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115th Congress   }                                      {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                      {     115-256

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



 
                     MINING SCHOOLS ENHANCEMENT ACT

                                _______
                                

 July 25, 2017.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Bishop of Utah, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2053]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2053) to amend the Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act of 1977 to enhance and support mining and 
mineral engineering programs in the United States by funding 
activities at mining schools, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Mining Schools Enhancement Act''.

SEC. 2. SUPPORT FOR MINING SCHOOLS.

  Section 721 of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 
(30 U.S.C. 1309b) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation 
        and Enforcement'' and inserting the following:
  ``(a) In General.--Subject to subsection (b), the Office of Surface 
Mining Reclamation and Enforcement''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following:
  ``(b) Mining Program Support.--
          ``(1) Of the amounts made available under subsection (d) for 
        activities authorized under this section, the Director of the 
        Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement shall 
        ensure that at least 70 percent is expended to enhance and 
        support mining and mineral engineering programs in the United 
        States by funding activities at mining schools.
          ``(2) In expending funds under this section, the Director 
        shall consult with relevant stakeholders and ensure a 
        significant opportunity for participation by undergraduate and 
        graduate students at mining schools.
          ``(3) The Director shall ensure that the activities conducted 
        under this section relate to resource development and 
        production, and include--
                  ``(A) studies of mining, mineral extraction 
                efficiency, and related processing technology;
                  ``(B) mineral economics, reclamation technology, and 
                practices for active mining operations;
                  ``(C) the development of remining systems and 
                technologies that facilitate reclamation that fosters 
                the recovery of resources at abandoned mine sites;
                  ``(D) investigations of mineral resource extraction 
                methods that reduce environmental and human impacts;
                  ``(E) reducing dependence on foreign energy supplies;
                  ``(F) enhancing the competitiveness of United States 
                energy technology exports;
                  ``(G) the extraction or processing of coinciding 
                mineralization, including rare earth elements, within 
                coal, coal processing byproduct, overburden or coal 
                residue; and
                  ``(H) enhancing technologies and practices related to 
                mitigation of acid mine drainage, reforestation, and 
                revegetation in the reclamation of land and water 
                resources adversely affected by coal mining.
  ``(c) Mining School Defined.--In this section the term `mining 
school' means a mining, metallurgical, or mineral engineering program 
or department accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and 
Technology, Inc., that is located at an institution of higher education 
(as that term is defined in section 631(a) of the Higher Education Act 
of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1132(a))) in the United States.
  ``(d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $10,000,000 for each of fiscal 
years 2018 through 2024.''.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 2053 is to amend the Surface Mining 
Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to enhance and support 
mining and mineral engineering programs in the United States by 
funding activities in mining schools.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Within the next 10 to 15 years, approximately 70 percent of 
the United States' mining industry's technical leaders will 
reach retirement age. The National Research Council (NRC) 
identified this aging demographic within the mining sector as 
the ``most critical issue'' facing the workforce, and 
highlighted the ``paucity of candidates to replace'' the 
retiring workforce in the ``mining-related faculty at 
institutions of higher knowledge.''\1\ Evidencing this is the 
decrease in the number of accredited mining and mineral 
engineering programs, which has fallen from 25 in 1982 to 14 in 
2007, and a corresponding decline in faculty, which fell from 
120 in 1984 to 70 in 2007.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\National Research Council, Emerging Workforce Trends in the U.S. 
Energy and Mining Industries: A Call to Action, at 82 (2014).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The issues of a retiring workforce and a lack of mining 
expertise are not limited solely to industry, but also affect 
the federal regulatory agencies. Forty seven percent of the 
Mine Safety and Health Administration's coal sector workforce 
are currently eligible for retirement, while in 2016, the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency did not employ a single mining 
engineer in its over 15,000-employee workforce. Without 
sufficient numbers of mining experts, effective management and 
promotion of domestic mining activities cannot occur; 
therefore, it is crucial to encourage the training and 
development of mining and mineral engineers.
    One factor identified by the NRC as contributing to the 
decrease in mining and mineral engineering programs and faculty 
is the ``relative absence of consistent federal research 
funding to support graduate programs at mining schools.''\2\ In 
1994, $52 million had been directed through the U.S. Bureau of 
Mines to fund research--a majority of which was received by 
mining schools. However, this program was eliminated and this 
has been credited with being one of the root causes of 
weakening mining programs. Thus, one way to reinvigorate mining 
and mineral engineering programs would be an assurance of 
federal research dollars directed to mining schools.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Ibid. at 87.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When Congress passed the Surface Mining Control and 
Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA, 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.), it 
identified one of the Act's principal purpose as ``. . . the 
conduct of research investigations, experiments, and 
demonstrations, in the exploration, extraction, processing, 
development, and production of minerals and the training of 
mineral engineers and scientists in the field of mining, 
minerals resources, and technology . . .'' Currently, the 
Office of Surface Mining (OSM) offers a research grant program 
for schools, but a minor fraction of the grants are directed to 
mining schools. For instance, only one of 18 current or 
completed projects in 2014 was conducted at a mining school, 
while only seven of the entire 64 projects awarded over the 
past ten years were awarded to faculty members at mining 
engineering programs. To ensure the continued development of 
mining engineers and the statutory objectives of SMCRA are 
upheld, OSM should direct more of its grants towards mining and 
mineral engineering programs.
    H.R. 2053 addresses the aforementioned issues by 
authorizing $10 million for each of fiscal years 2018 through 
2024 for research activities conducted under section 721 of 
SMCRA (30 U.S.C. 1309b). As ordered reported, the bill requires 
OSM to direct at least 70 percent of this research funding to 
mining schools to ``enhance and support mining and mineral 
engineering programs in the United States . . .'' Such funds 
must also provide opportunities for participation by 
undergraduate and graduate students at mining schools and be 
used to study many aspects of mining and mineral extraction, 
ranging from efficiency to reclamation, to promote and 
modernize mining practices.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 2053 was introduced on April 6, 2017, by Congresswoman 
Martha McSally (R-AZ). The bill was referred to the Committee 
on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. On June 22, 2017, 
the Natural Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The 
Subcommittee was discharged by unanimous consent. Congressman 
Glenn Thompson (R-PA) offered an amendment designated #1; it 
was adopted by unanimous consent. No further amendments were 
offered, and the bill, as amended, was ordered favorably 
reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent 
on June 27, 2017.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

      Compliance With House Rule XIII and Congressional Budget Act

    1. Cost of Legislation and the Congressional Budget Act. 
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) and (3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
sections 308(a) and 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, the Committee has received the following estimate for the 
bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 20, 2017.
Hon. Rob Bishop,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2053, the Mining 
Schools Enhancement Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jeff LaFave.
            Sincerely,
                                             Mark P. Hadley
                                        (For Keith Hall, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 2053--Mining Schools Enhancement Act

    Summary: H.R. 2053 would authorize the appropriation of $10 
million a year over the 2018-2024 period for the Office of 
Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement to fund research and 
demonstration projects related to the environmental effects of 
coal mining. The bill also would require the agency to allocate 
at least 70 percent of those funds to institutions of higher 
education with accredited mining or mineral engineering 
programs.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 2053 would cost $41 million 
over the 2018-2022 period and $29 million after 2022. Enacting 
the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting the bill would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 2053 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. 2053 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--
                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             2017      2018      2019      2020      2021      2022    2018-2022
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Authorization Level......................         0        10        10        10        10        10         50
Estimated Outlays........................         0         3         8        10        10        10         41
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
2053 will be enacted near the end of fiscal year 2017 and that 
the specified amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal 
year. Estimated outlays are based on historical spending 
patterns for similar activities. In 2016, the agency spent $2 
million on similar activities.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Increase in long-term direct spending and deficits: CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 2053 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 2053 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would benefit institutions of higher 
education that specialize in mining engineering by dedicating a 
greater share of federal mining research funds to support 
activities at such institutions. Any costs those entities might 
incur would result from participation in a voluntary federal 
program.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Jeff LaFave; Impact on 
State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Jon Sperl; Impact on the 
Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to amend the Surface Mining Control 
and Reclamation Act of 1977 to enhance and support mining and 
mineral engineering programs in the United States by funding 
activities in mining schools.

                           Earmark Statement

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       Compliance With H. Res. 5

    Directed Rule Making. This bill does not contain any 
directed rule makings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

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

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

           SURFACE MINING CONTROL AND RECLAMATION ACT OF 1977




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
TITLE VII--ADMINISTRATIVE AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 721. RESEARCH.

   [The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement] 
(a)  In General._Subject to subsection (b), the Office of 
Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement is authorized to 
conduct studies, research and demonstration projects relating 
to the implementation of, and compliance with, title V of this 
Act, and provide technical assistance to states for that 
purpose. Prior to approving any such studies, research or 
demonstration projects the Director, Office of Surface Mining 
Reclamation and Enforcement, shall first consult with the 
Director, Bureau of Mines, and obtain a determination from such 
Director that the Bureau of Mines is not already conducting 
like or similar studies, research or demonstration projects. 
Studies, research and demonstration projects for the purposes 
of title IV of this Act shall only be conducted in accordance 
with section 401(c)(6).
  (b) Mining Program Support.--
          (1) Of the amounts made available under subsection 
        (d) for activities authorized under this section, the 
        Director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation 
        and Enforcement shall ensure that at least 70 percent 
        is expended to enhance and support mining and mineral 
        engineering programs in the United States by funding 
        activities at mining schools.
          (2) In expending funds under this section, the 
        Director shall consult with relevant stakeholders and 
        ensure a significant opportunity for participation by 
        undergraduate and graduate students at mining schools.
          (3) The Director shall ensure that the activities 
        conducted under this section relate to resource 
        development and production, and include--
                  (A) studies of mining, mineral extraction 
                efficiency, and related processing technology;
                  (B) mineral economics, reclamation 
                technology, and practices for active mining 
                operations;
                  (C) the development of remining systems and 
                technologies that facilitate reclamation that 
                fosters the recovery of resources at abandoned 
                mine sites;
                  (D) investigations of mineral resource 
                extraction methods that reduce environmental 
                and human impacts;
                  (E) reducing dependence on foreign energy 
                supplies;
                  (F) enhancing the competitiveness of United 
                States energy technology exports;
                  (G) the extraction or processing of 
                coinciding mineralization, including rare earth 
                elements, within coal, coal processing 
                byproduct, overburden or coal residue; and
                  (H) enhancing technologies and practices 
                related to mitigation of acid mine drainage, 
                reforestation, and revegetation in the 
                reclamation of land and water resources 
                adversely affected by coal mining.
  (c) Mining School Defined.--In this section the term ``mining 
school'' means a mining, metallurgical, or mineral engineering 
program or department accredited by the Accreditation Board for 
Engineering and Technology, Inc., that is located at an 
institution of higher education (as that term is defined in 
section 631(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
1132(a))) in the United States.
  (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to 
be appropriated to carry out this section $10,000,000 for each 
of fiscal years 2018 through 2024.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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