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110th Congress                                            Rept. 110-311
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 2

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



 
                OCEAN EXPLORATION AND UNDERSEA RESEARCH

                                _______
                                

               December 18, 2007.--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. 1834]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Science and Technology, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1834) to authorize the national ocean 
exploration program and the national undersea research program 
within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
   I. Amendment.......................................................2
  II. Purpose of the Bill.............................................4
 III. Background and Need for the Legislation.........................5
  IV. Hearing Summary.................................................7
   V. Committee Actions...............................................8
  VI. Summary of Major Provisions of the Bill, As Reported............9
 VII. Section-by-Section Analysis (by Title and Section), As Reported.9
VIII. Committee View.................................................11
  IX. Cost Estimate..................................................13
   X. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate......................13
  XI. Compliance with Public Law 104-4...............................15
 XII. Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations...............15
XIII. Statement on General Performance Goals and Objectives..........15
 XIV. Constitutional Authority Statement.............................15
  XV. Federal Advisory Committee Statement...........................15
 XVI. Congressional Accountability Act...............................15
XVII. Earmark Identification.........................................15
XVIII.Statement on Preemption of State, Local, or Tribal Law.........15

 XIX. Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported..........15
  XX. Committee Recommendations......................................15
 XXI. Proceedings of the Subcommittee Markup.........................16
XXII. Proceedings of the Full Committee Markup.......................48
XXIII.Exchange of Letters............................................56


                              I. AMENDMENT

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

              TITLE I--NATIONAL OCEAN EXPLORATION PROGRAM

SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

  This title may be cited as the ``National Ocean Exploration Program 
Act''.

SEC. 102. AUTHORIZATION.

  The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration shall, in consultation with the National Science 
Foundation and other appropriate Federal agencies, conduct a 
coordinated national ocean exploration program within the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that promotes collaboration with 
other Federal ocean and undersea research and exploration programs. To 
the extent appropriate, the Administrator shall seek to facilitate 
coordination of data and information management systems, outreach and 
education programs to improve public understanding of ocean and coastal 
resources, and development and transfer of technologies to facilitate 
ocean and undersea research and exploration.

SEC. 103. AUTHORITIES.

  (a) In General.--In carrying out the program authorized under section 
102, the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (in this title referred to as the ``Administrator'') 
shall--
          (1) conduct interdisciplinary voyages or other scientific 
        activities of discovery in conjunction with other Federal 
        agencies or academic or educational institutions, to explore 
        and survey little known areas of the marine environment, 
        inventory, observe, and assess living and nonliving marine 
        resources, and report such findings;
          (2) give priority attention to deep ocean regions, with a 
        focus on deep water marine systems that hold potential for 
        important scientific discoveries, such as hydrothermal vent 
        communities and seamounts;
          (3) conduct scientific voyages to locate, define, and 
        document historic shipwrecks, submerged sites, and other ocean 
        exploration activities that combine archaeology and 
        oceanographic sciences;
          (4) develop and implement, in consultation with the National 
        Science Foundation, a transparent, competitive process for 
        merit-based peer-review and approval of proposals for 
        activities to be conducted under this program, taking into 
        consideration advice of the Board established under section 
        104;
          (5) enhance the technical capability of the United States 
        marine science community by promoting the development of 
        improved oceanographic research, communication, navigation, and 
        data collection systems, as well as underwater platforms and 
        sensors and autonomous vehicles; and
          (6) establish an ocean exploration forum to encourage 
        partnerships and promote communication among experts and other 
        stakeholders in order to enhance the scientific and technical 
        expertise and relevance of the national program.
  (b) Donations.--In carrying out the program authorized under section 
102, the Administrator may accept donations of property, data, and 
equipment to be applied for the purpose of exploring the oceans or 
increasing knowledge of the oceans.

SEC. 104. OCEAN EXPLORATION ADVISORY BOARD.

  (a) Establishment.--The Administrator shall appoint an Ocean 
Exploration Advisory Board composed of experts in relevant fields to--
          (1) advise the Administrator on priority areas for survey and 
        discovery;
          (2) assist the program in the development of a five-year 
        strategic plan for the fields of ocean, marine, and Great Lakes 
        exploration, discovery, and science;
          (3) annually review the quality and effectiveness of the 
        proposal review process established under section 103(4); and
          (4) provide other assistance and advice as requested by the 
        Administrator.
  (b) Federal Advisory Committee Act.--Section 14 of the Federal 
Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Board 
appointed under subsection (a).

SEC. 105. APPLICATION WITH OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF LANDS ACT.

  Nothing in this Act supersedes, or limits the authority of the 
Secretary of the Interior under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act 
(43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.).

SEC. 106. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration to carry out this title--
          (1) $30,500,000 for fiscal year 2008;
          (2) $33,550,000 for fiscal year 2009;
          (3) $36,905,000 for fiscal year 2010;
          (4) $40,596,000 for fiscal year 2011;
          (5) $44,655,000 for fiscal year 2012;
          (6) $49,121,000 for fiscal year 2013; and
          (7) $54,033,000 for fiscal year 2014.

                  TITLE II--UNDERSEA RESEARCH PROGRAM

SEC. 201. SHORT TITLE.

  This title may be cited as the ``National Undersea Research Program 
Act of 2007''.

SEC. 202. AUTHORIZATION.

  The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration shall conduct an undersea research, exploration, 
education, and technology development program and shall designate a 
Director of that program.

SEC. 203. PURPOSE.

  The purpose of the program authorized under section 202 is to 
increase scientific knowledge essential for the informed management, 
use, and preservation of oceanic, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. 
The Director, in carrying out the program authorized in section 202, 
shall cooperate with institutions of higher education and other 
educational marine and ocean science organizations, and shall make 
available undersea research facilities, equipment, technologies, 
information, and expertise to support undersea research efforts by 
these organizations. The Director may also enter into partnerships, 
using existing authorities, with the private sector to achieve the 
goals of the program and to promote technological advancement of the 
marine industry.

SEC. 204. PROGRAM.

  The program authorized under section 202 shall be conducted through a 
national headquarters, a network of extramural regional undersea 
research centers that represent all relevant National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration regions, and a national technology 
institute. Overall direction of the program will be provided by the 
program director in coordination with a Council of Center Directors 
comprised of the directors of the extramural regional centers and the 
National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology. Program 
direction shall be published not later than 3 years after the date of 
enactment of this Act.

SEC. 205. REGIONAL CENTERS AND INSTITUTE.

  (a) Programs.--The following research, exploration, education, and 
technology programs shall be conducted through the network of 
extramural regional centers and the National Institute for Undersea 
Science and Technology:
          (1) Core research and exploration based on national and 
        regional undersea research priorities.
          (2) Advanced undersea technology development to support the 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's research 
        mission and programs.
          (3) Development, testing, and transition of advanced undersea 
        technology associated with ocean observatories, submersibles, 
        advanced diving technologies, remotely operated vehicles, 
        autonomous underwater vehicles, and new sampling and sensing 
        technologies.
          (4) Undersea science-based education and outreach programs to 
        enrich ocean science education and public awareness of the 
        oceans and Great Lakes.
          (5) Discovery, study, and development of natural products 
        from ocean and aquatic systems.
  (b) Operations.--Operation of the extramural regional centers and the 
National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology shall leverage 
partnerships and cooperative research with academia and private 
industry.

SEC. 206. COMPETITION.

  (a) Discretionary Fund.--The program shall allocate no more than 10 
percent of its annual budget to a discretionary fund that may be used 
only for program administration and priority undersea research projects 
identified by the Director but not covered by funding available from 
centers.
  (b) Competitive Selection.--The Administrator shall conduct a 
competition to select the regional centers that will participate in the 
program five years after the date of enactment of this Act and every 
five years thereafter. Funding for projects conducted through the 
regional centers shall be awarded through a competitive, merit-reviewed 
process on the basis of their relevance to the goals of the program and 
their technical feasibility.

SEC. 207. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  There are authorized to be appropriated to the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration to carry out this title--
          (1) $17,500,000 for fiscal year 2008;
          (2) $19,500,000 for fiscal year 2009;
          (3) $21,500,000 for fiscal year 2010;
          (4) $23,500,000 for fiscal year 2011;
          (5) $25,500,000 for fiscal year 2012;
          (6) $27,500,000 for fiscal year 2013; and
          (7) $29,500,000 for fiscal year 2014.

       TITLE III--INTERAGENCY FINANCING PLANNING AND COORDINATION

SEC. 301. INTERAGENCY FINANCING.

  The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Department of the 
Navy, and other Federal agencies involved in the programs authorized 
under title I and II, are authorized to participate in interagency 
financing and share, transfer, receive, and spend funds appropriated to 
any Federal participant in the program for the purposes of carrying out 
any administrative or programmatic project or activity under this Act. 
Funds may be transferred among such departments and agencies through an 
appropriate instrument that specifies the goods, services, or space 
being acquired from another Federal participant and the costs thereof.

SEC. 302. OCEAN EXPLORATION AND UNDERSEA RESEARCH TECHNOLOGY AND 
                    INFRASTRUCTURE TASK FORCE.

  The Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, in coordination with the National Science Foundation, 
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the United States 
Geological Survey, the Department of the Navy, the Mineral Management 
Service, and relevant governmental, non-governmental, academic, 
industry, and other experts, shall convene an ocean exploration and 
undersea research technology and infrastructure task force to develop 
and implement a strategy--
          (1) to facilitate transfer of new exploration and undersea 
        research technology to the programs authorized under titles I 
        and II of this Act;
          (2) to improve availability of communications infrastructure, 
        including satellite capabilities, to such programs;
          (3) to develop an integrated, workable, and comprehensive 
        data management information processing system that will make 
        information on unique and significant features obtained by such 
        programs available for research and management purposes;
          (4) to conduct public outreach activities that improve the 
        public understanding of ocean science, resources, and 
        processes, in conjunction with relevant programs of the 
        National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National 
        Science Foundation, and other agencies; and
          (5) to encourage cost-sharing partnerships with governmental 
        and nongovernmental entities that will assist in transferring 
        exploration and undersea research technology and technical 
        expertise to the programs.

                        II. PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of this bill is to authorize the national ocean 
exploration program and the national undersea research program 
within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
(NOAA). Through the Administrator of NOAA, with the National 
Science Foundation and other appropriate Federal agencies, this 
bill authorizes a coordinated national ocean exploration and 
undersea research program that promotes collaboration with 
existing programs of the Administration.

                III. BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    In 2004, the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, whose members 
were appointed by President George W. Bush, released a report 
containing recommendations for the establishment of a 
comprehensive and coordinated ocean policy for the nation. The 
report concluded, among many other findings, that increased 
scientific knowledge of the oceans and coasts and the 
associated technological development to gather such information 
were imperative for sustainable resource use, economic 
development, and conservation of marine biodiversity.
    In order to attain these goals, a comprehensive national 
strategy is needed. In addition, the Commission concluded that 
the American public has too little awareness of the importance 
of the ocean in their daily lives and to all life on the 
planet, and that an interested and an engaged public is 
essential to addressing complex ocean- and coastal-related 
issues. Legislation is required to implement many of the 
Commission's recommendations.
    NOAA has for many years utilized its broad general 
authority as the federal agency responsible for the management 
of living marine and coastal resources to conduct activities 
supporting ocean exploration and undersea research. In 1971, 
NOAA administratively established the Manned Undersea Science 
and Technology (MUST) program to pioneer exploration of 
undersea habitats. In 1980, the MUST program was reconstituted 
as the National Undersea Research Program (NURP) within NOAA's 
Office of Ocean and Atmospheric Research (OAR).
    NURP was created to provide marine scientists with the 
requisite tools and expertise to investigate the undersea 
environment, including submersibles, remotely operated 
vehicles, autonomous underwater vehicles, mixed gas diving 
gear, underwater laboratories and observatories, and other 
technologies specifically designed for underwater exploration. 
NURP is comprised of a network of six regional centers and one 
national technology institute, located at major universities in 
Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, Alaska, 
Hawaii, and Mississippi. This extramural network facilitates 
collaborations with federal and non-federal programs outside of 
NOAA, leverages external funds and infrastructure, and provides 
access to specialized facilities, world-class marine 
researchers, and technology expertise. These university-based 
centers also provide unique training and educational 
opportunities for students. Federal grants fund the regional 
centers and national technology institute and each facility 
undergoes periodic external review to ensure performance and 
accountability. NURP supports on average over 100 peer-reviewed 
research projects each year that are relevant to NOAA's overall 
mission and address national ocean research priorities. 
Examples of research produced through NURP grants include: the 
discovery and analysis of novel marine bio-compounds with 
potential medical and pharmaceutical applications; research to 
better understand new chemosynthetic communities discovered at 
deep sea vents and seeps; and groundbreaking research regarding 
factors affecting coral reef health, especially coral bleaching 
events and climate change. Since 1995, Congress has 
appropriated over $178 million specifically for NURP.
    In 2000, President William J. Clinton's Panel on Ocean 
Exploration--a multi-disciplinary group of ocean experts--
released a historic report entitled ``Discovering Earth's Final 
Frontier: A U.S. Strategy for Ocean Exploration.'' This panel 
found that our current understanding of the ocean environment 
is inadequate compared with the undeniable importance of the 
oceans to the health and wealth of our country, and that the 
U.S. has fallen behind other nations in our capabilities for 
undertaking ocean exploration. The panel recommended the 
establishment of an Ocean Exploration Program for an initial 
10-year period to conduct interdisciplinary voyages of 
discovery, to develop new tools to support ocean exploration, 
to disseminate information on discoveries of new life forms and 
ocean resources, and to enhance understanding of ocean and 
coastal environments in the United States.
    In 2001, NOAA responded to the panel's recommendation and 
established the Office of Ocean Exploration (OE) to support 
expeditions for the purpose of discovery and documentation of 
ocean resources. Also located in OAR, the OE program operates 
under a multi-purpose mission to map the physical, biological, 
chemical and archaeological aspects of the oceans and the Great 
Lakes; to expand understanding of ocean dynamics and to 
describe the complex interactions of the living ocean. The OE 
program develops new sensors and other equipment to regain U.S. 
leadership in ocean technology and conducts public outreach and 
education programs to communicate the benefits of ocean 
exploration to the nation. The OE program has conducted 
multiple voyages every year since 2001, often in collaboration 
with other NOAA programs and federal agencies such as NURP, the 
National Marine Sanctuary Program and the National Science 
Foundation. The OE program has conducted over 100 expeditions 
in unknown, remote or poorly understood ocean areas, including 
expeditions to assess hydrothermal vents at the Galapagos Rift 
in the equatorial Pacific Ocean; investigations of the frigid 
depths of the Canada Basin in the Arctic Ocean; exploration of 
little known sea mounts in the North Atlantic; and, 
reconnaissance of the Bransfield Strait and Drake's Passage in 
the Southern Ocean near Antarctica. The Congress has 
appropriated $118.5 million to support this program since its 
establishment in 2001.
    H.R. 1834 would implement a key recommendation of the U.S. 
Commission on Ocean Policy to provide specific and separate 
authorizations for these two programs within NOAA. The 
authorizations would further strengthen NOAA's standing as the 
preeminent civilian federal ocean agency by granting the agency 
explicit authority to conduct scientific research that directly 
contributes to increasing scientific knowledge of the world's 
oceans. The legislation would address the national need to 
develop and advance new innovations in oceanographic research, 
communication and navigation technologies to support ocean 
exploration and science. Additionally, this legislation would 
emphasize the importance of outreach and public education to 
ensure that future scientific discoveries and benefits are 
disseminated to decision-makers in both the public and private 
sectors, and conveyed to the general public to increase public 
awareness and appreciation of the Great Lakes and the world's 
oceans and their importance to our economic and environmental 
well-being.

                          IV. HEARING SUMMARY

    The Environment, Technology, and Standards Subcommittee 
held a hearing in the 109th Congress on July 27, 2006 to hear 
testimony on, then, H.R. 3835, from the following witnesses:

Panel 1

     The Honorable Jim Saxton, Congressman, 3rd 
District, New Jersey (R)

Panel 2

     Dr. Richard Spinrad, Assistant Administrator, 
Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration
     Mr. Andrew Shepard, Director, Southeastern U.S. 
and Gulf of Mexico National Undersea Research Programs, 
University of North Carolina
     Dr. Marcia McNutt, President and Chief Executive 
Officer, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
    Rep. Saxton, the author of the legislation, discussed 
specific provisions of the legislation. Recognizing that ocean 
and Great Lakes exploration and research is done by multiple 
federal agencies, he emphasized that one purpose of the bill 
was to encourage closer coordination between NOAA's activities 
and those of the National Science Foundation. He stated that 
the NURP and the OE programs have distinct, but complementary 
missions and that both are core to NOAA's mission.
    In his testimony Dr. Spinrad expressed strong support for 
the overall intent of H.R. 3835. He believed the legislation 
elevates the importance of ocean exploration and undersea 
technology development. He discussed the implications for the 
programs of the significant funding reduction that occurred in 
fiscal year 2006.
    Mr. Shepard described the history of NURP, and the vital 
role it plays in the development of advanced diving 
technologies. He indicated his support for H.R. 3835 and for 
its inclusion of authorizations for both NURP and OE 
activities. He also described the positive aspects of the 
regional focus of the program. The regional presence of the 
centers provides a direct conduit of information gained through 
ocean and coastal exploration to the coastal management 
community to address issues such as hurricane impacts, 
shoreline erosion, and sea level rise.
    Dr. McNutt discussed the importance of the OE program to 
the nation pointing to the discovery of the hot-vent 
communities that resulted in new research on a unique new 
ecosystem which thrives on energy sources and in environmental 
conditions that were thought to be inhospitable. This research 
led to new understanding of how life may be sustained in other 
parts of the universe. Dr. McNutt believes that H.R. 3835 would 
address the need to have OE authorized as an explicit part of 
NOAA's mission. She offered the view that the lack of a 
distinct OE mission at NOAA was a more important factor 
limiting OE than the funding history. She also expressed the 
view that OE and NURP are distinct programs and should be 
maintained as separate programs.

                    V. SUMMARY OF COMMITTEE ACTIONS

    On March 29, 2007, Representative Jim Saxton, for himself 
and Representatives Young of Alaska, McIntyre, Pallone, Farr, 
Wicker, and Abercrombie introduced H.R. 1834, the National 
Ocean Exploration Program Act, which was referred to the 
Committee on Science and Technology, and in addition to the 
Committees on Natural Resources and Armed Services.
    In the 110th Congress, the Subcommittee on Energy and 
Environment met to consider H.R. 1834 on October 10, 2007, with 
no amendments to the bill. Mr. McNerney moved that the 
Subcommittee favorably report the bill, H.R. 1834, to the Full 
Committee on Science and Technology. The motion was agreed to 
by a voice vote.
    The Committee on Science and Technology met on October 24, 
2007, to consider H.R. 1834 as reported by the Subcommittee and 
to consider the following amendment to the bill:
    A manager's amendment offered by Representative Lampson 
that changes Section 102 of the bill to assign all 
responsibility for direction of the ocean exploration and 
undersea research programs to the Administrator of NOAA and 
clarifies that NOAA's programs are to be coordinated with other 
federal programs conducting ocean and undersea research and 
exploration. It also amends Section 103 of the bill to direct 
the Administrator of NOAA to implement a competitive process 
for approving proposals submitted to the program and to permit 
the Administrator to accept donations of property, data, and 
equipment that appropriately further the purposes of the 
programs. It amends Section 104 to specify that the Advisory 
Board created to provide outside advice and expertise to the 
program will be convened, selected, and operated in accordance 
with the Federal Advisory Committee Act except that the Board 
will not expire as required by Section 14 of FACA. It moves 
Section 105 of the bill to Title III and amends the Section to 
clarify that the Task Force will address issues related to both 
the ocean exploration and the undersea research programs.
    In Title II, the amendment changes Sections 202 and 203 to 
direct NOAA to carry out a program of undersea research, 
exploration, education and technology development in 
cooperation with universities, marine science and education 
organizations, and the private sector and adds a requirement in 
Section 204 to make the direction of the undersea research 
program determined by the program Director in coordination with 
the undersea research center Directors, publicly available 
within three years of the date of enactment. In Section 206, 
the amendment clarifies that ten percent of the program funds 
will be retained by the NOAA undersea research program office 
for use by the Director for administration of the program and 
to fund priority projects that are not being funded through the 
regional centers. The amendment also requires awards made 
through the regional centers to be done through a competitive, 
merit reviewed process. The amendment also requires NOAA to re-
compete the awards to the centers within five years of 
enactment and on a five-year cycle thereafter.
    The amendment also eliminates the authorizations in both 
Titles I and II for fiscal years 2015, 2016, and 2017 to reduce 
the total authorization period from ten years to seven years, 
and lowers the overall authorization level of the bill by $297 
million.
    The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
    The Committee favorably reported the bill, H.R. 1834, as 
amended, by a voice vote.

              VI. SUMMARY OF MAJOR PROVISIONS AS REPORTED

    H.R. 1834 authorizes a National Ocean Exploration Program 
that requires NOAA to appoint an Ocean Exploration Advisory 
Board and expand ocean exploration in an interdisciplinary 
manner to discover new marine substances that potentially have 
therapeutic benefits; to study unique and little known marine 
ecosystems, organisms and the geology of the world's oceans; 
and to maximize ocean research effectiveness by integrating 
multiple scientific disciplines in the ocean science community. 
The bill also authorizes a National Undersea Research that 
shall be conducted through a national headquarters, a network 
of extramural regional undersea research centers representing 
all NOAA regions, and a national technology institute to 
increase scientific knowledge for informed management, use and 
preservation of oceanic, coastal and Great Lake resources. H.R. 
1834 authorizes NOAA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), 
and other federal agencies involved in programs under this Act 
to participate in interagency financing and share, transfer, 
receive, and spend funds appropriated to any federal 
participant in the program, and to convene an ocean exploration 
and undersea research technology and infrastructure task force. 
H.R. 1834 is authorized through fiscal year 2014 for both 
programs.

        VII. SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE BILL AS REPORTED

              Title I--National Ocean Exploration Program


Section 101. Short title

    States that this title may be cited as the National Ocean 
Exploration Program Act.

Section 102. Authorization

    Directs the Administrator of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to establish a coordinated 
national ocean exploration program in consultation with the 
National Science Foundation and other appropriate Federal 
Agencies programs conducting ocean and undersea research and 
exploration.

Section 103. Authorities

    Defines activities of the program to include 
interdisciplinary voyages to explore and survey the marine 
environment giving priority to deep ocean areas and to conduct 
archaeological and scientific voyages of shipwrecks and 
submerged sites; to enhance the technical capability of the 
U.S. marine science community; and to establish an ocean 
exploration forum to promote communication and information 
exchange between experts and other stakeholders in the ocean 
science community. It also directs the Administrator of NOAA to 
develop a merit-based, competitive process in consultation with 
the National Science Foundation for the review and approval of 
proposals for program activities. Also in carrying out the 
program the Administrator is permitted to accept appropriate 
donations of property, data or equipment for use in ocean 
exploration activities.

Section 104. Ocean Exploration Advisory Board

    Directs the NOAA Administrator to appoint an Advisory Board 
composed of relevant experts to advise on priority areas for 
survey and discovery; assist development of a five-year 
strategic plan; annually review the effectiveness of the 
proposal peer-review process; and provide other assistance as 
requested. The board will be selected and operated in 
accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act except that 
the Board will not expire as required by Section 14 of FACA.

Section 105. Application with Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

    States that the provisions of the bill do not supersede or 
limit the authority of the Secretary of the Interior under this 
Act.

Section 106. Authorization of appropriations

    Authorizes appropriations of $30.5 million beginning in 
fiscal year 2008 increasing each year to $54.0 million in 
fiscal year 2014.

                  Title II--Undersea Research Program


Section 201. Short title

    States that this title may be cited as the National 
Undersea Research Program Act of 2007.

Section 202. Authorization

    Directs the NOAA Administrator to conduct undersea 
research, exploration, education, and technology development 
programs and to designate a Director for the program.

Section 203. Purpose

    Defines the purpose of the program to increase scientific 
knowledge for informed management, use and preservation of 
oceanic, coastal and Great Lake resources through undersea 
research, exploration, education, and technology development. 
Requires the Director to cooperate with institutions of higher 
education and other educational organizations and to make 
equipment, information and expertise available to these 
organizations as appropriate.

Section 204. Program

    Directs the Administrator to conduct the program through a 
national headquarters, a representative network of extramural 
regional centers and a national technology institute. Requires 
program direction to be provided by the program director in 
coordination with a Council of Center Directors and to be made 
publicly available within three years of the date of enactment.

Section 205. Regional centers and institute

    Defines the content of the programs that are to be 
conducted through the network of extramural regional centers 
and the technology institute as: Core research and exploration; 
advanced undersea technology development; development of 
technologies associated with undersea research, observation, 
and exploration; education and outreach; and research and 
development of natural products from ocean and aquatic systems. 
Encourages the extramural centers to cooperate with academic 
institutions and the private sector.

Section 206. Competition

    Directs the Administrator to ensure the external projects 
supported by the regional centers will be managed through an 
open, competitive, merit-based process. Directs the NOAA 
undersea research program office to retain ten percent of 
program funds for use by the Director for administration of the 
program and to fund priority projects that are not being funded 
through the regional centers. NOAA is also required to re-
compete the awards to the centers within 5 years of enactment 
and on a 5-year cycle thereafter.

Section 207. Authorization of appropriations

    Authorizes appropriations of $17.5 million for fiscal year 
2008 increasing each year to $29.5 million in fiscal year 2014.

      Title III--Interagency Financing, Planning and Coordination


Section 301. Interagency financing

    Allows relevant federal agencies to participate in 
interagency financing and share, transfer, receive and spend 
appropriated funds to carry out the purposes of this 
legislation.

Section 302. Ocean Exploration and Undersea Research Technology and 
        Infrastructure Task Force

    Directs the Administrator of NOAA to convene a task force 
including other federal agencies and experts from non-
governmental organizations, academia, and industry to develop 
and implement a strategy to facilitate transfer of exploration 
and undersea technology and technical expertise, to improve 
communications infrastructure, to develop an integrated data 
management system, to conduct public outreach activities, and 
to encourage cost-sharing partnerships.

                         VIII. COMMITTEE VIEWS

    It is the view of the Committee that authorizing the 
national ocean exploration program and the national undersea 
research program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA), in coordination with the National 
Science Foundation (NSF) and other appropriate Federal 
agencies, is necessary to expand our knowledge of oceans and 
coastal resources and to promote sustainable management of 
marine systems. The Committee recognizes that NSF and the H.R. 
1834 authorizes a coordinated ocean policy that promotes 
collaboration with existing programs within the federal 
government with NOAA as the lead agency.
    The Committee is aware that recent funding short falls have 
motivated NOAA to develop a plan to consolidate the Ocean 
Exploration (OE) Program and the National Undersea Research 
Program (NURP). The Committee recognizes and supports 
Administration efforts to identify synergies of these programs 
that could result in cost savings and efforts to institute 
competition that will ensure that scarce funds are allocated to 
meritorious, high priority research. However, the Committee 
believes these programs are complementary, not duplicative and 
that both programs' activities are necessary to attain 
comprehensive knowledge of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes 
systems and resources. Therefore, H.R. 1834 provides 
authorizations and direction for each program.
    The Committee believes that funding should be distributed 
by these programs through merit-based, competitive processes to 
ensure performance and accountability. H.R. 1834 contains 
provisions in both the OE program and the NURP directing the 
Administrator to establish these procedures. The Committee 
recognizes these two programs operate in different ways and 
through different structures. The Committee believes the OE 
program should consult with NSF in the development of their 
process, and that the OE process should be modeled on the 
process utilized by NSF for proposal review and approval. The 
NURP operates through regionally-based centers, a structure 
that will be maintained by this legislation. However, the 
Committee believes that NOAA should select the institution or 
consortium of institutions that will operate the regional 
programs through a competitive process on a 5-year cycle. 
Funding distributed through the regional centers should also be 
awarded through a competitive, merit based process.
    The Committee believes the ocean exploration program would 
benefit from outside advice from an Ocean Exploration Advisory 
Board. The Committee believes this Board should operate as a 
federal advisory committee following the procedures established 
in the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The advisory 
board should assist in the development of a five-year strategic 
plan for the program and review the competitive process 
developed by the Agency for reviewing and selecting proposals 
for funding. The Committee is aware that the NOAA Science 
Advisory Board (SAB) has established a group with expertise in 
ocean exploration. If the SAB group is selected and operated in 
accordance with FACA, this group could serve as the OE Advisory 
Board mandated by Section 104 of the legislation. The Committee 
believes that operating the Board under FACA will ensure that 
activities of the Board will be transparent to Congress and 
stakeholders in the program and will ensure that the Board has 
the full range of expertise needed to offer sound advice to the 
Agency.
    The Committee believes the Director should work with 
directors of the regional centers and with the director of the 
National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology (NIUST) 
to develop research priorities and direction for NURP. The 
Committee believes the program direction should be made 
publicly available prior to conducting the competition to 
select the regional centers that will operate the regional 
component of the program. The Committee wants to ensure that 
program direction is available to the full range of individuals 
and institutions that may have an interest in developing a 
proposal to compete for the opportunity to become a regional 
NURP center.
    The Committee believes the network of regional centers and 
NIUST should contribute to the development of advanced undersea 
technologies. The Committee also recognizes and encourages 
continued partnerships of NIUST and the regional centers with 
the private sector to develop and utilize ocean and undersea 
technologies. The Committee believes that development and 
advancement of technologies such as Human Occupied Submersibles 
(e.g. Pisces), autonomous underwater vehicles, mixed gas diving 
gear, underwater laboratories (e.g. Aquarius) and observatories 
(e.g. the Long-term Ecosystem Observatory or LEO-15) are 
essential if we are to expand our knowledge of ocean and 
undersea resources and utilize these resources in a sustainable 
manner.
    The Committee recognizes that as exploration and research 
proceed, new opportunities will present themselves that could 
not be anticipated in the program planning process. To provide 
NOAA with some flexibility to respond to such opportunities, 
Section 206 of H.R. 1834 sets aside ten percent of the funds 
provided for the undersea research program annually to fund 
priority projects that were not anticipated by the program 
direction. This funding will also enable the program director 
to fund programs of national priority that may not receive 
funding through the regional centers.
    The Committee believes that the Administrator should lead a 
task force in order to develop and implement a comprehensive 
national strategy that will support the activities of the OE 
program and NURP. The Committee is aware that the functions of 
the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology (JSOST) 
are very similar to those defined for the task force authorized 
in Section 302 of the legislation. The Committee anticipates 
that the Administration may designate the JSOST to perform 
these functions. The Administration established the JSOST in 
2003 as a subcommittee of the National Science and Technology 
Council (NSTC) and expanded its role to include science and 
technology in 2005. However, the JSOST is not created in 
statute and a subsequent Administration may decide to abolish 
or substantially alter the mandate of this group. The Committee 
believes an on-going interagency forum for communicating and 
coordinating federal activities in ocean and undersea research 
and exploration is essential and has therefore provided on-
going authority and direction for these activities.

                           IX. 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 XI of this report 
pursuant to House Rule XIII, clause 3(c)(3).
    H.R. 1834 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. 
1834 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.

             XI. CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

H.R. 1834--National Ocean Exploration Program Act

    Summary: H.R. 1834 would direct the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to carry out programs on 
ocean exploration and undersea research. For this purpose, the 
bill would authorize the appropriation of nearly $300 million 
over the 2008-2012 period and nearly $460 million over the 
2008-2014 period.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 1834 would cost $30 million in 
2008 and $260 million over the 2008-2012 period. We estimate 
that about $200 million would be spent after 2012, including 
nearly $160 million authorized to be appropriated after 2012. 
Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 1834 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1834 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

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

Authorization Level\1\.............................................       49       54       59       65       71
Estimated Outlays..................................................       30       45       55       62      68
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: In addition to the amounts shown in the table, the bill would authorize funding of about $160 million over
  the 2013-2014 period. In total, the bill would authorize appropriations of nearly $460 million over the 2008-
  2014 period.
\1\NOAA has not yet received a full-year appropriation for fiscal year 2008. The agency's National Ocean Service
  received appropriations of around $600 million in 2007, including funding for some activities that are similar
  to the exploration, research, and mapping programs that would be authorized by H.R. 1834.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
legislation will be enacted before the end of calendar year 
2007 and that the entire amounts authorized will be 
appropriated for each fiscal year. Estimated outlays are based 
on historical spending patterns for NOAA programs.
    The authorization levels specified in the bill for fiscal 
years 2008 through 2012 include between $31 million and $45 
million per year for ocean exploration and between $18 million 
and $26 million per year for undersea research (totaling $49 
million to $71 million over that period).
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1834 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Previous CBO cost estimates: On March 23, 2007, CBO 
transmitted a cost estimate for S. 39, the Ocean and Coastal 
Exploration and NOAA Act (OCEAN Act), as ordered reported by 
the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation 
on February 13, 2007. The provisions of S. 39 regarding ocean 
exploration and undersea research are similar to those in H.R. 
1834. The CBO estimates for those provisions reflect 
differences in the authorization levels for the affected 
programs.
    On July 30, 2007, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
1834, the National Ocean Exploration Program Act, as ordered 
reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on June 
28, 2007. The two versions of H.R. 1834 are very similar. Both 
bills would authorize the same level of appropriations through 
fiscal year 2014, but the version approved by the House 
Committee on Natural Resources also would authorize 
appropriations beyond that year--through fiscal year 2017.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Deborah Reis, Impact 
on state, local, and tribal governments: Neil Hood, Impact on 
the private-sector: Jacob Kuipers.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant Director 
for Budget Analysis.

                  XI. COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    H.R. 1834 contains no unfunded mandates.

         XII. 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.

      XIII. STATEMENT ON GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    Pursuant to clause 3(c) of House Rule XIII, the goal of 
H.R. 1834 is to authorize the national ocean exploration 
program and the national undersea research program within the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

                XIV. CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact H.R. 1834.

                XV. FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    H.R. 1834 does establish and authorize the establishment of 
any advisory committee. Section 104 is amended to specify that 
the Advisory Board created to provide outside advice and 
expertise to the program will be convened, selected, and 
operated in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act 
except that the Board will not expire as required by Section 14 
of FACA.

                 XVI. CONGRESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY ACT

    The Committee finds that H.R. 1834 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).

                      XVII. EARMARK IDENTIFICATION

    H.R. 1834 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.

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

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

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

    H.R. 1834, as reported, makes no changes in existing law.

                     XX. COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS

    On October 24, 2007, the Committee on Science and 
Technology favorably reported H.R. 1834, as amended, by a voice 
vote and recommended its passage by the House of 
Representatives.


   XXI. PROCEEDINGS OF THE MARKUP BY THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND 
  ENVIRONMENT ON H.R. 1834, THE NATIONAL OCEAN EXPLORATION PROGRAM ACT

                              ----------                              


                      WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2007

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

    The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 2:06 p.m., in 
Room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Nick 
Lampson [Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding.
    Chairman Lampson. Good afternoon. This Committee 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. 3776, Energy Storage Technology 
Advancement Act of 2007; H.R. 3775, Industrial Energy 
Efficiency Research and Development Act of 2007; and H.R. 1834, 
National Ocean Exploration Program Act. We will now proceed 
with the markup, beginning with opening statements, and I will 
begin.
    Today the Subcommittee will consider three bills.
    The first is the Energy Storage Technology Advancement Act, 
introduced yesterday by Chairman Gordon. As we learned in the 
hearing last week, an aggressive research program to accelerate 
the development of batteries and other energy-storing 
technologies is essential to achieving greater energy 
efficiency and emission reduction in the utility and 
transportation sectors. Chairman Gordon's bill, which 
incorporates many features of an energy bill introduced earlier 
in the Congress by Ranking Member Hall, will ensure that we 
move these import technologies forwards and support a vigorous 
domestic industrial capability in this areas.
    The second bill is the Industrial Energy Efficiency 
Research and Development Act. I introduced this legislation 
yesterday after circulating a discussion draft of the bill at 
the end of September. If we want to maintain a competitive, 
domestic industrial economy, we must find ways to enable 
energy-intensive industries to become more energy efficient and 
to diversify the fuel and raw materials they use to manufacture 
their products. Competition for energy and material is 
increasing and driving up prices for these inputs. The 
Industrial Technology Program at the Department of Energy has 
been working in partnership with industries across the county 
to achieve these important goals, but we still must do more.
    And finally, we will consider H.R. 1834, introduced by our 
colleague on the Natural Resources Committee, Representative 
Saxton. The National Ocean Exploration and National Undersea 
Research Program Act will expand our knowledge of the oceans 
and provide basic information about the vast resources of the 
seas. The ocean and coastal areas of our nation support 
significant economic activity in a wide variety of areas, but 
in many respects, the oceans remain a mystery with many areas 
unexplored. Representative Saxton's legislation provides the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with the 
authorities and direction to support a vigorous ocean-
exploration program. We will continue to work with our 
colleagues on the Natural Resources Committee to move this 
legislation forward.
    I urge the Members of the Subcommittee to support all three 
of these bills, and I look forward to continue working with all 
of you as these will go forward.
    [The prepared statement of Chairman Lampson follows:]
              Prepared Statement of Chairman Nick Lampson
    Good afternoon.
    Today the Subcommittee will consider three bills. The first is the 
Energy Storage Technology Advancement Act introduced yesterday by 
Chairman Gordon. As we learned in the hearing last week, an aggressive 
research program to accelerate the development of batteries and other 
energy storing technologies is essential to achieving greater energy 
efficiency and emission reductions in the utility and transportation 
sectors.
    Chairman Gordon's bill, which incorporates many features of an 
energy bill introduced earlier in this Congress by Ranking Member Hall, 
will ensure that we move these important technologies forward and 
support a vigorous domestic industrial capability in this area.
    The second bill is the Industrial Energy Efficiency Research and 
Development Act. I introduced this legislation yesterday after 
circulating a discussion draft of the bill at the end of September.
    If we want to maintain a competitive, domestic industrial economy 
we must find ways to enable energy-intensive industries to become more 
energy efficient and to diversify the fuel and raw materials they use 
to manufacture their products. Competition for energy and materials is 
increasing and driving up prices for these inputs. The Industrial 
Technology Program at the Department of Energy has been working in 
partnership with industries across the country to achieve these 
important goals, but we must do more.
    Finally, we will consider H.R. 1834 introduced by our Colleague on 
the Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Saxton. The National Ocean 
Exploration and National Undersea Research Program Act will expand our 
knowledge of the oceans and provide basic information about the vast 
resources of the seas.
    The ocean and coastal areas of our nation support significant 
economic activity in a wide variety of areas. But in many respects, the 
oceans remain a mystery with many areas unexplored. Rep. Saxton's 
legislation provides the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration with the authorities and direction to support a vigorous 
ocean exploration program. We will continue to work with our colleagues 
on the Natural Resources Committee to move this legislation forward.
    I urge the Members of the Subcommittee to support all three of 
these bills, and I look forward to continue working with all of you as 
these bills go forward.

    Chairman Lampson. And I recognize Mr. Inglis to present his 
opening remarks.
    Mr. Inglis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to this 
markup, and today we will mark up two bills that address two 
vital needs in pursuit of our energy security: energy 
efficiency and energy storage.
    The Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program 
has a successful track record of helping U.S. manufacturers 
translate research and development into efficient, cost-saving 
technologies. By reauthorizing this program, the Industrial 
Energy Efficiency Research and Development Act, H.R. 3775, will 
support our nation's industries in achieving energy efficiency 
while remaining economically competitive. It is very important 
that we direct this program to prioritize its efficiency 
efforts, targeting industry sectors, not individual businesses, 
where we can attain the best emissions reductions for our buck.
    While energy efficiency reduces our total consumption of 
foreign oil and gas, energy-storage progress will encourage 
development of clean, renewable energy sources. H.R. 3776, the 
Energy Storage Technology Advancement Act, can help promote 
consistent and stable energy supply from renewable sources. 
That is a big hurdle, but it is one we can't clear soon enough.
    Finally, we shall be marking up the bill H.R. 1834, the 
National Ocean Exploration Program Act. Marine scientists tell 
us that we haven't come close to tapping the resources 
available to us in and under our oceans. I hope that the bill 
we markup today steers research dollars to those fact-finding 
projects so that we might, one day, reap the benefits of our 
hidden oceanic resources.
    Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to 
working with you to advance this legislation.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Inglis follows:]
            Prepared Statement of Representative Bob Inglis
    Thank you for holding this markup, Mr. Chairman.
    Today we'll mark up two bills that address two vital needs in our 
pursuit of energy security: energy efficiency and energy storage.
    The Department of Energy's Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) 
has a successful track record of helping U.S. manufacturers translate 
research and development into efficient, cost-saving technologies. By 
reauthorizing this program, the Industrial Energy Efficiency Research 
and Development Act (H.R. 3775) will support our nation's industries in 
achieving energy efficiency while remaining economically competitive. 
It is very important that we direct this program to prioritize its 
efficiency efforts, targeting industry sectors (not individual 
businesses) where we can attain the best emissions reductions for our 
buck
    While energy efficiency reduces our total consumption of foreign 
oil and gas, energy storage progress will encourage development of 
clean, renewable energy sources. H.R. 3776, the Energy Storage 
Technology Advancement Act can help promote consistent and stable 
energy supply from renewable sources. That's a big hurdle, but it's one 
we can't clear soon enough.
    Finally, we'll be marking up the H.R. 1834, the National Ocean 
Exploration Program Act. Marine scientists tell us that we haven't come 
close to tapping the resources available to us in and under our oceans. 
I hope that the bill we markup today steers research dollars to those 
``fact-finding'' projects, so that humanity might one day reap the 
benefits of our hidden oceanic resources.
    Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to working with 
you to advance this legislation.

    Chairman Lampson. Thank you, Mr. Inglis. Without objection, 
Members may place statements in the record at this point.
    We will now consider 1834, the National Ocean Exploration 
Program Act.
    I yield to myself for five minutes to describe this bill.
    H.R. 1834 was introduced by Representative Saxton in March. 
It is very similar to a bill he introduced in the previous 
Congress, H.R. 3835. The Committee held a hearing on this 
legislation at the end of the last Congress. The bill 
authorizes two programs to be carried out by the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, an ocean-
exploration program to explore and survey the oceans and to 
investigate life in the sea and to assess ocean and coastal 
resources. The bill also authorizes NOAA to carry out an 
undersea research program. This program operates through a 
network of regional undersea research centers. Both of these 
programs have strong education and outreach components. The 
programs are authorized for ten years, beginning at a total 
funding level of $48 million in fiscal year 2008, and 
escalating to $107.4 in fiscal year 2017.
    This bill was marked up by the Committee on Natural 
Resources a short time ago, and we will incorporate changes 
made by that committee at the Full Committee markup later this 
month.
    I urge my colleagues to support the legislation, and I look 
forward to working together with our colleagues on the other 
committee to move this legislation forward.
    I now recognize Mr. Inglis to present any remarks on the 
bill.
    Mr. Inglis. No remarks, Mr. Chairman, just simply 
appreciation for moving the bill, and I look forward to its 
successful passage.
    Chairman Lampson. Thank you, Mr. Inglis. 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 Member proceed 
with the amendments in the order of the roster. Without 
objection, it is so ordered.
    Are there any amendments? None. Everybody hold their breath 
for five minutes or less. Mr. Bartlett.
    Mr. Bartlett. Can we, by unanimous consent, waive the 
quorum rule?
    Chairman Lampson. If there is no objection, we may go 
forward, yes.
    Mr. Bartlett. I ask unanimous consent we waive the quorum 
rule and go forward.
    Chairman Lampson. I recognize Mr. McNerney to offer a 
motion.
    Mr. McNerney. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee 
favorably report H.R. 1834 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, 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; those opposed, no. The ayes have it, and the 
bill is reported favorably.
    Without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon 
the table. The Subcommittee Members may submit additional or 
Minority views on the measure.
    I want to thank the Members for their attendance. This 
concludes our Subcommittee markup. We are adjourned. Thank you.
    [Whereupon, at 2:25 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]
                               Appendix:

                              ----------                              


                 H.R. 1834, Section-by-Section Analysis







                      Section-by-Section Analysis

            Ocean Exploration and National Undersea Research

Title I--National Ocean Exploration Program

Section 101. Short Title

    States that this title may be cited as the National Ocean 
Exploration Program Act.

Section 102. Authorization

    Directs the Secretary of Commerce, through the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to establish a coordinated national 
ocean exploration program in consultation with the National Science 
Foundation and other appropriate Federal Agencies.

Section 103. Authorities

    Defines activities of the program to include interdisciplinary 
voyages to explore and survey the marine environment giving priority to 
deep ocean areas and to conduct archaeological and scientific voyages 
of shipwrecks and submerged sites; to enhance the technical capability 
of the U.S. marine science community; and to establish an ocean 
exploration forum to promote communication and information exchange 
between experts and other stakeholders in the ocean science community. 
It also directs the Secretary to develop a merit-based, peer review 
process in consultation with the National Science Foundation for the 
review and approval of proposals for program activities and to accept 
donations of property, data or equipment for use in ocean exploration 
activities.

Section 104. Ocean Exploration Advisory Board

    Directs the NOAA Administrator to appoint an Advisory Board 
composed of relevant experts to advise on priority areas for survey and 
discovery; assist development of a five-year strategic plan; annually 
review the effectiveness of the proposal peer-review process; and 
provide other assistance as requested.
    Exempts the Advisory Board from the Federal Advisory Committee Act 
(FACA), generally, but requires the Board to be appointed and operate 
in a manner consistent with several provisions of FACA.

Section 105. Ocean Exploration Technology and Infrastructure Task Force

    Directs the Administrator of NOAA to convene a task force including 
other federal agencies and experts from non-governmental organizations, 
academia, and industry to develop and implement a strategy to 
facilitate transfer of exploration technology, to improve 
communications infrastructure, to develop an integrated data management 
system, to conduct public outreach activities, and to encourage cost-
sharing partnerships with the program established in Section 102.

Section 106. Application with Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

    States that the provisions of the bill do not supersede or limit 
the authority of the Secretary of the Interior under this Act.

Section 107. Authorization of Appropriations

    Authorizes appropriations of $30.5 million beginning in fiscal year 
2008 increasing each year to $71.9 million in fiscal year 2017.

Title II--Undersea Research Program

Section 201. Short Title

    States that this title may be cited as the National Undersea 
Research Program Act of 2007.

Section 202. Authorization

    Directs the NOAA Administrator to conduct an undersea research 
program and designate a director for the program.

Section 203. Purpose

    States that the purpose of the program is to increase scientific 
knowledge for informed management, use and preservation of oceanic, 
coastal and large lake resources through undersea research, 
exploration, education, and technology development.

Section 204. Program

    Directs the Administrator to conduct the program through a national 
headquarters, a representative network of extramural regional centers 
and a national technology institute. Direction will be provided by the 
program director in coordination with a Council of Center Directors.

Section 205. Regional Centers and Institute

    Defines the content of the programs that are to be conducted 
through the network of extramural regional centers and the technology 
institute as: core research and exploration; advanced undersea 
technology development; development of technologies associated with 
undersea ocean observatories, submersibles, advanced diving equipment, 
etc.; education and outreach; and research and development of natural 
products from ocean and aquatic systems.

Section 206. Competitiveness

    Directs the Administrator to ensure the external projects supported 
by the regional centers will be managed through an open, competitive, 
merit-based process except for a small set-aside for rapid response 
activities.

Section 207. Authorization of Appropriations

    Authorizes appropriations of $17.5 million for fiscal year 2008 
increasing each year to $35.5 million in fiscal year 2017.

Title III--Interagency Financing, Planning and Coordination

Section 301. Interagency Financing

    Allows relevant federal agencies to participate in interagency 
financing and share, transfer, receive and spend appropriated funds to 
carry out the purposes of this legislation.

                               Appendix:

                              ----------                              


         Report from the Subcommittee Markup, Amendment Roster




                  COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

                 SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

                    REPORT FROM SUBCOMMITTEE MARKUP

                            OCTOBER 10, 2007

         H.R. 1834, the National Ocean Exploration Program Act

I. Purpose

    The purpose of this bill is to authorize the national ocean 
exploration program and the national undersea research program within 
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Through the 
Administrator of NOAA, with the National Science Foundation and other 
appropriate federal agencies, this bill authorizes a coordinated 
national ocean exploration and undersea research program that promotes 
collaboration with existing programs of the Administration.

II. Background and Need for Legislation

    In 2004, the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, whose members were 
appointed by President George W. Bush, released a report containing 
recommendations for the establishment of a comprehensive and 
coordinated ocean policy for the nation. The report concluded, among 
many other findings, that increased scientific knowledge of the oceans 
and coasts and the associated technological development to gather such 
information were imperative for sustainable resource use, economic 
development, and conservation of marine biodiversity.
    In order to attain these goals, a comprehensive national strategy 
is needed. In addition, the Commission concluded that the American 
public has too little awareness of the importance of the ocean in their 
daily lives and to all life on the planet, and that an interested and 
an engaged public is essential to addressing complex ocean- and 
coastal-related issues. Legislation is required to implement many of 
the Commission's recommendations.
    NOAA has for many years utilized its broad general authority as the 
federal agency responsible for the management of living marine and 
coastal resources to conduct activities supporting ocean exploration 
and undersea research. In 1971, NOAA administratively established the 
Manned Undersea Science and Technology (MUST) program to pioneer 
exploration of undersea habitats. In 1980, the MUST program was 
reconstituted as the National Undersea Research Program (NURP) within 
NOAA's Office of Ocean and Atmospheric Research (OAR).
    NURP was created to provide marine scientists with the requisite 
tools and expertise to investigate the undersea environment, including 
submersibles, remotely operated vehicles, autonomous underwater 
vehicles, mixed gas diving gear, underwater laboratories and 
observatories, and other technologies specifically designed for 
underwater exploration. NURP is comprised of a network of six regional 
centers and one national technology institute, located at major 
universities in Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, 
Alaska, Hawaii, and Mississippi. This extramural network facilitates 
collaborations with federal and non-federal programs outside of NOAA, 
leverages external funds and infrastructure, and provides access to 
specialized facilities, world-class marine researchers, and technology 
expertise. These university-based centers also provide unique training 
and educational opportunities for students. Federal grants fund the 
regional centers and national technology institute and each facility 
undergoes periodic external review to ensure performance and 
accountability. NURP supports on average over 100 peer-reviewed 
research projects each year that are relevant to NOAA's overall mission 
and address national ocean research priorities. Examples of research 
produced through NURP grants include: the discovery and analysis of 
novel marine bio-compounds with potential medical and pharmaceutical 
applications; research to better understand new chemosynthetic 
communities discovered at deep sea vents and seeps; and ground-breaking 
research regarding factors affecting coral reef health, especially 
coral bleaching events and climate change. Since 1995, Congress has 
appropriated over $178 million specifically for NURP.
    In 2000, President William J. Clinton's Panel on Ocean 
Exploration--a multi-disciplinary group of ocean experts--released a 
historic report entitled `Discovering Earth's Final Frontier: A U.S. 
Strategy for Ocean Exploration.' This panel found that our current 
understanding of the ocean environment is inadequate compared with the 
undeniable importance of the oceans to the health and wealth of our 
country, and that the U.S. has fallen behind other nations in our 
capabilities for undertaking ocean exploration. The panel recommended 
the establishment of an Ocean Exploration Program for an initial 10-
year period to conduct interdisciplinary voyages of discovery, to 
develop new tools to support ocean exploration, to disseminate 
information on discoveries of new life forms and ocean resources, and 
to enhance understanding of ocean and coastal environments in the 
United States.
    In 2001, NOAA responded to the panel's recommendation and 
established the Office of Ocean Exploration (OE) to support expeditions 
for the purpose of discovery and documentation of ocean resources. Also 
located in OAR, the OE program operates under a multi-purpose mission 
to map the physical, biological, chemical and archaeological aspects of 
the oceans and the Great Lakes; to expand understanding of ocean 
dynamics and to describe the complex interactions of the living ocean. 
The OE program develops new sensors and other equipment to regain U.S. 
leadership in ocean technology and conducts public outreach and 
education programs to communicate the benefits of ocean exploration to 
the Nation. The OE program has conducted multiple voyages every year 
since 2001, often in collaboration with other NOAA programs and federal 
agencies such as NURP, the National Marine Sanctuary Program and the 
National Science Foundation. The OE program has conducted over 100 
expeditions in unknown, remote or poorly understood ocean areas, 
including expeditions to assess hydrothermal vents at the Galapagos 
Rift in the equatorial Pacific Ocean; investigations of the frigid 
depths of the Canada Basin in the Arctic Ocean; exploration of little 
known sea mounts in the North Atlantic; and, reconnaissance of the 
Bransfield Strait and Drake's Passage in the Southern Ocean near 
Antarctica. The Congress has appropriated $118.5 million to support 
this program since its establishment in 2001.
    H.R. 1834 would implement a key recommendation of the U.S. 
Commission on Ocean Policy to provide specific and separate 
authorizations for these two programs within NOAA. The authorizations 
would further strengthen NOAA's standing as the preeminent civilian 
federal ocean agency by granting the agency explicit authority to 
conduct scientific research that directly contributes to increasing 
scientific knowledge of the world's oceans. The legislation would 
address the national need to develop and advance new innovations in 
oceanographic research, communication and navigation technologies to 
support ocean exploration and science. Additionally, this legislation 
would emphasize the importance of outreach and public education to 
ensure that future scientific discoveries and benefits are disseminated 
to decision-makers in both the public and private sectors, and conveyed 
to the general public to increase public awareness and appreciation of 
the Great Lakes and the world's oceans and their importance to our 
economic and environmental well-being.

III. Subcommittee Actions

    The Environment, Technology, and Standards Subcommittee held a 
hearing in the 109th Congress on July 27, 2006 to hear testimony on, 
then, H.R. 3835, from the following witnesses:
Panel 1:

          The Honorable Jim Saxton, Congressman, 3rd District, 
        New Jersey (R)

Panel 2:

          Dr. Richard Spinrad, Assistant Administrator, Office 
        of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration

          Mr. Andrew Shepard, Director, Southeastern U.S. and 
        Gulf of Mexico National Undersea Research Programs, University 
        of North Carolina

          Dr. Marcia McNutt, President and Chief Executive 
        Officer, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

    Rep. Saxton, the author of the legislation, discussed specific 
provisions of the legislation. Recognizing that ocean and Great Lakes 
exploration and research is done by multiple federal agencies, he 
emphasized that one purpose of the bill was to encourage closer 
coordination between NOAA's activities and those of the National 
Science Foundation. He stated that the NURP and the OE programs have 
distinct, but complementary missions and that both are core to NOAA's 
mission.
    In his testimony Dr. Spinrad expressed strong support for the 
overall intent of H.R. 3835. He believed the legislation elevates the 
importance of ocean exploration and undersea technology development. He 
discussed the implications for the programs of the significant funding 
reduction that occurred in fiscal year 2006.
    Mr. Shepard described the history of NURP, and the vital role it 
plays in the development of advanced diving technologies. He indicated 
his support for H.R. 3835 and for its inclusion of authorizations for 
both NURP and OE activities. He also described the positive aspects of 
the regional focus of the program. The regional presence of the centers 
provides a direct conduit of information gained through ocean and 
coastal exploration to the coastal management community to address 
issues such as hurricane impacts, shoreline erosion, and sea level 
rise.
    Dr. McNutt discussed the importance of the OE program to the Nation 
pointing to the discovery of the hot-vent communities that resulted in 
new research on a unique new ecosystem which thrives on energy sources 
and in environmental conditions that were thought to be inhospitable. 
This research led to new understanding of how life may be sustained in 
other parts of the universe. Dr. McNutt believes that H.R. 3835 would 
address the need to have OE authorized as an explicit part of NOAA's 
mission. She offered the view that the lack of a distinct OE mission at 
NOAA was a more important factor limiting OE than the funding history. 
She also expressed the view that OE and NURP are distinct programs and 
should be maintained as separate programs.
    On March 29, 2007, Representative Jim Saxton, for himself and 
Representatives Young of Alaska, McIntyre, Pallone, Farr, Wicker, and 
Abercrombie introduced H.R. 1834, the National Ocean Exploration 
Program Act, which was referred to the Committee on Science and 
Technology, and in addition to the Committees on Natural Resources and 
Armed Services.
    In the 110th Congress, the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment 
met to consider H.R. 1834 on October 10, 2007, with no amendments to 
the bill.
    Mr. McNerney moved that the Subcommittee favorably report the bill, 
H.R. 1834, to the Full Committee on Science and Technology. The motion 
was agreed to by a voice vote.

IV. Summary of Major Provisions

    H.R. 1834 authorizes a National Ocean Exploration Program that 
requires NOAA to appoint an Ocean Exploration Advisory Board and expand 
ocean exploration in an interdisciplinary manner to discover new marine 
substances that potentially have therapeutic benefits; to study unique 
and little known marine ecosystems, organisms and the geology of the 
world's oceans; and to maximize ocean research effectiveness by 
integrating multiple scientific disciplines in the ocean science 
community. The bill also authorizes a National Undersea Research that 
shall be conducted through a national headquarters, a network of 
extramural regional undersea research centers representing all NOAA 
regions, and a national technology institute to increase scientific 
knowledge for informed management, use and preservation of oceanic, 
coastal and Great Lake resources. H.R. 1834 authorizes NOAA, the 
National Science Foundation (NSF), and other federal agencies involved 
in programs under this Act to participate in interagency financing and 
share, transfer, receive, and spend funds appropriated to any federal 
participant in the program, and to convene an ocean exploration and 
undersea research technology and infrastructure task force. H.R. 1834 
is authorized through fiscal year 2017 for both programs.

V. Section-by-Section Analysis of the bill as reported by the 
                    Subcommittee

Title I--National Ocean Exploration Program

Section 101. Short Title

    States that this title may be cited as the ``National Ocean 
Exploration Program Act''.

Section 102. Authorization

    Directs the Secretary of Commerce, through the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), to establish a coordinated national 
ocean exploration program in consultation with the National Science 
Foundation and other appropriate federal agencies.

Section 103. Authorities

    Defines activities of the program to include interdisciplinary 
voyages to explore and survey the marine environment giving priority to 
deep ocean areas and to conduct archaeological and scientific voyages 
of shipwrecks and submerged sites; to enhance the technical capability 
of the U.S. marine science community; and to establish an ocean 
exploration forum to promote communication and information exchange 
between experts and other stakeholders in the ocean science community. 
It also directs the Secretary to develop a merit-based, peer review 
process in consultation with the National Science Foundation for the 
review and approval of proposals for program activities and to accept 
donations of property, data or equipment for use in ocean exploration 
activities.

Section 104. Ocean Exploration Advisory Board

    Directs the NOAA Administrator to appoint an Advisory Board 
composed of relevant experts to advise on priority areas for survey and 
discovery; assist development of a five-year strategic plan; annually 
review the effectiveness of the proposal peer-review process; and 
provide other assistance as requested.
    Exempts the Advisory Board from the Federal Advisory Committee Act 
(FACA), generally, but requires the Board to be appointed and operate 
in a manner consistent with several provisions of FACA.

Section 105. Ocean Exploration Technology and Infrastructure Task Force

    Directs the Administrator of NOAA to convene a task force including 
other federal agencies and experts from non-governmental organizations, 
academia, and industry to develop and implement a strategy to 
facilitate transfer of exploration technology, to improve 
communications infrastructure, to develop an integrated data management 
system, to conduct public outreach activities, and to encourage cost-
sharing partnerships with the program established in Section 102.

Section 106. Application with Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

    States that the provisions of the bill do not supersede or limit 
the authority of the Secretary of the Interior under this Act.

Section 107. Authorization of Appropriations

    Authorizes appropriations of $30.5 million beginning in fiscal year 
2008 increasing each year to $71.9 million in fiscal year 2017.

Title II--Undersea Research Program

Section 201. Short Title

    States that this title may be cited as the ``National Undersea 
Research Program Act of 2007''.

Section 202. Authorization

    Directs the NOAA Administrator to conduct an undersea research 
program and designate a director for the program.

Section 203. Purpose

    States that the purpose of the program is to increase scientific 
knowledge for informed management, use and preservation of oceanic, 
coastal and large lake resources through undersea research, 
exploration, education, and technology development.

Section 204. Program

    Directs the Administrator to conduct the program through a national 
headquarters, a representative network of extramural regional centers 
and a national technology institute. Direction will be provided by the 
program director in coordination with a Council of Center Directors.

Section 205. Regional Centers and Institute

    Defines the content of the programs that are to be conducted 
through the network of extramural regional centers and the technology 
institute as: core research and exploration; advanced undersea 
technology development; development of technologies associated with 
undersea ocean observatories, submersibles, advanced diving equipment, 
etc.; education and outreach; and research and development of natural 
products from ocean and aquatic systems.

Section 206. Competitiveness

    Directs the Administrator to ensure the external projects supported 
by the regional centers will be managed through an open, competitive, 
merit-based process except for a small set-aside for rapid response 
activities.

Section 207. Authorization of Appropriations

    Authorizes appropriations of $17.5 million for fiscal year 2008 
increasing each year to $35.5 million in fiscal year 2017.

Title III--Interagency Financing, Planning and Coordination

Section 301. Interagency Financing

    Allows relevant federal agencies to participate in interagency 
financing and share, transfer, receive and spend appropriated funds to 
carry out the purposes of this legislation.




   XXII. PROCEEDINGS OF THE FULL COMMITTEE MARKUP ON H.R. 1834, THE 
                 NATIONAL OCEAN EXPLORATION PROGRAM ACT

                              ----------                              


                      WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2007

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

    The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:10 a.m., in Room 
2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Bart Gordon 
[Chairman of the Committee] presiding.
    Chairman Gordon. Good morning. The Committee will come to 
order, pursuant to notice. The Committee of Science and 
Technology meets to consider the following measures: H.R. 2406, 
To authorize the National Institute of Standards and Technology 
to Increase its efforts in support of the integration of health 
care information enterprises in the United States; H.R. 3877, 
the Mine Communications Technology Innovation Act; and H.R. 
1834, the National Ocean Exploration Program Act.
    As we start, let me welcome back Mike Quear. Mike is the 
brains and the inspiration for, particularly the health care 
bit of this. As we pointed out the other day, Mr. Hall was very 
complimentary; Mike had a stroke recently, complicated by some 
other matters. He is back, and we are glad you are here, Mike. 
You are very important to the entire Committee.
    We now proceed with the mark up, and I will begin with a 
brief statement. Today the Committee meets to mark up three 
bills dealing with a wide range of issues.
    The first bill we will mark up, H.R. 2406, deals with the 
issue of health care information technology. The broad use of 
IT in the health care sector could have far reaching benefits, 
including saving tens of billions of dollars per year--and that 
is tens of billions of dollars for both the taxpayers as well 
as for patients--improving the quality of medical care, and 
reducing dangerous medical errors.
    But meeting the challenge of developing and maintaining 
such a system is not simple. In order to achieve broad 
implementation, we need widely accepted technical standards 
that will let health care IT systems interoperate while 
protecting patient privacy.
    H.R. 2406 authorizes the National Institute of Standards 
and Technology to increase its efforts to support the 
integration of health care IT in the United States, to develop 
or adapt or adopt existing technical health care IT standards 
for federal agencies, and to create a university grant program 
for multidisciplinary research in health care IT--and I thank 
Mr. Wu for that addition. The bill is based on the 
recommendations of a report by the President's Information 
Technology Advisory Committee in 2004 and a study by the 
National Academies in 2005.
    The next bill we will mark up is H.R. 3877, which addresses 
the issue of underground mine communication technology.
    Tragedies in West Virginia and Utah over the last few years 
have given us a painful illustration for the need for robust 
emergency communications in mines.
    H.R. 3877 authorizes research and standards development 
programs to address the important challenge of communication 
technology for underground mines. The bill authorizes an R&D; 
and standards development program at the National Institute of 
Standards and Technology at NIST to promote development of 
innovative communications and tracking technologies of 
underground mines.
    To be clear, this bill has not, in any way, diminished the 
role of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and 
Health. NIST's efforts to promote improved communications 
technology through R&D; and technical standards only support 
NIOSH's important work. And I want to thank Mr. Matheson for 
bringing this very important and timely issue to us.
    The National Ocean Exploration and National Undersea 
Research Program Act formally authorizes two programs at NOAA 
that have made important contributions to our knowledge of the 
oceans and developed technologies that enable us to explore 
these vast areas of our planet.
    Once again, the Committee has three good bills in front of 
it, which do address three different but critical issues.
    And once again, we are marking up both Republican and 
Democratic bills, because as I have said before, good ideas are 
good ideas, regardless of where they might originate. And I 
urge my colleagues to support each of these good bills.
    I now recognize Mr. Hall to present his opening remarks.
    [The prepared statement of Chairman Gordon follows:]
               Prepared Statement of Chairman Bart Gordon
    Today the Committee meets to mark up three bills dealing with a 
wide range of issues.
    The first bill we will mark up, H.R. 2406, deals with the issue of 
health care information technology. The broad use of IT in the health 
care sector could have far reaching benefits, including saving tens of 
billions of dollars per year, improving the quality of medical care, 
and reducing dangerous medical errors.
    But meeting the challenge of developing and maintaining such a 
system is not simple. In order to achieve broad implementation, we need 
widely accepted technical standards that will let health care IT 
systems interoperate while protecting patient privacy.
    H.R. 2406 authorizes the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology (NIST) to increase its efforts to support the integration of 
health care IT in the United States, to develop or adopt existing 
technical health care IT standards for federal agencies, and to create 
a university grant program for multidisciplinary research in health 
care IT.
    The bill is based on the recommendations of a report by the 
President's Information Technology Advisory Committee (PITAC) in 2004 
and a study by the National Academies in 2005.
    The next bill we will mark up is H.R. 3877, which addresses the 
issue of underground mine communication technology.
    Tragedies in West Virginia and Utah over the last few years have 
given us a painful illustration of the need for robust emergency 
communications in mines.
    H.R. 3877 authorizes research and standards development programs to 
address the important challenge of communications technology for 
underground mines. The bill authorizes an R&D; and standards development 
program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to 
promote development of innovative communications and tracking 
technologies for underground mines.
    To be clear, this bill does not in any way diminish the role of the 
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIST's 
efforts to promote improved communications technology through R&D; and 
technical standards support NIOSH's important work.
    Historically, NIST has worked with industry and federal agencies on 
long-term R&D; projects and development of technical standards, 
including first responder radio communications, and is the best agency 
to bridge the research and technology gap in the field of mine 
communications.
    Finally, we will also consider H.R. 1834, introduced by our 
colleague on the Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Saxton. The National 
Ocean Exploration and National Undersea Research Program Act formally 
authorizes two programs at NOAA that have made important contributions 
to our knowledge of the oceans and developed technologies that enable 
us to explore these vast areas of our planet.
    Once again, the Committee has three good bills in front of it which 
address three different but critical issues.
    And once again, we are marking up both Republican and Democratic 
bills, because as I have said before, good ideas are good ideas 
regardless of where they come from. I urge my colleagues to support 
each of these good bills.

    Mr. Hall. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As you very ably pointed 
out, I am pleased, and our side of the docket is pleased that 
this committee is marking up three good bills today.
    H.R. 2406 will certainly help clarify and codify NIST's 
role in the integration of health information technology. NIST 
has played a very important role in health information 
technology through their work with the Department of Health and 
Human Services, and this legislation helps them to continue 
that vital role as we develop interoperability standards.
    H.R. 3877 offers another opportunity to clarify NIST's role 
in the important area of mine communication technology. As the 
tragedy in Utah unfortunately illustrated, we have a lot of 
work to do to improve communications between surface personnel 
and underground miners so as to advance miner health and 
safety.
    And finally, H.R. 1834 authorizes two programs that are 
already in existence at NOAA, the Ocean Exploration Program and 
the National Undersea Research Program. These are two excellent 
initiatives, and it is time that we codify their goals and 
objections into law.
    I would like to thank you and your staff for working with 
us to improve these bills and craft good policy.
    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. I am pleased that this committee is 
marking up three good bills today. H.R. 2406 will help clarify and 
codify NIST's role in the integration of health information technology. 
NIST has played an important role in health information technology 
through their work with the department of health and human services, 
and this legislation helps them continue that vital role as we develop 
inter-operability standards.
    H.R. 3877 offers another opportunity to clarify NIST's role in the 
important area of mine communications technology. As the tragedy in 
Utah unfortunately illustrated, we have a lot of work to do to improve 
communications between surface personnel and underground miners so as 
to advance miner health and safety.
    Finally, H.R. 1834 authorizes two programs that are already in 
existence at NOAA, the Ocean Exploration Program and the National 
Undersea Research Program. These are two excellent initiatives, and it 
is time that we codify their goals and objectives into law.
    I would like to thank you and your staff for working with us to 
improve these bills and craft good policy.
    I yield back the balance of my time.

    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Hall.
    Without objection, Members may place statements in the 
records at any point.
    Chairman Gordon. The last bill we will consider is H.R. 
1834, introduced by our colleague on the Natural Resources 
Committee, Mr. Saxton. I yield myself five minutes to describe 
the bill.
    The National Ocean Exploration and National Undersea 
Research Program Act formally authorizes two programs at NOAA, 
an undersea research program and an ocean exploration program.
    The ocean and coastal areas of our nation support 
significant economic activity, including recreation, fisheries, 
and mineral and energy production. Representative Saxton's 
legislation formalizes NOAA's role as our nation's lead agency 
in the ocean exploration and science and ensures they will 
coordinate their efforts with those--with the National Science 
Foundation and other federal agencies with a role in ocean 
science and exploration.
    The staff of the Committee has worked with Mr. Saxton to 
make improvements to the legislation that will be adopted 
through a manager's amendment. We will continue to work with 
our colleagues on the Natural Resources Committee to bring this 
bill to the Floor in the near future.
    I recognize Mr. Hall to present any remarks.
    Mr. Hall. I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    H.R. 1834, the National Ocean Exploration and Undersea 
Research Program Act, as you pointed out, authorizes two 
programs that are already in existence at the National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. These programs are the 
Ocean Exploration Program and the National Undersea Research 
Program.
    The Ocean Exploration Program was created to coordinate a 
systemic and strategic effort to search and investigate the 
deepest reaches of our planet's oceans for the purposes of 
discovery. H.R. 1834 is the framework to allow for better 
coordination between NOAA and NSF.
    As a federal agency responsible for managing living marine 
and coastal resources, NOAA requires a presence beneath the sea 
and under the Great Lakes and to better understand the systems 
under its management. The National Undersea Research Program 
provides NOAA with the really unique ability to access the 
undersea environment, either directly, with submersibles and 
technical diving, or virtually, using robots and seafloor 
observations.
    The manager's amendment that Mr. Lampson will be offering 
to this bill is a product of good-faith cooperation and 
negotiation between the Majority and the Minority, and this 
amendment led greater transparency in the funding process by 
requiring NOAA to conduct an open and competitive process in 
the selection of projects that are to receive funding, and it 
further directs NOAA to engage in collaborative efforts with 
other federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and the 
academic community, for greater transfer of research technology 
and technical expertise. These actions ensure better 
coordination of research objectives to avoid duplication and 
the wasting of resources.
    So I would like to thank Representative Saxton of New 
Jersey for bringing this important bill to our attention and 
for all of his hard work in moving it forward, and I urge all 
of my colleagues to support the manager's amendment to H.R. 
1834 and report the bill favorably out of Committee, and I 
yield back my time.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Hall follows:]
           Prepared Statement of Representative Ralph M. Hall
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. H.R. 1834, the National Ocean Exploration 
and Undersea Research Program Act, authorizes two programs that are 
already in existence at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, or NOAA. These programs are the Ocean Exploration 
Program and the National Undersea Research Program.
    The Ocean Exploration Program 1was created to coordinate a 
systematic and strategic effort to search and investigate the deepest 
reaches of our planet's oceans for the purposes of discovery. H.R. 1834 
is a framework to allow for better coordination between NOAA and NSF.
    As the federal agency responsible for managing living marine and 
coastal resources, NOAA requires a presence beneath the sea and Great 
Lakes to better understand the systems under its management. The 
National Undersea Research Program (NURP) provides NOAA with the unique 
ability to access the undersea environment either directly, with 
submersibles and technical diving, or virtually, using robots and 
seafloor observatories.
    The manager's amendment that Mr. Lampson will be offering to this 
bill is the product of good-faith cooperation and negotiation between 
the Majority and the Minority. The amendment will add greater 
transparency in the funding process by requiring NOAA to conduct an 
open and competitive process in the selection of projects that are to 
receive funding. It further directs NOAA to engage in collaborative 
efforts with other federal agencies, non-governmental organizations and 
the academic community for greater transfer of research technology and 
technical expertise. These actions ensure better coordination of 
research objectives to avoid duplication and the wasting of resources.
    I would like to thank Representative Saxton of New Jersey for 
bringing this important bill to our attention and for all his hard work 
in moving it forward. I urge all my colleagues to support the manager's 
amendment to H.R. 1834 and to report the bill favorably out of 
Committee.
    I yield back the balance of my time.

    Chairman Gordon. Does anyone else wish to be recognized?
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Mr. Chairman?
    Chairman Gordon. Mr. Rohrabacher is recognized.
    Mr. Rohrabacher. Can you hear me there? Thank you.
    First of all, I am supportive of the bill, but I would like 
to note for the record, as we discuss this, that the actual 
involvement of these organizations in coastal waters is just as 
important, I would say, as deep-sea exploration, and deep-sea 
exploration is an important function because it is a long-term 
goal for humanity, let us say, because we--there are so many 
resources and so much can be done in the deep sea that we are 
unaware of right now of what the potential is. And this bill, I 
think, is designed to discover that potential.
    But at the same time, cooperation with NOAA and others, for 
example NASA, has resulted in our ability to track pollution 
sources along the coast, and those are the type of things that 
we should also promote and applaud as well. So cooperation 
among the agencies, which the bill exemplifies, is certainly 
something that we should support, but we should also make sure 
that NASA is included in that cooperation, and I just thought I 
would mention that.
    Thank you very much.
    Chairman Gordon. I concur with the coastal Representative 
from California, Mr. Rohrabacher.
    Does anyone else wish to be recognized?
    Then I ask unanimous consent that the bill is considered as 
read and open to amendment at any point and that the Members 
proceed with the amendments in order of the roster. Without 
objection, so ordered.
    The first amendment on the roster is the manager's 
amendment, offered by the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Lampson.
    Mr. Lampson. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
    Chairman Gordon. Are you ready to report the amendment?
    Mr. Lampson. I am ready to. I have an amendment at the 
desk.
    Chairman Gordon. All right. The Clerk will report the 
amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 1834, offered by Mr. Lampson 
of Texas.
    Chairman Gordon. I ask unanimous consent to dispense the 
reading. Without objection, so ordered.
    I recognize Mr. Lampson for five minutes to explain his 
amendment.
    Mr. Lampson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    The manager's amendment makes a series of changes 
throughout the bill to clarify intent, assign clear duties and 
responsibilities to NOAA for the Ocean Exploration and Undersea 
Research Programs, and to ensure funds awarded to non-federal 
organizations are made through competitive, merit-based 
procedures.
    The amendment changes Section 102 of the bill to assign all 
responsibility for direction of the Ocean Exploration and 
Undersea Research Programs to the Administrator of NOAA and 
clarifies that NOAA programs are to be coordinated with other 
federal programs conducting ocean and undersea research and 
exploration.
    Section 103 of the bill is amended to direct the 
Administrator of NOAA to implement a competitive process for 
approving proposals submitted to the program and to permit the 
Administrator to accept donations of property, data, and 
equipment that appropriately further the purpose of the 
programs.
    And Section 104 is amended to specify that the advisory 
board created to provide outside advice and expertise to the 
program will be convened, selected, and operated in accordance 
with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, except that the board 
will not expire as required by Section 14 of FACA.
    Section 105 of the bill is moved to Title III and changed 
to clarify that the task force will address issues related to 
both the ocean exploration and the undersea research programs.
    Sections 202 and 203 are amended to direct NOAA to carry 
out a program of undersea research exploration, education, and 
technology development in cooperation with universities, marine 
science, and education organizations, and the private sector.
    The amendment adds a requirement in Section 204 to make the 
direction of the undersea research program determined by the 
program director in coordination with the undersea research 
center directors publicly available within three years of the 
date of enactment.
    The amendment clarifies that ten percent of the program 
funds will be retained by the NOAA Undersea Research Program 
Office for use by the director for administration of the 
program and to fund priority projects that are not being funded 
through the regional centers. The awards made through the 
regional centers will be made through a competitive merit-
review process.
    The amendment also requires NOAA to recompute the awards to 
the centers within five years of enactment and on a five-year 
cycle thereafter.
    And finally, the amendment eliminates the authorizations in 
both Titles I and III for fiscal year 2015, fiscal year 2016, 
and fiscal year 2017, to reduce the total authorization period 
from 10 years to seven years. This lowers the overall 
authorization level of the bill by $297 million.
    The amendment is a product of a cooperative effort between 
the Committee staff and Mr. Saxton's staff. The amendment 
improves the bill and ensures NOAA will conduct a world-class 
program of ocean exploration and undersea research through a 
production collaboration with other federal agencies, the 
academic community, and the private sector.
    I urge my colleagues to support this amendment, and I yield 
back.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Lampson follows:]
           Prepared Statement of Representative Nick Lampson
    Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
    I have an amendment at the desk.
    The manager's amendment makes a series of changes throughout the 
bill to clarify intent, assign clear duties and responsibilities to 
NOAA for the ocean exploration and undersea research programs, and to 
ensure funds awarded to non-federal organizations are made through 
competitive, merit-based procedures.
    The amendment changes Sec. 102 of the bill to assign all 
responsibility for direction of the ocean exploration and undersea 
research programs to the Administrator of NOAA and clarifies that 
NOAA's programs are to be coordinated with other federal programs 
conducting ocean and undersea research and exploration.
    Sec. 103 of the bill is amended to direct the Administrator of NOAA 
to implement a competitive process for approving proposals submitted to 
the program and to permit the Administrator to accept donations of 
property, data, and equipment if it furthers the purpose of the 
programs.
    Sec. 104 is amended to specify that the Advisory Board created to 
provide outside advice and expertise to the program will be convened, 
selected, and operated in accordance with the Federal Advisory 
Committee Act except that the Board will not expire as required by 
Section 14 of FACA.
    Sec. 105 of the bill is moved to Title III and changed to clarify 
that the task force will address issues related to both the ocean 
exploration and the undersea research programs.
    Sections 202 and 203 are amended to direct NOAA to carry out a 
program of undersea research, exploration, education and technology 
development in cooperation with universities, marine science and 
education organizations, and the private sector.
    The amendment adds a requirement in Sec. 204 to make the undersea 
research program direction determined by the program director in 
coordination with the undersea research center directors publicly 
available within three years of the date of enactment.
    The amendment clarifies that ten percent of the program funds will 
be retained by the NOAA undersea research program office for use by the 
director for administration of the program and to fund priority 
projects that are not being funded through the regional centers. The 
awards made through the regional centers will be made through a 
competitive, merit reviewed process. The amendment also requires NOAA 
to re-compete the awards to the centers within five years of enactment 
and on a five-year cycle thereafter.
    Finally, the amendment eliminates the authorizations in both Titles 
I and II for fiscal years 2015, 2016, and 2017 to reduce the total 
authorization period from ten years to seven years. This lowers the 
overall authorization level of the bill by $297 million.
    The amendment is the product a cooperative effort between the 
Committee staff and Mr. Saxton's staff. The amendment improves the bill 
and ensures NOAA will conduct a world-class program of ocean 
exploration and undersea research through a productive collaboration 
with other federal agencies, the academic community, and the private 
sector. I urge my colleagues to support the amendment.

    Chairman Gordon. Thank you, Mr. Lampson.
    Is there further discussion on the amendment? If no, the 
vote occurs on the amendment. All in favor, say aye; those 
opposed no. The ayes have it. The amendment is agreed to.
    Are there other amendments? If no, the vote is on the bill 
H.R. 1834, as amended. All those in favor, say aye; those 
opposed, 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. 1834, as amended, to the House with the 
recommendation that the bill, as amended, do pass. Furthermore, 
I move that the staff be instructed to prepare the legislative 
report and 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, and the bill is 
favorably reported.
    Without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid upon 
the desk. Members will have two subsequent calendar days in 
which to submit supplement Minority or additional views on the 
measure, ending Monday, October the 29th 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. 1834, the National Ocean Exploration 
Program Act, as amended. Without objection, so ordered.
    Let me say to the Members, this appears to be our last 
markup of this year. I thank you for your attendance. I think 
this is probably a record year, and we want to do more than 
just have numbers. We want to have good content, too, and this 
is 30-something bills, all of which have been bipartisan. All 
but one had been unanimous. I thank you for your cooperation, 
and let us continue next year in the same way.
    This concludes this markup----
    Mr. Lampson. Mr. Chairman, just may I before you end, just 
commend you for the leadership that you have provided to this 
committee. It has been excellent. It is great to work with you, 
and I think this is a wonderful committee to be a part of. 
Thank you so much.
    Chairman Gordon. Thank you.
    Mr. Lampson. And the staff.
    Chairman Gordon. I was going to say, it helps to have 
excellent staff. And we do. Thank you very much.
    [Whereupon, at 11:18 a.m., the Committee was adjourned.]