and gas wells and 
production of geopressured gas resources. It is my 
understanding that the Chairman is prepared to accept this 
amendment. He spoke kindly about it, and whether the kind words 
are going to come into reality remains to be seen. To be 
continued, I guess. And I thank him for it. In addition, I will 
be offering an amendment to the ocean energy bill that will 
expand the areas of the country, parts of the country, that 
participate in research and development activities on marine 
renewable energy. I will go into these amendments in further 
detail as they are brought up for consideration. As always, I 
look forward to the ensuing debate, and I yield back the 
balance of my time.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Hall follows:]

           Prepared Statement of Representative Ralph M. Hall

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The two renewable energy research and 
development bills before us today are two more ways the Science 
Committee is helping to further our country's efforts to become energy 
independent. It's no secret that I'm an oil and gas guy, and that I 
fully support increasing our domestic supply of oil and gas. I would 
like to see our country do this in conjunction with our renewable and 
alternatives thrust. We still need affordable, reliable energy that 
comes from fossil fuels, while we do research such as that in the bills 
we are marking up today, in order for our county to continue to be a 
leader in all areas in the global community. Both bills will spur the 
use of domestic, renewable resources available to us within our borders 
and in our waters for the production of energy. While I support the 
thrust of the bills, I do have some concerns with them that will be 
addressed through amendments.
    I have one to the geothermal bill that will address the production 
of geothermal energy from oil and gas wells and production of 
geopressured gas resources. It is my understanding that the Chairman is 
prepared to accept this amendment and I thank him. In addition, I will 
be offering an amendment to the ocean energy bill that will expand the 
areas of the country eligible to participate in research and 
development activities on marine renewable energy. I will go into these 
amendments in further detail as they are brought up for consideration.
    As always, I look forward to the ensuing debate, and I yield back 
the balance of my time.

    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Hall. I want to confirm two 
things. One is I am kind, and two, you are from fossil fuel 
country but you are not a fossil.
    Without objection, Members may place statements in the 
record at this point.
    We will now consider H.R. 2304, the Advanced Geothermal 
Energy Research and Development Act of 2007.
    I yield to the gentleman from California, Mr. McNerney five 
minutes to describe his bill.
    Mr. McNerney. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to express my 
appreciation to both you and to Ranking Member Hall for 
supporting my bill, H.R. 2304, the Advanced Geothermal Energy 
Research and Development Act of 2007, and for holding a markup 
this morning.
    Mr. Chairman, as you know, one of our highest priorities in 
Congress should be to encourage the development of clean 
domestic and renewable sources of energy.
    Geothermal energy should be an important part of the 
equation, and unlike other renewable sources, geothermal 
provides uninterrupted base load power 365 days and nights a 
year. While it is one of the only renewable sources that can 
produce constantly available base-load power, geothermal relies 
on less accessible fuel than naturally occurring sunlight and 
wind. Current technology requires that in order to generate 
geothermal energy, we have to tap into visible sources of 
features and hope that we drill in the right place. However, 
recent study shows that potential for geothermal is vaster than 
we previously imagined. Now, geothermal sources, known as 
enhanced geothermal systems, or EGS, offer the potential to 
generate as much as 100 gigawatts of power over the next 50 
years which can provide power to 75 million homes. Utilizing 
EGS involves creating manmade underground reservoirs that are 
engineered out of hot rock deep under the surface. Once the 
rock formations are engineered, fluid is injected to absorb 
heat which is then pumped out to extract energy.
    EGS is in the very early stages of maturation, and federal 
support is needed to ensure that the full potential of this 
resource is realized. H.R. 2304 authorizes further research 
development, demonstration, and commercial application of 
advanced technologies in both traditional geothermal sources 
and EGS. This type of approach is exactly how we can and should 
be developing and expanding R&D of the technologies necessary 
to utilize EGS. Geothermal energy should be an important 
component of our country's efforts to combat climate change and 
achieve energy independence. As a domestically produced energy 
source, expanding geothermal will create high-paying jobs at 
home.
    I hope that my colleagues here today will join me in 
supporting H.R. 2304. I look forward to discussing the 
amendments, and again I thank the Chairman and the Ranking 
Member for holding this markup. I yield back the balance of my 
time.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. McNerney follows:]

          Prepared Statement of Representative Jerry McNerney

    Thank you Mr. Chairman. I want to express my appreciation to both 
you, and Ranking Member Hall, for your support of my bill, H.R. 2304, 
the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act of 2007, 
and for holding today's markup.
    Mr. Chairman, as you know, one of our foremost priorities in 
Congress should be to encourage the development of clean, domestic, and 
renewable sources of energy.
    Geothermal should be an important part of the equation, and unlike 
other renewable resources, geothermal provides uninterrupted base-load 
power, day and night, 365 days a year.
    While it is one of the only sources that produces constantly 
available power, geothermal relies on a less-accessible fuel than 
naturally occurring sunlight or wind.
    Current technology requires that in order to generate geothermal 
energy, we have to tap into visible surface features and hope that we 
drill in the right place.
    However, recent studies show that the potential for geothermal is 
more vast than we've previously imagined. New geothermal resources, 
known as Enhanced Geothermal Systems, or EGS, offer the potential to 
generate as much as 100 Gigawatts of power in the next 50 years, which 
can power 75 million homes.
    Utilizing EGS involves creating man made underground reservoirs 
that are engineered out of hot rock. Fluid is injected to absorb the 
heat, which is then pumped out to extract energy.
    EGS is in the very early stages of maturation, and federal support 
is needed to ensure that the full potential of this resource is 
realized.
    H.R. 2304 authorizes further research, development, demonstration, 
and commercial application of advanced technologies to develop both 
traditional geothermal sources and EGS. This type of approach is 
exactly how we can, and should, be working to expand R&D of the 
technologies necessary to fully utilize EGS.
    Geothermal energy should be an important component of our country's 
efforts to combat climate change and achieve energy independence. As a 
domestically-produced energy source, expanding geothermal will also 
create high paying jobs at home. I hope that my colleagues here today 
will join me in supporting H.R. 2304, and I again thank the Chairman 
for holding this markup. I yield back the balance of my time.

    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. McNerney. Mr. Hall is 
recognized.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, this amendment----
    Chairman Gordon. Mr. Hall tells me----
    Mr. Hall. The bill is great.
    Chairman Gordon. Are there similar remarks that anyone 
would like to make?
    We need to move on today, but let me just quickly say that 
I have seen firsthand the benefit of geothermal. In Sumner 
County, a place called Portland started using geothermal and 
now it is over a lot of the areas in my district where the 
schools are using geothermal. What they are finding is within 
about three years, through lower rates of energy, they are 
paying for putting these systems in and then it is gravy from 
then on. This needs to be expanded. It is really a good 
program.
    The other thing, just for your information, if I were you, 
I would be an advocate of this at home; but for your 
information, I have got a bill that is going through Resources 
Committee that will help really inventory our geophysical 
nature of our United States to better determine where are those 
areas where geothermal could be used, where could sequestration 
be used, all these sorts of things. So geothermal is something 
that I think we can all talk about at home. It is real and it 
is good.
    Is there anyone else that would like to speak? Ms. Woolsey 
is recognized.
    Ms. Woolsey. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you and Mr. 
McNerney for this great H.R. 2304 legislation.
    Geothermal energy, as we all know, has huge potential to 
supply us with a clean, reliable, and renewable source of 
energy. And already in some parts of the country, geothermal 
energy is making a big contribution to meeting our energy 
needs.
    Just outside of my district, north of Santa Rosa, are some 
of the largest and most readily available reserves in 
geothermal energy in the country. The geysers, as they are 
called, comprise 30 square miles along the Sonoma and Lake 
County border and provide enough electricity to meet the energy 
needs of one million homes. Imagine, one million households 
running on electricity produced by steam that naturally occurs 
in the ground.
    What is even better for Northern California and for my 
district is that in order to produce more steam, the City of 
Santa Rosa, which is the largest city in my district, pumps 
treated wastewater out to the geysers to help create more 
steam, which then produces more electricity. It is a tremendous 
use of resources, and we are really proud of it in our 
district. It actually prevents Santa Rosa from having to put 
more wastewater in the Russian River which is the drinking 
water source for my entire district. And I mention this because 
in creating clean and renewable energy, we also can point out 
the possible geothermal connection, and I am 100 percent for 
this legislation and I really commend Mr. McNerney for 
introducing this bill. Aren't we glad he is on this committee?
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Woolsey follows:]

           Prepared Statement of Representative Lynn Woolsey

    Mr. Chairman, thank you for bringing H.R. 2304, the Advanced 
Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act, before the Committee to 
be marked up.
    Geothermal energy has huge potential to supply us with a clean, 
reliable, and renewable source of energy. Already in some parts of the 
country, geothermal energy is making a big contribution to meeting our 
energy needs.
    Just outside of my district in northern California, are some of the 
largest and most readily available reserves of geothermal energy in the 
country. The geysers, as they are called, comprise 30 square miles 
along the Sonoma and Lake County border and provide enough electricity 
to meet the energy needs of one million homes. Imagine that . . . one 
million households running on electricity produced by steam that 
naturally occurs in the ground.
    What's even better is that in order to produce more steam, the city 
of SANTA ROSA, which is the largest city in my district, pumps treated 
wastewater out to the geysers to help create more steam, which then 
produces more electricity. It's a tremendous use of resources that I'm 
really proud of.
    I mention these things because I'm proud of what is being done to 
create clean and renewable energy in my own district, but also to point 
out what is possible with geothermal energy. For too long, geothermal 
energy has taken a back seat in the public's mind and in Congressional 
policy as an alternative source of energy.
    Mr. Chairman, I commend Rep. McNerney for introducing this bill and 
I am proud to support it here today. The time has come to research and 
invest in geothermal energy and H.R. 2304 is a good start to get us on 
the right path.
    Thank you and I yield back the balance of my time.

    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Ms. Woolsey. I want you to know 
that Mr. Hall thought you said geezer, but I told him that 
wasn't the case and so we can move along with a cordial markup 
here.
    So I ask unanimous consent that the bill is considered as 
read and open to amendment at any point and that the Members 
proceed with amendments in the order of the roster. Without 
objection, so ordered.
    The first amendment on the roster is an amendment offered 
by the distinguished Ranking Member, Mr. Hall. Are you ready to 
proceed with your amendment?
    Mr. Hall. No, after I take my medicine I will. I am going 
to watch Ben Matlock.
    Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk, I think.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 2304 offered by Mr. Hall of 
Texas.
    Chairman Gordon. The gentleman is recognized to explain the 
amendment.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, this amendment will fill a major 
gap in the pending legislation. In May of 2006, the National 
Renewable Energy Laboratory, I'll refer to it as NREL for 
brevity, held a workshop of national experts on geothermal 
energy. The workshop produced a report that estimates the 
potential of the full range of geothermal resources. Included 
in that estimate were two important resource categories that 
the pending legislation, H.R. 2304, would leave for future 
studies. That's oil field, co-production, and geopressured 
resources. The NREL workshop estimated that in the next 20 
years, these two resources, co-production and geopressured, 
could provide as much as 70,000 megawatts of new power which 
would approach 10 percent of our total national electric power 
needs. In addition, substantial supplies of gas could be 
recovered from geopressured resources. This amendment proposes 
to establish a demonstration program to prove the feasibility 
of co-producing geothermal power from oil and gas fields. Based 
upon the work of scientists at Southern Methodist University 
and other research institutions, this has become an exciting, 
new area of research into new energy production. SMU 
researchers have documented that large numbers of hot water and 
great amounts of hot water are produced by existing oil and gas 
wells. In 2002, Texas produced over 12 billion barrels of 
wastewater, often hot, as a byproduct of oil and gas extraction 
and re-injected the water into the ground at a cost to the 
producer. In West Texas, for example, for every barrel of oil 
produced, nearly 100 barrels of hot water are co-produced. To 
the oil industry, producing hot water is at best a nuisance. It 
is difficult to handle, costs money to pump, and has to be re-
injected at an additional cost. Considering the hot water 
estimates of oil and gas wells throughout the country, Texas 
alone could produce between 400 and 2,200 megawatts of 
geothermal power assuming the average temperature produced is 
between 200 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
    While the extent of oil field co-production is still being 
assessed, research to date has identified numerous other states 
where significant hot water is produced from oil and gas wells 
including California, Florida, West Virginia, Colorado, 
Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma; and Utah 
and for the Chairman's benefit, I am sure it is also in 
Tennessee. I just didn't look there.
    Geopressured resources, a combination of hot brine and 
trapped gas under high pressure, are present in several areas 
of the country ranging from California and the Dakotas to 
Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama. The prime resource is considered 
to be in the area around the Gulf of Mexico both onshore and 
offshore. From 1975 to 1990, the U.S. Department of Energy 
invested over $200 million in geothermal research. In Texas and 
Louisiana, they built a power plant using a converted gas well 
in Brazoria County during 1989 and 1990. The project was 
successful, but after six months of operation, the power plant 
was dismantled because of the low price of oil and gas at that 
time made geothermal energy uncompetitive. Today, gas prices 
are much higher than in 1990, and we are now increasingly 
importing gas from overseas. The high cost is a burden on the 
economy, and the prospect of becoming dependent upon OPEC for 
major parts of our natural gas supplies has obvious national 
security implications. Yet, in the geopressured resources of 
the Gulf and elsewhere, we have enormous untapped energy 
potential. Estimates of recoverable gas from these resources 
range from 150 TCF to 5,000. That is 5,000 trillion cubic feet. 
The U.S. consumed 22.4 TCF of gas in 2002. The geopressured 
resources hold between seven and 225 years' supply of gas for 
the entire U.S. at 2002 levels of demand. To put the 
geopressured resource potential into another perspective, when 
DOE was actively examining the geopressured geothermal resource 
in the 1980s, a leading researcher estimated that for the 
northern Gulf of Mexico, recoverable resource could exceed 
1,000 TCF of gas.
    According to the latest United States Geological Survey 
estimate from 1995, the total technically recoverable volume of 
conventional and unconventional gas in the U.S. excluding 
geopressured brines and gas hydrates is at 1,073 TCF. If the 
effort envisioned by this amendment to bring new technology to 
bear on producing geopressured resources is successful, it 
could double the total recoverable natural gas in the United 
States.
    This amendment, Mr. Chairman, directs the Secretary of 
Energy to hold a design competition to produce state-of-the-art 
approaches to recovering the energy in the geopressured 
resources. In addition to gas, these resources hold tens of 
thousands of megawatts of potential energy and hot geothermal 
fluids and hydraulic pressures. From the designs submitted, DOE 
will support completion of the full engineering and other 
technical design work. Then, based upon the evaluation of the 
final designs, the Secretary will be authorized to move forward 
to build a cost-shared demonstration plan using the best 
technology and design.
    I urge my colleagues to support this amendment that helps 
to further not only our renewable energy portfolio but also our 
domestic supply of natural gas. And I yield back my time.
    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Hall. Is there further 
discussion on the amendment? Mr. McNerney is recognized.
    Mr. McNerney. I thank the Ranking Member for this 
amendment. Using oil field co-production, geopressured methods 
does seem to be a good addition to the intent of the bill, and 
I think it will increase the output and energy content, energy 
development, energy sources for the country, so I fully support 
the bill and thank the Ranking Member for this addition.
    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. McNerney. Let me just 
quickly conclude by saying this started off as a good bill. It 
has been well-vetted, and it is a better bill because it took 
an oil-and-gas man to----
    Mr. Hall. Fossil. Fossil.
    Chairman Gordon. A fossil fuel man to show us a new way to 
look at this. And again, this a better bill for vetting this, 
and we thank you for it.
    And if there are no other----
    Mr. Hall. Would you like another reading of my opening 
statement?
    Chairman Gordon. I will take it to bed with me, thank you.
    Mr. Gingrey. Mr. Chairman, it is your yield. Did you refer 
to him as a fossil man? Is that what I thought?
    Chairman Gordon. We were trying to determine that earlier 
today, but we decided it was fossil fuel, not fossil man.
    If there is no further discussion, the vote occurs on the 
amendment. All in favor say aye, opposed no. The ayes have it. 
The amendment is agreed to.
    The next three amendments on the roster are offered by the 
gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Bartlett.
    The Chair supports all these amendments, and in the 
interest of time, I ask unanimous consent to consider these 
amendments en bloc. Without objection, so ordered.
    The gentleman is recognized for five minutes to explain his 
amendment.
    Mr. Bartlett. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank the 
Members and staff on both sides of the aisle for helping to 
work through these three, simple common-sense amendments. The 
first one, amendment 2, simply replaces study with reports to 
make sure that the information is disseminated. The second one 
is a clarifying amendment which changes geopower to geopowering 
America. The third amendment, amendment 4, is a very common-
sense amendment. Obviously we will not be able to access 
geothermal energy without some insult to the environment. This 
amendment simply says that you must weigh that minimal--
hopefully minimal impact on the environment with the enormous 
positive environmental effects of producing energy that 
provides--that produces no greenhouse gases. These are three 
very simple, common-sense amendments; and I want to thank the 
Majority very much for working with us.
    Chairman Gordon. Is there further discussion on these three 
amendments? If no, we say thank you to Mr. Bartlett for the 
additions, and the vote occurs on the amendments. All in favor 
say aye, those opposed say no. The ayes have it. The amendment 
is agreed to.
    The fifth amendment on the roster and I guess it is really 
the fifth and sixth is from the gentleman from Texas, Mr. 
McCaul. And I will also ask unanimous consent if it is to his 
satisfaction that these two amendments be taken en bloc and he 
will be allowed to describe them.
    Mr. McCaul. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I will be very 
brief given the late night we had last night and time 
constraints. I appreciate the opportunity to offer these two 
amendments. The first really requires amending Section 7 to 
require the Secretary to coordinate with the other DOE R&D 
programs that focus on drilling and related activities. It is 
good government and cost efficient, and then of course the 
second, amendment 6, amends Section 6 by adding laser-based 
drilling technology to the EGS program.
    And with that, Mr. Chairman, I will yield back my time.
    Chairman Gordon. Thank you. And the Clerk will please 
report this amendment and the prior amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendments to H.R. 2304 offered by Mr. McCaul.
    Chairman Gordon. I ask unanimous consent that we dispense 
with the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    The gentleman has explained his amendments. Is there any 
comment on the amendments? If not, all those in favor of the 
amendments say aye, those opposed no. The ayes have it. The 
amendment is agreed to.
    All right. The seventh amendment on the roster is offered 
by the gentlelady from Illinois, Ms. Biggert. Are you ready to 
proceed with your amendment?
    Ms. Biggert. I have an amendment at the desk.
    Chairman Gordon. The Clerk will report the amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 2304 offered by Mrs. Biggert.
    Chairman Gordon. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    The gentlelady is recognized for five minutes to explain 
her amendment.
    Ms. Biggert. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. In 2000, the 
distinguished Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, joined the 
Department of Energy in launching a new technology transfer 
outreach initiative called Geopowering the West or GPW. The 
purpose of the GPW program is to use public/private 
partnerships to bring geothermal heat and power to millions of 
homes and businesses through technology transfer and technical 
assistance. In partnership with states and local agencies, 
utilities, universities, geothermal developers, consumer and 
environmental groups said GPW complements the Department of 
Energy's Research and Development programs by helping to get 
geothermal energy technologies out of the lab and into the 
marketplace. And by all accounts, this program has been 
successful which is why the bill before us today would expand 
the program to encompass not just the western states but the 
entire United States and rename the program Geopowering 
America, or GPA. And there was a change at the Subcommittee to 
add Section 9. But this bill also duplicates much of the good 
this proven program is doing with the creation of two 
Geothermal Tech Transfer Centers, one east and one west of the 
Mississippi River. And that is why my amendment would strike 
the section of the bill, creating these two Centers and make 
the Geopowering America program explicitly responsible for 
performing these exactly the same tech transfer and technical 
assistance functions were supposed to do.
    Existing for seven years now, the GPW program already 
serves as a link between DOE's geothermal research programs and 
industry as well as others interested in geothermal energy. 
Using the information that GPW program managers have collected 
and disseminated over the course of the last seven years, the 
DOE can quickly and effectively transform the Geopowering 
America program into a true information clearing house for the 
geothermal energy industry. Therefore, the Department won't 
waste a lot of time, energy, or money bringing two new Centers 
on line.
    And finally, by using the existing GPW structure, DOE will 
be able to engage more than just two universities and tech 
transfer activities relating to the geothermal energy. In 
addition to engaging numerous universities all over the 
country, the GPA program could partner with states, cities, 
utilities, developers, entrepreneurs, and businesses large and 
small to facilitate the development and use of geothermal 
energy. So rather than create a new, let us expand and build on 
a tried and trusted program that works. I hope my colleagues 
see the value of this approach and will support my amendment.
    I yield back the balance of my time.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Biggert follows:]

           Prepared Statement of Representative Judy Biggert

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    In the year 2000, the distinguished Senate Majority Leader, Harry 
Reid, joined the Department of Energy in launching a new technology 
transfer and outreach initiative, called GeoPowering the West, or GPW.
    The purpose of the GPW program is to use public-private 
partnerships to bring geothermal heat and power to millions of homes 
and businesses through technology transfer and technical assistance.
    In partnership with states and local agencies, utilities, 
universities, geothermal developers, consumer and environmental groups, 
the GPW complements the Department of Energy's (DOE) research and 
development programs by helping get geothermal energy technologies out 
of the lab and into the marketplace.
    By all accounts, this program has been successful, which is why the 
bill before us today would expand the program to encompass not just the 
western states, but the entire United States, and rename the program 
GeoPowering America, or GPA.
    But this bill also duplicates much of the good this proven program 
is doing with the creation of two geothermal tech transfer centers--one 
east and one west of the Mississippi River.
    That's why my amendment would strike the section of the bill 
creating these two centers, and make the GeoPowering America program 
explicitly responsible for performing exactly the same tech transfer 
and technical assistance functions the centers were supposed to.
    Existing for seven years now, the GPW program already serves as a 
link between the DOE's geothermal research programs and industry, as 
well as others interested in geothermal energy.
    Using the information that GPW program managers have collected and 
disseminated over the course of the last seven years, the DOE can 
quickly and effectively transform the GeoPowering America program into 
a true information clearinghouse for the geothermal energy industry. 
Therefore, the Department won't waste a lot of time, energy, or money 
bringing two new Centers online.
    Finally, by using the existing GPW structure, DOE will be able to 
engage more than just two universities in tech transfer activities 
related to geothermal energy. In addition to engaging numerous 
universities all over the country, the GPA program could partner with 
states, cities, utilities, developers, entrepreneurs and businesses 
large and small to facilitate the development and use of geothermal 
energy.
    Rather than create anew, let's expand and build on a tried and 
tested program that works. I hope my colleagues see the value in this 
approach, and will support my amendment. I yield back the balance of my 
time.

    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Ms. Biggert. I understand the 
gentlelady's concerns, but her amendment, at least in my 
opinion, is not a good substitute for the university-centered 
program in this bill. First, the existing Geopowering the West 
Program, which the gentlelady proposes to task with the 
scientific data collection, among the other activities, has a 
different and more narrow mission than the intended Centers. We 
don't want to try to fit a square peg into a round hole.
    In addition, during the hearings we heard on H.R. 2304 
there was discussion about developing the next generation of 
scientists, engineers, and technicians specializing in 
geothermal technologies. Dr. Jeff Tester, the lead author of 
the MIT report, The Future of Geothermal Energy, stated in his 
testimony that the prospects for geothermal development would 
be enhanced by connecting the National Research and Development 
and Demonstration Program to education in science and 
engineering at the college and university level as well as 
professional levels. Making universities a key component of the 
geothermal helps fulfill this goal. It helps to ensure that we 
have an educated workforce to understand and deploy geothermal 
technologies.
    Finally, rather than tasking the Federal Government with 
reinventing the wheel, as the gentlelady suggests in her 
amendment, the bill seeks to capitalize on longstanding 
geothermal research, data collection, and tech transfer 
expertise at universities around the country. For example, 
Southern Methodist University in Texas, the University of Utah, 
Boise State University, MIT, the Oregon Institute for 
Technology, the University of Oklahoma, and several 
universities in the University of California system. For these 
reasons, I do not support the gentlelady's amendment. However, 
if the gentlelady would like to withdraw her amendment, I would 
be willing to continue to work to address her concerns.
    Are there any additional comments on the gentlelady's 
amendments? Mr. McNerney.
    Mr. McNerney. Mr. Chairman, I would like to strike the last 
word. I, like the Chairman, I do understand the gentlelady's 
concerns, but my intent was to create two Centers, one in each 
of the very different geophysical characters of the country. On 
the east side of the country, the geothermal sources are much 
different than on the western side. I think it is important to 
establish a separate entity east of the Mississippi or east of 
the Rockies anyway that will look at developing that particular 
source, that particular kind of geothermal energy; and I also 
like the idea of having competitive bidding or within the 
Department of Energy to decide what is the best location. So I 
oppose the amendment and----
    Ms. Biggert. Will the gentleman yield?
    Mr. McNerney. Yes.
    Ms. Biggert. I do think that, you know, education is very 
important and I think that the GPW, that it is engaged in the 
tech transfer activities but it also is very much a part of it 
is the education facility. And I think it is important to 
remind my colleagues that this committee already passed the 
H.R. 85, the Energy Technology Transfer Bill, which was 
sponsored by Mr. Miller of North Carolina and me and was then 
approved by the House. And I think that rather than creating 
the transfer Centers to serve the country for each specific 
energy technology, that this directed to consider all of these. 
I just think more Centers just to focus on one is not what we 
need, but we already have the means to do that and that if 
President Bush, in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, created a 
consortium which utilizes comprehensive multi-disciplinary 
approach to geothermal research and education, focusing on 
exploration, full-scale utilization, and transfer training of 
the next generation of geothermal professionals, and that was 
in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
    Mr. Hall. Will the gentlelady yield?
    Ms. Biggert. It is not----
    Chairman Gordon. The gentleman from California has the 
time, but certainly Mr. Hall is recognized for five minutes.
    Mr. Hall. I just want to say I totally agree with the 
author of this, and we support it on this side. And if she 
decides not to proceed with it or to withdraw it, we certainly 
want to be a part of working toward something that is favorable 
and acceptable to the author. But we on this side of the docket 
urge passage of this amendment.
    Chairman Gordon. Is there further discussion on the 
amendment? If no, the vote occurs on the amendment. All in 
favor say aye, opposed no. The no's appear to have it. The 
amendment is not agreed to.
    Ms. Biggert. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
    Chairman Gordon. All right. The Clerk will report the 
amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 2304 offered by Mrs. Biggert 
of Illinois.
    Chairman Gordon. I ask unanimous consent to dispense with 
the reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    The gentlelady is recognized for five minutes to describe 
her amendment.
    Ms. Biggert. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. This amendment 
addresses an issue that I raised during the Subcommittee markup 
about Section 8 of the bill which creates two new Geothermal 
Tech Transfer Centers, one east and one west of the Mississippi 
River. I am concerned that by using the Mississippi River as 
the dividing line this section of the bill splits the Midwest 
in an awkward way. According to the Illinois State Geological 
Survey, the geology of the Great Plains between the Mississippi 
River and the Rocky Mountains is more like the geology of the 
Midwest than the geology of the Rocky Mountains. And while 
there are few if any hydrothermal resources in the Great Plains 
or the Midwest, this region is home to unconventional 
geothermal energy resources that could be tapped using enhanced 
geothermal systems. That is why I believe that any university 
east of the Rocky Mountains rather than east of the Mississippi 
should be eligible to compete to host the enhanced geothermal 
system center that this bill would establish. And that is what 
my amendment would do. Schools in North and South Dakota, 
Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, 
Arkansas, and Texas that would otherwise have no chance of I 
think landing the hydrothermal tech transfer center but would 
have a real chance to host the Enhanced Geothermal System Tech 
Transfer Center if my amendment passes. I wish I could say that 
this amendment was my idea but it is actually based on a 
recommendation by the Director of the Geothermal Laboratory at 
Southern Methodist University.
    So I would urge my colleagues to support this amendment. I 
yield back the balance of my time.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. Biggert follows:]

           Prepared Statement of Representative Judy Biggert

    This amendment addresses an issue I raised during the Subcommittee 
markup about Section 8 of this bill, which creates two new geothermal 
tech transfer centers--one east and one west of the Mississippi River.
    I am concerned that by using the Mississippi River as the dividing 
line, this section of the bill splits the Midwest in an awkward way.
    According to the Illinois State Geological Survey, the geology of 
the Great Plains of the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains is 
more like the geology of the Midwest than the geology of the Rocky 
Mountains.
    And while there are few, if any hydrothermal resources in the Great 
Plains or the Midwest, this region is home to unconventional geothermal 
energy resources that could be tapped using enhanced geothermal 
systems.
    That's why I believe any university east of the Rocky Mountains--
rather than east of the Mississippi River--should be eligible to 
compete to host the Enhanced Geothermal Systems Center that this bill 
would establish.
    That's what my amendment would do. Schools in North and South 
Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas 
and Texas that would otherwise have no chance of landing the 
hydrothermal tech transfer center would have a real chance to host the 
enhanced geothermal system tech transfer center if my amendment passes.
    I wish I could say this amendment was my idea, but it is actually 
based on a recommendation by the Director of the Geothermal Laboratory 
at Southern Methodist University.
    I urge my colleagues to support this amendment, and I yield back 
the balance of my time.



    Chairman Gordon. I thank the gentlelady. You know, we 
traditionally think of east of the Mississippi, west of the 
Mississippi. It took a Midwesterner to break us out of this 
mindset. You have a good amendment, and we thank you for it. 
And I would recommend its passage.
    Is there further discussion on the amendment? If no, the 
vote occurs on the amendment. All in favor say aye, opposed no. 
The aye's have it. The amendment is agreed to.
    Are there other amendments?
    Mr. Matheson. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the 
desk.
    Chairman Gordon. Mr. Matheson is recognized.
    Mr. Matheson. Are we going to dispense with the reading of 
the amendment or----
    Chairman Gordon. The Minority has not had adequate time to 
see the amendment----
    Mr. Matheson. I understand.
    Chairman Gordon [continuing]. So it will not be read.
    Mr. Matheson. Let me just give about 30 seconds, and I will 
yield back to the Chairman. This is an amendment that has to do 
with recognizing the importance of the Intermountain West 
Geothermal Consortium. It was initially authorized in the 
Energy Policy Act of 2005. It is focused on providing science 
and technology to discover and develop new geothermal resources 
in the Intermountain West.
    My amendment would simply authorize $5 million annually 
through 2012 for this consortium. And I yield to the Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Matheson. Let me just put 
things in context here. Mr. Matheson and his staff have put 
together what appears to be a good amendment and a good-faith 
amendment, but like all of us, it sometimes takes things to get 
them together. We did not receive this until just really a few 
moments ago. The Minority has not had the time to fully vet it, 
and I think to a good process that has made a good bill today 
and I appreciate you getting it on the table. We are going to 
now vet it and I hope that this will be a part of the manager's 
amendment when it comes to the Floor at a later date.
    Mr. Matheson. I appreciate that, and Mr. Chairman, with 
that, I understand and I am happy to withdraw the amendment.
    Chairman Gordon. I thank you, Mr. Matheson. Are there other 
amendments? If not, the vote is on the bill, H.R. 2304 as 
amended.
    Mr. Diaz-Balart. Mr. Chairman?
    Chairman Gordon. All those----
    Mr. Diaz-Balart. Mr. Chairman, I believe I have an 
amendment.
    Chairman Gordon. Who seeks recognition? Oh, excuse me.
    Mr. Diaz-Balart. I believe I have an amendment on the desk, 
Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Gordon. I think it's on the next bill.
    Mr. Diaz-Balart. I stand corrected, Mr. Chairman. My 
apologies.
    Chairman Gordon. Okay. That's all right. I'll try again. If 
there are no further amendments, all those in favor of H.R. 
2304 say aye. All those opposed say no. In the opinion of the 
Chair, the ayes have it.
    I recognize Mr. Hall to offer a motion.
    Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee favorably 
report H.R. 2304 as amended to the House with a recommendation 
that the bill as amended do pass. Furthermore, I move that the 
staff be instructed to prepare the legislative report, make 
necessary technical and conforming changes, and that the 
Chairman take all necessary steps to bring the bill before the 
House for consideration.
    I yield back.
    Chairman Gordon. The question is on the motion to report 
the bill favorably. Those in favor of the motion will signify 
by saying aye, opposed no. The ayes have it. The bill is 
favorably reported.
    Without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon 
the table. The Members will have two subsequent calendar days 
in which to submit supplemental Minority or additional views on 
the measure, ending Monday, June 18, at 9:00 a.m. I move 
pursuant to clause 1 of Rule 22 of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives that the Committee authorize the Chairman to 
offer such motions as may be necessary in the House to adopt 
and pass H.R. 2304, the Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and 
Development Act of 2007, as amended. Without objection, so 
ordered.
    That's a good bill. Everybody should go home and take 
credit for it.
    I want to thank the Members for their attendance, and this 
concludes our markup.
    [Whereupon, at 11:25 a.m., the Committee was adjourned.]

                               Appendix:

                              ----------                              


  Subcommittee on Energy and Environment Markup Report; H.R. 2304, as 
Amended by the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment; Amendment Roster

                  COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

                 SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

                    REPORT FROM SUBCOMMITTEE MARKUP

                              JUNE 6, 2007

               H.R. 2304, the Advanced Geothermal Energy
                  Research and Development Act of 2007

I. Purpose

    The purpose of the H.R. 2304 is to direct the Secretary of Energy 
to conduct a program of research, development, demonstration, and 
commercial application for geothermal energy, and establish technology 
transfer centers to disseminate related knowledge.

II. Background and Need for Legislation

    Geothermal energy is heat from the Earth's core that is trapped in 
the earth's crust. It can be tapped and used either to generate 
electricity or for direct use (e.g., heating buildings, greenhouses, or 
aquaculture operations). It is very attractive as an energy resource 
because it is not only clean and renewable, but it can also provide 
continuously dispatchable, base load power, day and night, 365 days a 
year. Geothermal is also a domestic resource, creating domestic jobs 
and increasing national security.
    In locations where high temperatures coincide with naturally-
occurring, underground, fluid-filled reservoirs, the resulting hot 
water or steam can be tapped directly to run a geothermal power plant. 
Such locations are referred to as hydrothermal (hot water) resources, 
and they have been the focus of traditional geothermal energy 
development. The United States is the world's largest producer of 
electric power from geothermal energy with about 2,800 megawatts (MW) 
of geothermal electrical generating capacity is connected to the grid, 
mostly in California and the Intermountain West, where high grade 
hydrothermal systems have been found close to the surface. However, 
significant hydrothermal potential remains untapped. The U.S. 
Geological Survey (USGS) estimates there is between 95,000 MW and 
127,000 MW of hydrothermal resources sufficient for electrical power 
generation in the United States. However, many of these resources 
remain undiscovered and unconfirmed.
    Even that large number, however, pales in comparison to the 
potential of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). EGS differ from 
hydrothermal systems in that they lack either a natural reservoir 
(i.e., the cracks and spaces in the rock through which fluid can 
circulate), the fluid to circulate through the reservoir, or both. In 
EGS development, sometimes referred to as ``heat mining,'' an injection 
well is drilled to a depth where temperatures are sufficiently high; if 
necessary, a reservoir is created, or ``cracked,'' in the rock by using 
one of various methods of applying pressure; and a fluid is introduced 
to circulate through the reservoir and absorb the heat. The fluid is 
extracted through a production well, the heat is used to run a 
geothermal power plant or for some direct use application, and the 
fluid is reinjected to start the loop all over again.
    Although it has been the subject of preliminary investigations in 
the United States, Europe, and Australia, the EGS concept has yet to be 
demonstrated as commercially viable. However, experts familiar with the 
resource and the associated technologies believe the technical and 
economic hurdles are surmountable. In January, 2007, a panel led by the 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology produced a report entitled The 
Future of Geothermal Energy, which contained an updated assessment of 
EGS potential in the United States. The authors of the report 
conservatively estimate that two percent of the EGS resource could be 
economically recoverable--an amount more than 2,000 times larger than 
all the primary energy consumed in the United States in 2005.\1\ If the 
technological and economic hurdles to EGS development can be overcome, 
the potential of the resource is enormous.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Ibid, p. 1-17.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The United States has been involved in geothermal energy R&D since 
the 1970s. The program reached a high point in FY 1980 with funding of 
approximately $310 million (2006 dollars). Since then, funding has 
gradually declined to its present level of $5 million (2006 dollars) in 
FY 2007. The Administration has attempted to phase out the geothermal 
program entirely, requesting zero dollars in FY 2007 and FY 2008.
    As justification for terminating the geothermal program, the 
Administration has claimed that geothermal technologies are mature--a 
claim strongly disputed by researchers and the geothermal industry. 
Proponents point out that geothermal is not a single technology, but a 
complex resource, available in different grades in different places. 
While the technologies to tap the highest grade resources may indeed be 
mature (some have provided electric power at competitive rates for 
decades) these high grade locations represent a very small fraction of 
the total resource. To develop technologies capable of tapping lower 
grade resources, further R&D is essential. Recent indications suggest 
DOE officials may be open to re-examining investment in geothermal R&D, 
particularly in light of the opportunities in Enhanced Geothermal 
Systems that were highlighted in the recent MIT report: The Future of 
Geothermal Energy.
    H.R. 2304 is intended to reinvigorate geothermal energy R&D in the 
United States and unlock the potential of this vast resource, across 
the full spectrum of grades, for the benefit of the Nation.

III. Subcommittee Actions

    On May 14, 2007, Rep. Jerry McNerney, for himself and Science and 
Technology Committee Chairman Bart Gordon, and Energy and Environment 
Subcommittee Chairman Nick Lampson, introduced H.R. 2304, the Advanced 
Geothermal Energy Research and Development Act of 2007.
    The Energy and Environment Subcommittee held a hearing on Thursday, 
May 17, 2007 to hear testimony on H.R. 2304 (and also H.R. 2313, the 
Marine Renewable Energy Research and Development Act of 2007) from the 
following witnesses:

          Dr. Jefferson Tester, the HP Meissner Professor of 
        Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of 
        Technology, an internationally recognized expert in Enhanced 
        Geothermal Systems and Chair of the MIT-led panel that produced 
        the report: The Future of Geothermal Energy, released in 
        January, 2007.

          Mr. Paul Thomsen, Public Policy Manager for Ormat 
        Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of geothermal 
        exploration, development, and power conversion technologies. 
        Mr. Thomsen testified on behalf of both Ormat and the 
        Geothermal Energy Association.

          Mr. Nathanael Greene, a Sr. Energy Policy Specialist 
        with the Natural Resources Defense Council with expertise in 
        utility regulation, renewable energy, energy taxes, energy 
        efficiency, and the environmental impacts of energy production.

          Dr. Annette von Jouanne, Professor of Energy Systems 
        and Power Electronics in the School of Electrical Engineering 
        and Computer Science at Oregon State University (OSU). Dr. von 
        Jouanne also leads the Wave Energy program at OSU.

          Mr. Sean O'Neill, President of the Ocean Renewable 
        Energy Coalition (OREC), a trade association representing the 
        marine renewable energy industry.

    The Subcommittee on Energy and Environment met to consider H.R. 
2304 on June 6, 2007 and consider the following amendment to the bill:

        1.  On behalf of Mr. McNerney which, in addition to changes of 
        a technical nature, revises instructions for establishing the 
        federal/non-federal cost-sharing ratios for projects funded 
        under the Act to provide greater leeway to tailor cost-sharing 
        levels to individual projects; allows for a competitive bidding 
        process to play a role in determining the cost-share ratio for 
        a projects; eliminates cost-sharing requirements for research 
        that is of a ``fundamental or basic nature''; establishes an 
        R&D program to develop technologies and techniques to mitigate 
        or avoid adverse environmental impacts of geothermal energy 
        development, production, or use; directs the Secretary to 
        coordinate with the Environmental Protection Agency to study 
        the environmental impacts of geothermal energy development, 
        production, and use. directs the Secretary to give priority 
        consideration for funding, where appropriate, to project 
        proposals that include provisions to study the project's 
        environmental impacts; encourages the Enhanced Geothermal 
        Systems Technology Transfer Center established in the bill to 
        seek opportunities for coordination with appropriate 
        international partners; and expands the scope of an existing, 
        domestic geothermal technology transfer program from the 
        western U.S. to the entire country. The amendment was agreed to 
        by voice vote.

    Mr. Inglis moved that the Subcommittee favorably report the bill, 
H.R. 2304, to the Full Committee on Science and Technology. The motion 
was agreed to by a voice vote.

IV. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill

    H.R. 2304 authorizes $80 million a year for each of the fiscal 
years 2008-2012 ($400 million total) for research, development, 
demonstration, and commercial application of technologies to locate, 
characterize, and develop geothermal resources, both hydrothermal 
systems and enhanced geothermal systems. The bill also establishes a 
research program, to be coordinated with EPA, to identify potential 
environmental impacts of geothermal energy production, and a program of 
RDD&CA of technologies to mitigate or avoid adverse environmental 
impacts. The bill provides guidance for the Secretary to use in 
evaluation of project proposals and for the establishment of federal/
non-federal cost-sharing ratios for said projects. The bill establishes 
or expands several technology transfer programs to promote 
dissemination of information and best practices on geothermal energy 
development, both within the geothermal industry and to appropriate 
State agencies. Finally, the bill requires that DOE follow the 
development of more advanced concepts and technologies related to 
geothermal energy development and report back to the Congress every 
other year on the current state of such advanced technologies.

V. Section by Section Analysis of the Bill, as reported by the 
                    Subcommittee

Section 1. Short Title

    Act may be cited as the ``Advanced Geothermal Energy Research and 
Development Act of 2007.''

Section 2. Findings

    Geothermal energy is a renewable resource capable of providing 
base-load power generation (and other applications) with minimal 
environmental impact. The geothermal energy potential in the United 
States is widely distributed and vast in size, yet it remains barely 
tapped. Sustained and expanded funding for research, development, 
demonstration, and commercial application programs is needed to improve 
the technologies to locate, characterize, and develop geothermal 
resources.

Section 3. Definitions

    Provides definitions for the following terms used in the Act: 
`Engineered' (as it pertains to enhanced geothermal systems), `Enhanced 
Geothermal Systems,' `Geofluid,' `Geothermal,' `Hydrothermal,' 
`Secretary,' and `Systems Approach.'

Section 4. Hydrothermal Research and Development

    Instructs the Secretary to support research, development, 
demonstration, and commercial application of technologies designed to 
assist in locating and characterizing undiscovered hydrothermal 
resources.
    The specification of programs in subsection (b) should not be 
construed as constraining the prerogative of the Secretary to use 
authority granted under this section to support other types of 
hydrothermal RDD&CA. For example, it would be within the purview of 
this section to support projects designed to demonstrate the geothermal 
potential of co-produced water (water that is produced as a byproduct 
of oil & gas production), of abandoned oil & gas wells no longer in 
production, or of geopressured resources.
    This section also establishes an ``industry-coupled exploratory 
drilling'' program, which is a cost-shared program with industry 
partners to demonstrate and apply advanced exploration technologies in 
the field. This is not intended as a program of research and 
development of drilling technologies; rather, it is intended as a 
demonstration program to apply existing technologies--especially the 
most advanced technologies available--in a practical setting.

Section 5. General Geothermal Systems Research and Development

    The programs under Section 5 are intended to support the 
development of technologies applicable to the development of all 
geothermal systems, whether they be considered hydrothermal systems, 
enhanced geothermal systems, or some hybrid. Subsection (a) establishes 
a program of research, development, demonstration, and commercial 
application of system components and materials capable of withstanding 
the extreme environment (high temperatures and corrosiveness) in 
geothermal wells. Such components for RDD&CA shall include, but not be 
limited to those listed in the subsection. In practice, any subsurface 
component that is essential to drilling to extreme depths and 
temperatures shall qualify for RDD&CA under this section.
    Subsection (b) establishes a program of RDD&CA of improved models 
of geothermal reservoir performance. The models can be of any useful 
type, whether numerical, computer-based, or other.
    Subsection (c) establishes a program of RDD&CA of technologies to 
mitigate or preclude adverse environmental impacts from geothermal 
energy development, production or use. It also directs the Secretary, 
in conjunction with the Office of Research and Development at EPA, to 
study what such impacts of geothermal energy development might be, and 
ensure that the program in (c)(1) addresses such impacts.

Section 6. Enhanced Geothermal Systems Research and Development

    Subsection (a) instructs the Secretary to support a program of 
RDD&CA of technologies necessary to advance EGS to a state of 
commercial readiness.
    Subsection (b) establishes a cost-shared, field-based program of 
research, development, and demonstration of technologies to create and 
stimulate EGS reservoirs. The purpose of this subsection is to promote 
RD&D of functional EGS systems capable of producing hot geofluid that 
could be used for electric power production or direct use. (However, 
this section deliberately stops short of authorizing demonstration of 
the actual power conversion step. The aim is strictly to create a 
producing reservoir.) The subsection stipulates that a minimum of five 
sites, representing different geologic conditions, be selected to 
ensure that demonstration is conducted under different conditions. More 
than five sites can be selected as long as funds are available.

Section 7. Guidelines for Cost Sharing and Proposal Evaluation

    Establishes certain guidelines for the Secretary to use in 
evaluating proposals and for determining the federal/non-federal cost-
share ratios of projects funded under this Act. The intent of this 
section is that the Secretary establish, in writing, the criteria that 
are used for determining project selections, and the cost-share ratios.

Section 8. Centers for Geothermal Technology Transfer

    Provides for the creation of two Centers of technology transfer to 
function as information clearinghouses for the geothermal industry, 
dedicated to collecting and sharing industry-relevant information. One 
Center, to be located in the western U.S., shall be dedicated to 
hydrothermal-specific development information; the other Center, 
located in the eastern U.S., shall be dedicated to EGS-specific 
development information. Although the section specifies a western 
Center and an eastern Center, both centers are intended to serve the 
entire Nation with regard to their respective areas of expertise. To 
the extent that those areas of expertise overlap, it is okay, and 
useful, for the two Centers to concern themselves with duplicate 
information. The eastern Center, dedicated to Enhanced Geothermal 
Systems, is specifically encouraged to seek opportunities for 
international cooperation since there is significant research happening 
in this area in Europe, Asia, and Australia, and other countries may 
establish programs in the future.

Section 9. GeoPower America

    Expands the scope of an existing, domestic geothermal technology 
transfer program from the western U.S. to the entire country, so as to 
encourage the transfer and adoption of appropriate geothermal energy 
technologies throughout the entire United States.

Section 10. Study on Advanced Uses of Geothermal Energy

    Requires the Secretary to track technological advances impacting 
geothermal energy development and advanced uses of geothermal energy 
and fluids, and report back to the Committee every other year for the 
next five years (a total of three times). The report is not intended to 
be limited to the topics listed here. This report is intended to focus 
on areas of potential future interest for the geothermal program, but 
these areas are not considered appropriate candidates for federal 
RDD&CA support at the current time, owing to their early stages of 
development and speculative nature. The bi-annual tracking study is 
intended to highlight when these technologies become less speculative 
and therefore more appropriate candidates for federal support.

Section 11. Applicability of Other Laws

    Affirms the applicability of all requirements under federal and 
State laws, including environmental laws, to projects undertaken under 
this Act.

Section 12. Authorization of Appropriations

    Authorizes appropriations of $80,000,000 for each of the fiscal 
years 2008 through 2012.