(PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.)
Calendar No. 374
110th Congress Report
1st Session 110-176
UNITED STATES-ISRAEL ENERGY COOPERATION ACT OF 2007
September 17, 2007.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Bingaman, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 838]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (S. 838) to authorize funding for eligible
joint ventures between United States and Israeli businesses and
academic persons, to establish the International Energy
Advisory Board, and for other purposes, having considered the
same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and an
amendment to the title and recommends that the bill, as
amended, do pass.
The amendments are as follows:
1. Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in
lieu thereof the following:
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``United States-Israel Energy
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds that--
(1) it is in the highest national security interests of the
United States to develop renewable energy sources;
(2) the State of Israel is a steadfast ally of the United
(3) the special relationship between the United States and
Israel is manifested in a variety of cooperative scientific
research and development programs, such as--
(A) the United States-Israel Binational Science
(B) the United States-Israel Binational Industrial
Research and Development Foundation;
(4) those programs have made possible many scientific,
technological, and commercial breakthroughs in the fields of
life sciences, medicine, bioengineering, agriculture,
biotechnology, communications, and others;
(5) on February 1, 1996, the Secretary of Energy and the
Israeli Minister of Energy and Infrastructure signed an
agreement to establish a framework for collaboration between
the United States and Israel in energy research and development
(6) Israeli scientists and engineers are at the forefront of
research and development in the field of renewable energy
(7) enhanced cooperation between the United States and Israel
for the purpose of research and development of renewable energy
sources would be in the national interests of both countries.
SEC. 3. GRANT PROGRAM.
(a) Establishment.--In implementing the agreement entitled the
``Agreement between the Department of Energy of the United States of
America and the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure of Israel
Concerning Energy Cooperation'', dated February 1, 1996, the Secretary
of Energy (referred to in this Act as the ``Secretary'') shall
establish a grant program in accordance with the requirements of
sections 988 and 989 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16352,
16353) to support research, development, and commercialization of
renewable energy or energy efficiency.
(b) Types of Energy.--In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary
may make grants to promote--
(1) solar energy;
(2) biomass energy;
(3) energy efficiency;
(4) wind energy;
(5) geothermal energy;
(6) wave and tidal energy; and
(7) advanced battery technology.
(c) Eligible Applicants.--An applicant shall be eligible to receive a
grant under this section if the project of the applicant--
(1) addresses a requirement in the area of improved energy
efficiency or renewable energy sources, as determined by the
(2) is a joint venture between--
(A)(i) a for-profit business entity, academic
institution, National Laboratory (as defined in section
2 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15801)),
or nonprofit entity in the United States; and
(ii) a for-profit business entity, academic
institution, or nonprofit entity in Israel; or
(B)(i) the Federal Government; and
(ii) the Government of Israel.
(d) Applications.--To be eligible to receive a grant under this
section, an applicant shall submit to the Secretary an application for
the grant in accordance with procedures established by the Secretary,
in consultation with the advisory board established under subsection
(e) Advisory Board.--
(1) Establishment.--The Secretary shall establish an advisory
(A) to monitor the method by which grants are awarded
under this section; and
(B) to provide to the Secretary periodic performance
reviews of actions taken to carry out this section.
(2) Composition.--The advisory board established under
paragraph (1) shall be composed of 3 members, to be appointed
by the Secretary, of whom--
(A) 1 shall be a representative of the Federal
(B) 1 shall be selected from a list of nominees
provided by the United States-Israel Binational Science
(C) 1 shall be selected from a list of nominees
provided by the United States-Israel Binational
Industrial Research and Development Foundation.
(f) Contributed Funds.--Notwithstanding section 3302 of title 31,
United States Code, the Secretary may accept, retain, and use funds
contributed by any person, government entity, or organization for
purposes of carrying out this section--
(1) without further appropriation; and
(2) without fiscal year limitation.
(g) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of completion of
a project for which a grant is provided under this section, the grant
recipient shall submit to the Secretary a report that contains--
(1) a description of the method by which the recipient used
the grant funds; and
(2) an evaluation of the level of success of each project
funded by the grant.
(h) Classification.--Grants shall be awarded under this section only
for projects that are considered to be unclassified by both the United
States and Israel.
SEC. 4. TERMINATION.
The grant program and the advisory committee established under this
Act terminate on the date that is 7 years after the date of enactment
of this Act.
SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
The Secretary shall use amounts authorized to be appropriated under
section 931 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16231) to carry
out this Act.
2. Amend the title so as to read: ``To authorize funding
for eligible joint ventures between United States and Israeli
businesses and academic persons.''.
PURPOSE OF THE MEASURE
The purpose of the measure is to promote joint ventures
between United States and Israeli business and academic persons
in research, development, demonstration and commercialization
in the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
BACKGROUND AND NEED
The United States and Israel have a long-standing
relationship in joint energy research and development. The two
countries entered into an Energy Research and Development
Agreement in 1984, which expired in 1991, and into a subsequent
Energy Cooperation Agreement in 1996. The later agreement
establishes cooperation and exchange of scientific and
technical information in a wide range of areas including
renewable energy, fossil energy, and electric transmission. In
addition, research cooperation entities exist covering a wide
array of topics, notably through the United States-Israel
Binational Science Foundation and the United States-Israel
Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation. S.
838 furthers the cooperation of the two countries by focusing
specific grant programs for joint ventures between United
States and Israeli business and academic persons in the areas
of research, development, demonstration, and commercialization
of renewable energy and energy efficiency, both of which are
important to the two countries.
S. 838 was introduced by Senator Smith for himself and
Senators Bingaman and Landrieu on March 12, 2007 and referred
to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Senators
Cantwell, Casey, Conrad, Menendez, and Spector were later added
as cosponsors. The Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing on S.
838 on May 22, 2007. At a business meeting on July 25, 2007,
the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 838
favorably reported with an amendment in the nature of a
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open
business session on July 25, 2007, by a unanimous voice vote of
a quorum present, recommended that the Senate pass S. 838, if
amended as described herein.
During consideration of S. 838, the Committee adopted an
amendment in the nature of a substitute. The amendment
simplifies the nature of the grant program by requiring the
Secretary to fund grants in consultation with the Advisory
Board without specifying the office responsible within the
Department; simplifies the nature of the advisory board; and
eliminates a position nominated by the Israeli government,
since this program is principally conducted through the United
States funding. The amendment further eliminates a repayment
requirement for grant recipients whose research results in
commercial profits; makes technical corrections to the
acceptance and use by the Secretary of non-federal funds as
part of the grant program; and requires that projects carried
out under the program are considered unclassified by both
countries to promote the widest possible utility. A technical
correction was made to the title of S. 838 to better reflect
the nature of the substitute amendment.
Section 1 provides for a short title of the Act.
Section 2 contains findings.
Section 3 directs the Secretary of Energy to establish a
grant program to support joint ventures between the United
States and Israeli business and academic persons to support
research, development, and commercialization of renewable
energy or energy efficiency.
Subsection (a) directs the Secretary to establish the grant
program in implementing the agreement between the Department of
Energy of the United States of America and the Ministry of
Energy and Infrastructure of Israel concerning Energy
Cooperation dated February 1, 1996. The subsection specifies
that research supported under this program shall meet the cost-
sharing and merit-based requirements of sections 988 and 989 of
the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16352 and 42 U.S.C.
Subsection (b) specifies that grants under this program
shall be made to promote solar energy, biomass energy, energy
efficiency, wind energy, geothermal energy, wave and tidal
energy, and advanced battery technology.
Subsection (c) further limits eligibility for grants under
this program to joint ventures between for-profit business
entities, academic institutions, or National Laboratories (as
defined in section 2 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42
U.S.C. 15801)) in the United States, and for-profit business
entities, academic institutions, or nonprofit entities in
Israel; or to joint ventures between the United States
Government and the Government of Israel.
Subsection (d) specifies that the grant applicants shall
submit applications to the Secretary in consultation with the
Subsection (e) establishes the Advisory Board, which shall
monitor the process by which grants are awarded and provide
periodic performance reviews to the Secretary of the program as
a whole. The Advisory Board shall be composed of three members,
one from the Federal Government, one from a list of nominees
provided from the United States-Israel Binational Foundation
and one from a list of nominees provided by the United States-
Israel Binational Industrial Research and Development
Subsection (f) provides that the Secretary may accept non-
federal funds for the purposes of carrying out the program
without fiscal year limitation and further appropriation.
Subsection (g) requires that grantees submit a report to
the Secretary within 180 days after project completion
describing how the grant funds were used and the level of
success of the projects funded under the grant.
Subsection (h) requires that projects shall be considered
unclassified by both the United States and Israel to be
eligible for funding under this program.
Section 4 terminates the program 7 years after the date of
Section 5 authorizes appropriations under existing funds
authorized under section 931 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005
(42 U.S.C. 16231).
COST AND BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS
The following estimate of costs of this measure has been
provided by the Congressional Budget Office.
September 11, 2007.
Hon. Jeff Bingaman,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 838, the United
States-Israel Energy Cooperation Act.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan
Peter R. Orszag.
S. 838--United States-Israel Energy Cooperation Act
Summary: S. 838 would direct the Secretary of Energy to
establish a grant program to support joint ventures between
U.S. and Israeli entities to promote certain energy-related
technologies. CBO estimates that implementing the bill would
cost $4 million in 2008 and $35 million over the 2008-2012
period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. CBO
estimates that enacting S. 838 would increase both direct
spending and revenues by less than $500,000 annually.
S. 838 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
Estimated cost to the federal government: The estimated
budgetary impact of S. 838 is shown in the following table. The
costs of this legislation fall within budget function 270
By fiscal year, in millions of
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
Estimated Authorization Level... 8 8 8 8 9
Estimated Outlays............... 4 7 8 8 8
Basis of estimate: CBO estimates that implementing S. 838
would cost $4 million in 2008 and $35 million over the 2008-
2012 period. We also estimate that enacting the bill would
increase both direct spending and revenues, but by less than
$500,000 a year. For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 838
will be enacted near the start of fiscal year 2008.
Spending subject to appropriation
S. 838 would direct the Secretary of Energy to establish a
grant program to provide financial assistance for joint
ventures between U.S. and Israeli government units, businesses,
academic institutions, or nonprofit entities to promote
technologies related to energy efficiency or renewable energy.
The bill would require the Secretary to establish an advisory
board to monitor the process for awarding those grants.
Based on information provided by the Department of Energy
(DOE) about funding levels for similar international programs,
CBO estimates that fully funding S. 838 would require
appropriations totaling $8 million in 2008 and $36 million over
the 2008-2012 period. Assuming appropriation of the necessary
amounts, we estimate that spending would total $4 million in
2008 and $35 million over the 2008-2012 period. That estimate
assumes that DOE would spend $30 million over the next five
years for grants and about $1 million annually for the proposed
Direct spending and revenues
S. 838 would authorize the Secretary of Energy to accept
donations and spend those amounts, without further
appropriation, for activities authorized by the bill. Any
amounts received would be classified as governmental receipts
(revenues), and subsequent outlays would be recorded as direct
spending. Based on information provided by DOE, CBO estimates
that any increases in revenues and direct spending under S. 838
would not exceed $500,000 in any year.
Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 838
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as
defined in UMRA. The bill would authorize grants for joint
ventures with Israel to support energy efficiency. This program
would benefit participating public institutions of higher
education. Any costs they might incur, including matching
funds, would be incurred voluntarily.
Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Megan Carroll; Impact
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Neil Hood; Impact on
the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant Director
for Budget Analysis.
In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in
carrying out S. 838. The bill is not a regulatory measure in
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals
The Secretary may need to collect some personal information
from grant applicants. The Committee expects the Secretary to
limit the collection of personal information to the minimum
amount needed to adequately administer the programs, and
therefore anticipates little impact on personal privacy.
Enactment of S. 838 will result in the production of
various applications, reports, and performance assessments
necessary to the administration of the various programs
authorized by the bill. Again, the Committee expects the
Secretary to limit paperwork requirements to the minimum amount
needed to adequately administer the program.
At a legislative hearing before the Committee on Energy and
Natural Resources on May 22, 2007, the Department of Energy
Provided the following testimony with respect to S. 838.
Statement of David R. Hill, General Counsel, Department of Energy
Chairman Dorgan, Senator Murkowski, and members of the
Committee, my name is David Hill and I am the General Counsel
of the U.S. Department of Energy. I want to thank-you for the
opportunity to appear today and offer preliminary comments on
five energy-related bills that the Congress is considering. The
bills before the Committee today make each valuable
contributions to our national discussion on energy security,
but in some cases could benefit from further review, discussion
and modification. The Department looks forward to working with
the Committee to resolve these issues. I would like to discuss
the elements of each bill, as well as present some of the DOE
activities that are already underway in areas addressed by the
S. 838 addresses U.S.-Israeli cooperation on research,
development, and commercialization of alternate energy,
improved energy efficiency and renewable sources. The
Department has serious concerns with this legislation as
drafted. While cooperation with Israel to encourage cooperation
on alternative and renewable energy sources could be
beneficial, we believe that the bill should stress the need for
true bilateral cooperation and interactive research, rather
than research funded solely by the U.S. Government. In that
regard, the Department already collaborates on a number of
issues, and DOE has an umbrella agreement with the Israeli
Ministry of National Infrastructures. We believe that existing
bilateral arrangements serve both countries well, and we oppose
the creation of additional burdensome organization
requirements, such as S. 838 section 4 International Advisory
An Israeli initiative centered on energy security,
environmental stewardship, and global climate change, similar
to the President Advanced Energy Initiative, would benefit
Israel by helping ensure adequate and reliable supplies of
energy for that country. The Department could assist Israel in
developing that plan and in fact, DOE Office of Energy
Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) already has engaged in
initial discussions with our Israel counterparts on the issue.
Finally, S. 838 could have a significant financial impact
on EERE budget. This bill would authorize $20 million annually
for seven years for the projects authorized by this bill. We do
not support taking this amount of funding from other important
EERE programs. In comparison, EERE budget for the Asia Pacific
Partnership, which encompasses six countries, including India
and China, the two fastest growing economies and largest
emitters of carbon, has a total budget of $7.5 million.
Allocating $20 million out of currently authorized funding for
a single country would shift scarce resources away from the
Department efforts to develop and commercialize advanced
technologies that lesson our dependence on oil and provide for
energy security. The goals of S. 838, as well as the efforts to
assist Israel in developing its own national energy action
plan, can be achieved with substantially less funding.
I do note that the bill authorizes the DOE to accept
contributions from private sources to carry out this Act. This
could mitigate the need for appropriations to carry out this
Act although some modifications would be necessary to make the
Again, I stress the Department values its current
collaboration with Israel, and seeks to build upon this already
productive relationship. We believe, however, that the time for
action is now, for both the United States and Israel. Putting
action plans into place that are focused on alternative sources
of energy is a goal that our nations can and must share, and we
would urge the Congress to adopt legislation that supports that
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, there are no changes in existing
law made by the bill S. 838, as ordered reported.