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113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     113-162
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

                                     

                                                       Calendar No. 379


 
                       RELIABLE HOME HEATING ACT

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 2086




                  May 20, 2014.--Ordered to be printed
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                    one hundred thirteenth congress
                             second session

             JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Virginia, Chairman
BARBARA BOXER, California            JOHN THUNE, South Dakota
BILL NELSON, Florida                 ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi
MARIA CANTWELL, Washington           ROY BLUNT, Missouri
MARK PRYOR, Arkansas                 MARCO RUBIO, Florida
CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire
AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota             DEAN HELLER, Nevada
MARK BEGICH, Alaska                  DAN COATS, Indiana
RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut      TIM SCOTT, South Carolina
BRIAN SCHATZ, Hawaii                 TED CRUZ, Texas
ED MARKEY, Massachusetts             DEB FISCHER, Nebraska
CORY BOOKER, New Jersey              RON JOHNSON, Wisconsin
JOHN WALSH, Montana
                     Ellen Doneski, Staff Director
                     John Williams, General Counsel
              David Schwietert, Republican Staff Director
              Nick Rossi, Republican Deputy Staff Director
               Rebecca Seidel, Republican General Counsel
                                                       Calendar No. 379


113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     113-162

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




                     RELIABLE HOME HEATING ACT

                                _______
                                

                  May 20, 2014.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

     Mr. Rockefeller, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2086]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 2086) to address current 
emergency shortages of propane and other home heating fuels and 
to provide greater flexibility and information for Governors to 
address such emergencies in the future, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment (in the 
nature of a substitute) and recommends that the bill (as 
amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    S. 2086 would provide States greater flexibility to extend 
certain Federal exemptions for commercial motor vehicles 
transporting home heating fuels.

                          Background and Needs

    Under current Federal law, the Governor of a State can 
declare a state of emergency due to shortages of home heating 
fuels, such as propane and heating oil. Such a declaration 
would provide a 30-day exemption from several Federal motor 
carrier regulations, including hours-of-service requirements, 
for commercial vehicles transporting home heating fuels. At the 
conclusion of the 30-day exemption period, the emergency order 
expires unless extended by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Administration (FMCSA) or otherwise addressed by a Presidential 
disaster declaration.
    Due to extremely cold temperatures, record setting home 
heating fuel prices, and regional supply disruptions in the 
winter of 2013-14, FMCSA extended State emergency orders to 36 
States. The Reliable Home Heating Act is intended to provide 
more certainty for States to ensure that individuals would 
receive the heating fuel they need for their homes, farms, and 
businesses.

                         Summary of Provisions

    S. 2086 would give the Governor of a State the authority to 
extend a state of emergency order for two additional 30-day 
periods, for a total of 90 days, without the need for a Federal 
disaster declaration or FMCSA action. Additionally, the 
legislation would require the Energy Information Administration 
to provide status reports to Governors should the inventory of 
residential heating fuel in a given district fall below the 
five-year average for more than three consecutive weeks. 
Effectively, this early warning indicator would better assist 
States so they are able to declare a state of emergency before 
a larger supply disruption occurs. Finally, the legislation 
would require the Department of Transportation to complete a 
report on the safety impacts of the extensions issued by 
Governors.

                          Legislative History

    Senator Thune, along with Senator Klobuchar, introduced S. 
2086 on March 6, 2014. This legislation is cosponsored by eight 
Senators: Ayotte, Blunt, Chambliss, Coats, Fischer, Hoeven, 
Johnson (D-SD), and McCaskill. On April 9, 2014, the Committee 
met in Executive Session during which S. 2086 was considered. 
One amendment, in the nature of a substitute, was offered by 
Senator Thune that added the safety impact report. The bill, as 
amended, was reported favorably by voice vote.
    Similar legislation, the Home Heating Emergency Assistance 
Through Transportation Act of 2014, H.R. 4076, was introduced 
by Representative Bill Shuster and thirty-six cosponsors in the 
House on February 25, 2014. That legislation extended the 
emergency orders for 36 States through May 31, 2014. H.R. 4076 
passed the House of Representatives on March 4, 2014, and 
passed the Senate on March 13, 2014. H.R. 4076 became Public 
Law 113-90 on March 21, 2014.

                            Estimated Costs

    In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

S. 2086--Reliable Home Heating Act

    S. 2086 would require the Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Administration (FMCSA) to exempt motor carriers that transport 
home heating oil from certain federal regulations if the 
Governor of a state declares a state of emergency caused by a 
shortage of residential heating fuel. The bill also would 
require the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to notify 
states if certain petroleum reserves fall below historical 
averages. Based on information from the affected agencies, CBO 
estimates that implementing the bill would have no significant 
effect on the federal budget. Enacting S. 2086 would not affect 
direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    S. 2086 would require FMCSA to exempt commercial motor 
carriers that transport home heating oil from some federal 
regulations for up to 90 days in states where the Governor has 
declared a state of emergency caused by a shortage of 
residential heating fuel. Under current law, FMCSA may make 
such exemptions for up to 30 days. The bill also would require 
FMSCA to complete a rulemaking implementing the new authority 
and to study the effects of extending the regulatory 
exemptions. EIA would be required to notify states if certain 
petroleum reserves fall below the most recent five-year average 
for more than three consecutive weeks. Based on information 
from the agencies involved, CBO estimates that implementing the 
bill would not have any significant costs.
    S. 2086 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Sarah Puro. The 
estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant Director 
for Budget Analysis.

                           Regulatory Impact

    In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       number of persons covered

    S. 2086, as amended, reduces the current Federal regulatory 
burden placed on the shipment of home heating fuels during 
emergencies. As such, the legislation will have no further 
effect on the number or types of individuals and businesses 
regulated.

                            economic impact

    S. 2086 is expected to have a positive impact on the U.S. 
economy. Commercial motor vehicles are an integral part of the 
Nation's economy, and limited exemptions to Federal motor 
carrier regulations would enable the effective and efficient 
transportation of home heating fuels during winter months.

                                privacy

    The reported bill is not expected to have any impact on the 
privacy rights of individuals.

                               paperwork

    It is not anticipated that there would be a major increase 
in paperwork burdens resulting from the enactment of S. 2086.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    This section would provide that the Act be cited as the 
``Reliable Home Heating Act''.

Section 2. Authority to extend emergency declarations for purposes of 
        temporarily exempting motor carriers providing emergency relief 
        from certain safety regulations

    Under current Federal law, the Governor of a State can 
declare a state of emergency due to shortages of home heating 
fuel. Such a declaration would provide a 30-day exemption from 
several Federal motor carrier regulations, including hours-of-
service requirements, for commercial vehicles transporting home 
heating fuels. At the conclusion of the 30-day exemption 
period, the emergency order expires unless extended by the 
FMCSA or otherwise addressed by a Presidential disaster 
declaration. This section would give the Governor of a State 
the authority to extend the state of emergency for two 
additional 30-day periods, for a total of 90 days, without the 
need for a Federal disaster declaration or FMCSA action.

Section 3. Energy Information Administration notification requirement

    This section requires the Administrator of the Energy 
Information Administration to notify the Governor of each State 
in a Petroleum Administration for Defense District if the 
inventory of residential heating fuel within that district 
falls below the most recent five-year average for more than 
three consecutive weeks.

Section 4. Review

    This section requires the Secretary of Transportation to 
conduct a study of, and report on, the safety impacts from the 
extensions issued by Governors under this Act.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the 
bill as reported would make no change to existing law.