S. Rept. 112-54 - 112th Congress (2011-2012)

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Senate Report 112-54 - AMERICAN FALLS RESERVOIR

[Senate Report 112-54]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


                                                       Calendar No. 134
112th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                     112-54

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



 
                        AMERICAN FALLS RESERVOIR

                                _______
                                

  August 30 (legislative day, August 2), 2011.--Ordered to be printed

   Filed under authority of the order of the Senate of August 2, 2011

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Bingaman, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 334]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 334) to reinstate and extend the deadline 
for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric project 
involving the American Falls Reservoir, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 334 is to reinstate and extend the 
deadline for commencement of construction of a hydroelectric 
project at the American Falls Reservoir in Idaho.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    The Lateral 993 Project was licensed to the American Falls 
Reservoir District No. 2/Big Wood Canal Company in Idaho as 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Project No. 12423 
in 2003, and subsequently received the maximum, two-year 
extension in 2005. After project construction did not commence 
by the extended deadline (September 26, 2007), the license was 
terminated by FERC order in 2009. Legislation is required to 
reinstate the terminated license and extend the construction 
commencement deadline.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Senator Risch introduced S. 334 on February 14, 2011. The 
bill is co-sponsored by Senator Crapo. The Subcommittee on 
Water and Power of the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources held a hearing on S. 334 on May 19, 2011, and 
considered the bill at its business meeting on July 14, 2011. 
The Committee ordered S. 334 favorably reported without 
amendment at its business meeting on July 14, 2011.
    During the 111th Congress, the Committee considered similar 
legislation, S. 3099, sponsored by Senator Risch. The 
Subcommittee on Water and Power held a hearing on S. 3099 on 
April 27, 2010 (S. Hrg. 111-619) and the Committee ordered S. 
3099 favorably reported without amendment on May 6, 2010 (S. 
Rpt. 111-195).

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on July 14, 2011, by voice vote of a 
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 334.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1 requires FERC, at the request of the licensee for 
the project and after reasonable notice and in accordance with 
FERC procedures, to reinstate the license issued for FERC 
project number 12423 and to extend the time period during which 
the licensee is required to commence the construction of 
project works to September 25, 2013.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of costs of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:

S. 334--A bill to reinstate and extend the deadline for commencement of 
        construction of a hydroelectric project involving the American 
        Falls Reservoir

    CBO estimates that implementing S. 334 would have no net 
effect on the federal budget. The bill would authorize the 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to extend the 
deadline for beginning construction of a hydroelectric project 
(number 12423) at the American Falls Reservoir in Idaho. The 
proposed extension could have a minor impact on FERC's 
workload. Because FERC recovers 100 percent of its costs 
through user fees, any change in its administrative costs would 
be offset by an equal change in fees that the commission 
charges. Therefore, the legislation's provisions would have no 
net budgetary impact.
    Because FERC's administrative costs are controlled through 
annual appropriation acts, enacting S. 334 would not affect 
direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    S. 334 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION

    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. 334.
    The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of 
imposing Government-established standards or significant 
economic responsibilities on private individuals and 
businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 334, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    S. 334, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The testimony provided by the Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission at the May 19, 2011, Subcommittee hearing on S. 334 
follows:
                      Federal Energy Regulatory Commission,
                                      Washington, DC, May 18, 2011.
Re S. 334

Hon. Jeff Bingaman,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
304 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC.
    Dear Chairman Bingaman: This letter is in response to your 
request for my views on S. 344. That bill would require the 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reinstate the license 
for the proposed 1.5-megawatt Lateral 993 Hydroelectric Project 
No. 12423, to be located at the juncture of the 993 Lateral 
Canal and the North Gooding Main Canal, northwest of the town 
of Shoshone, in Lincoln County, Idaho. The bill also would 
require the Commission to extend the commencement of 
construction deadline for the project to September 25, 2013.
    The Commission issued an original license for this project, 
to American Falls Reservoir District No. 2 and Big Wood Canal, 
on September 26, 2003. The license provided that the company 
was required to commence project construction within two years 
of the date of the license, the maximum period permitted by 
section 13 of the Federal Power Act. The Commission 
subsequently granted a two-year extension of the commencement 
of construction deadline, again the maximum authorized by 
section 13. Construction had not commenced when that deadline 
expired, on September 26, 2007. Section 13 provides that, when 
construction has not timely commenced, the Commission must 
terminate the license. The Commission terminated the license by 
order dated August 3, 2009.
    I and the last several Commission Chairmen have taken the 
position of not opposing legislation that would extend the 
commencement of construction deadline no further than 10 years 
from the date that the license in question was issued. Where 
proposed extensions would run beyond that time, there has been 
a sense that the public interest is better served by releasing 
the site for other public uses. Because S. 334 requires the 
Commission to an extension to September 25, 2013, thus 
extending the commencement of construction deadline to 10 years 
from when the license was issued, I do not oppose the bill.
    If I can be of further assistance to you on this or any 
other Commission matter, please let me know.
            Sincerely,
                                           Jon Wellinghoff,
                                                          Chairman.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of Rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by S. 334, as ordered 
reported.