Legislation

May 09 2013

S. 913

Official Short: Oilheat Efficiency, Renewable Fuel Research and Jobs Training Act of 2013

Long Title: To amend the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 to reauthorize and improve that Act, and for other purposes.

Sponsors: Mrs. Shaheen, Mrs. Collins, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Reed, Mr. Whitehouse, Ms. Cowan, Mr. Coons, Mr. Murphy, Ms. Gillibrand, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Burr, Mr. Franken, Mr. Heller and Mr. Leahy.

STATUS:

  • May 9, 2013.--Introduced.
  • June 17, 2013.--Mr. Schumer added as cosponsor.
  • June 18, 2013.--Mr. Burr added as cosponsor.
  • July 9, 2013.--Mr. Franken added as cosponsor.
  • December 20, 2013.--Mr. Heller added as cosponsor.
  • January 28, 2014.--Mr. Leahy added as cosponsor.

S.913

Oilheat Efficiency, Renewable Fuel Research and Jobs Training Act of 2013 (Introduced in Senate - IS)

S 913 IS

113th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 913

To amend the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 to reauthorize and improve that Act, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 9, 2013

Mrs. SHAHEEN (for herself, Ms. COLLINS, Mr. BLUMENTHAL, Mr. REED, Mr. WHITEHOUSE, Mr. COWAN, Mr. COONS, Mr. MURPHY, Mrs. GILLIBRAND, and Mr. SANDERS) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


A BILL

To amend the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 to reauthorize and improve that Act, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Oilheat Efficiency, Renewable Fuel Research and Jobs Training Act of 2013'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    Section 702 of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended--
      (1) in paragraph (4), by striking `and' after the semicolon at the end;
      (2) by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and
      (3) by adding at the end the following:
      `(6) consumers of oilheat fuel are provided service by thousands of small businesses that are unable to individually develop training programs to facilitate the entry of new and qualified workers into the oilheat fuel industry;
      `(7) small businesses and trained employees are in an ideal position--
        `(A) to provide information to consumers about the benefits of improved efficiency; and
        `(B) to encourage consumers to value efficiency in energy choices and assist individuals in conserving energy;
      `(8) additional research is necessary--
        `(A) to improve oilheat fuel equipment; and
        `(B) to develop domestic renewable resources that can be used to safely and affordably heat homes;
      `(9) since there are no Federal resources available to assist the oilheat fuel industry, it is necessary and appropriate to develop a self-funded program dedicated--
        `(A) to improving efficiency in customer homes;
        `(B) to assist individuals to gain employment in the oilheat fuel industry; and
        `(C) to develop domestic renewable resources;
      `(10) both consumers of oilheat fuel and retailers would benefit from the self-funded program; and
      `(11) the oilheat fuel industry is committed to providing appropriate funding necessary to carry out the purposes of this title without passing additional costs on to residential consumers.'.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    (a) In General- Section 703 of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended--
      (1) by redesignating paragraphs (3) through (15) as paragraphs (4) through (16), respectively;
      (2) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:
      `(3) COST-EFFECTIVE- The term `cost-effective', with respect to a program or activity carried out under section 707(f)(4), means that the program or activity meets a total resource cost test under which--
        `(A) the net present value of economic benefits over the life of the program or activity, including avoided supply and delivery costs and deferred or avoided investments; is greater than
        `(B) the net present value of the economic costs over the life of the program or activity, including program costs and incremental costs borne by the energy consumer.'; and
      (3) by striking paragraph (8) (as redesignated in paragraph (1)) and inserting the following:
      `(8) OILHEAT FUEL- The term `oilheat fuel' means fuel that--
        `(A) is--
          `(i) No. 1 distillate;
          `(ii) No. 2 dyed distillate;
          `(iii) a liquid blended with No. 1 distillate or No. 2 dyed distillate; or
          `(iv) a biobased liquid; and
        `(B) is used as a fuel for nonindustrial commercial or residential space or hot water heating.'.
    (b) Conforming Amendments-
      (1) The National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by striking `oilheat' each place it appears and inserting `oilheat fuel'.
      (2) Section 704(d) of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended in the subsection heading by striking `Oilheat' and inserting `Oilheat Fuel'.
      (3) Section 706(c)(2) of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended in the paragraph heading by striking `OILHEAT' and inserting `OILHEAT FUEL'.
      (4) Section 707(c) of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended in the subsection heading by striking `Oilheat' and inserting `Oilheat Fuel'.

SEC. 4. MEMBERSHIP.

    (a) Selection- Section 705 of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:
    `(a) Selection-
      `(1) LIST-
        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Alliance shall provide to the Secretary a list of qualified nominees for membership in the Alliance.
        `(B) REQUIREMENT- Except as provided in subsection (c)(1)(C), members of the Alliance shall be representatives of the oilheat fuel industry in a State, selected from a list of nominees submitted by the qualified State association in the State.
      `(2) VACANCIES- A vacancy in the Alliance shall be filled in the same manner as the original selection.
      `(3) SECRETARIAL ACTION-
        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall have 60 days to review nominees provided under paragraph (1).
        `(B) FAILURE TO ACT- If the Secretary takes no action during the 60-day period described in subparagraph (A), the nominees shall be considered to be members of the Alliance.'.
    (b) Representation- Section 705(b) of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended in the matter preceding paragraph (1) by striking `qualified industry organization' and inserting `Alliance'.
    (c) Number of Members- Section 705(c) of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended--
      (1) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:
      `(1) IN GENERAL- The Alliance shall be composed of the following members:
        `(A) 1 member representing each State participating in the Alliance.
        `(B) 5 representatives of retail marketers, of whom 1 shall be selected by each of the qualified State associations of the 5 States with the highest volume of annual oilheat fuel sales.
        `(C) 5 additional representatives of retail marketers.
        `(D) 21 representatives of wholesale distributors.
        `(E) 6 public members, who shall be representatives of significant users of oilheat fuel, the oilheat fuel research community, State energy officials, or other groups with expertise in oilheat fuel, including consumer and low-income advocacy groups.'; and
      (2) in paragraph (2), by striking `the qualified industry organization or'.

SEC. 5. FUNCTIONS.

    (a) Renewable Fuel Research- Section 706(a)(3)(B)(i)(I) of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by inserting before the semicolon at the end the following: `, including research to develop renewable fuels and to examine the compatibility of different renewable fuels with oilheat fuel utilization equipment, with priority given to research on the development and use of advanced biofuels'.
    (b) Biennial Budgets- Section 706(e) of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended--
      (1) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:
      `(1) PUBLICATION OF PROPOSED BUDGET- Not later than August 1, 2013, and every 2 years thereafter, the Alliance shall, in consultation with the Secretary, develop and publish for public review and comment a proposed biennial budget for the next 2 calendar years, including the probable operating and planning costs of all programs, projects, and contracts and other agreements.'; and
      (2) by striking paragraph (4) and inserting the following:
      `(4) IMPLEMENTATION-
        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Alliance shall not implement a proposed budget until the expiration of 60 days after submitting the proposed budget to the Secretary.
        `(B) RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHANGES BY SECRETARY-
          `(i) IN GENERAL- The Secretary may recommend to the Alliance changes to the budget programs and activities of the Alliance that the Secretary considers appropriate.
          `(ii) RESPONSE BY ALLIANCE- Not later than 30 days after the receipt of any recommendations made under clause (i), the Alliance shall submit to the Secretary a final budget for the next 2 calendar years that incorporates or includes a description of the response of the Alliance to any changes recommended under clause (i).'.

SEC. 6. ASSESSMENTS.

    (a) In General- Section 707 of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended--
      (1) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:
    `(a) Rate-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- The assessment rate for calendar years 2013 and 2014 shall be equal to 2/10 of 1 cent per gallon of oilheat fuel.
      `(2) SUBSEQUENT ASSESSMENTS- Subject to paragraph (3), effective beginning with calendar year 2015, the annual assessment rate shall be sufficient to cover the costs of the plans and programs developed by the Alliance.
      `(3) LIMITATIONS ON INCREASE-
        `(A) IN GENERAL- The annual assessment shall not exceed 1/2 of 1 cent per gallon of oilheat fuel.
        `(B) LIMITATION- The annual assessment may not change by more than 1/10 of 1 cent per gallon of oilheat fuel in any 12 month-period.
        `(C) APPROVAL- No increase in the assessment may occur unless--
          `(i) the increase is approved by 3/4 of the members voting at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Alliance; and
          `(ii) at least 90 days before the date of the meeting of the Alliance, the Alliance provides notice of the proposed increase to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives.'; and
      (2) in subsection (b), by adding at the end the following:
      `(8) PROHIBITION ON PASS THROUGH- None of the assessments collected under this title may be passed through or otherwise required to be paid by residential consumers of oilheat fuel.'.
    (b) Funds Made Available to Qualified State Associations- Section 707(e)(2) of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by adding at the end the following:
        `(B) SEPARATE ACCOUNTS- As a condition of receipt of funds made available to a qualified State association under this title, the qualified State association shall deposit the funds in an account that is separate from other funds of the qualified State association.'.
    (c) Administration- Section 707 of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(f) Use of Assessments-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the Secretary and the Alliance shall ensure that assessments collected for each calendar year under this title are allocated and used in accordance with this subsection.
      `(2) RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND DEMONSTRATION-
        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Alliance shall ensure that not less than 30 percent of the assessments collected for each calendar year under this title are used by qualified State associations or the Alliance to conduct research, development, and demonstration activities relating to oilheat fuel, including the development of energy-efficient heating and the transition and facilitation of the entry of energy-efficient heating systems into the marketplace.
        `(B) COORDINATION- The Alliance shall coordinate with the Secretary to develop priorities for the use of assessments under this paragraph.
        `(C) PLAN- The Alliance shall develop a coordinated research plan to carry out research programs and activities under this section.
        `(D) REPORT-
          `(i) IN GENERAL- No later than 1 year after date of enactment of this subsection, the Alliance shall prepare a report on the use of biofuels in oilheat fuel utilization equipment.
          `(ii) CONTENTS- The report required under clause (i) shall--
            `(I) provide information on the environmental benefits, economic benefits, and any technical limitations on the use of biofuels in oilheat fuel utilization equipment; and
            `(II) describe market acceptance of the fuel, and information on State and local governments that are encouraging the use of biofuels in oilheat fuel utilization equipment.
          `(iii) COPIES- The Alliance shall submit a copy of the report required under clause (i) to--
            `(I) Congress;
            `(II) the Governor of each State, and other appropriate State leaders, in which the Alliance is operating; and
            `(III) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
        `(E) CONSUMER EDUCATION MATERIALS- The Alliance, in conjunction with an institution or organization engaged in biofuels research, shall develop consumer education materials describing the benefits of using biofuels as or in oilheat fuel based on the technical information developed in the report required under subparagraph (D) and other information generally available.
      `(3) COST SHARING-
        `(A) IN GENERAL- In carrying out a research, development, demonstration, or commercial application program or activity that is commenced after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Alliance shall require cost sharing in accordance with this section.
        `(B) RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT-
          `(i) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in clauses (ii) and (iii), the Alliance shall require that not less than 20 percent of the cost of a research or development program or activity described in subparagraph (A) to be provided by a source other than the Alliance.
          `(ii) EXCLUSION- Clause (i) shall not apply to a research or development program or activity described in subparagraph (A) that is of a basic or fundamental nature, as determined by the Alliance.
          `(iii) REDUCTION- The Alliance may reduce or eliminate the requirement of clause (i) for a research and development program or activity of an applied nature if the Alliance determines that the reduction is necessary and appropriate.
        `(C) DEMONSTRATION AND COMMERCIAL APPLICATION- The Alliance shall require that not less than 50 percent of the cost of a demonstration or commercial application program or activity described in subparagraph (A) to be provided by a source other than the Alliance.
      `(4) HEATING OIL EFFICIENCY AND UPGRADE PROGRAM-
        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Alliance shall ensure that not less than 15 percent of the assessments collected for each calendar year under this title are used by qualified State associations or the Alliance to carry out programs to assist consumers--
          `(i) to make cost-effective upgrades to more fuel efficient heating oil systems or otherwise make cost-effective modifications to an existing heating system to improve the efficiency of the system;
          `(ii) to improve energy efficiency or reduce energy consumption through cost-effective energy efficiency programs for consumers; or
          `(iii) to improve the safe operation of a heating system.
        `(B) PLAN- The Alliance shall, to the maximum extent practicable, coordinate, develop, and implement the programs and activities of the Alliance in conjunction with existing State energy efficiency program administrators.
        `(C) ADMINISTRATION-
          `(i) IN GENERAL- In carrying out this paragraph, the Alliance shall, to the maximum extent practicable, ensure that heating system conversion assistance is coordinated with, and developed after consultation with, persons or organizations responsible for administering--
            `(I) the low-income home energy assistance program established under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 8621 et seq.);
            `(II) the Weatherization Assistance Program for Low-Income Persons established under part A of title IV of the Energy Conservation and Production Act (42 U.S.C. 6861 et seq.); or
            `(III) other energy efficiency programs administered by the State or other parties in the State.
          `(ii) DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS- The Alliance shall ensure that funds distributed to carry out this paragraph are--
            `(I) distributed equitably to States based on the proportional contributions of the States through collected assessments;
            `(II) used to supplement (and not supplant) State or alternative sources of funding for energy efficiency programs; and
            `(III) used only to carry out this paragraph.
      `(5) CONSUMER EDUCATION, SAFETY, AND TRAINING- The Alliance shall ensure that not more than 35 percent of the assessments collected for each calendar year under this title are used--
        `(A) to conduct consumer education activities relating to oilheat fuel, including providing information to consumers on--
          `(i) energy conservation strategies;
          `(ii) safety;
          `(iii) new technologies that reduce consumption or improve safety and comfort;
          `(iv) the use of biofuels blends; and
          `(v) Federal, State, and local programs designed to assist oilheat fuel consumers;
        `(B) to conduct worker safety and training activities relating to oilheat fuel, including energy efficiency training (including classes to obtain Building Performance Institute or Residential Energy Services Network certification);
        `(C) to carry out other activities recommended by the Secretary; or
        `(D) to the maximum extent practicable, a data collection process established, in collaboration with the Secretary or other appropriate Federal agencies, to track equipment, service, and related safety issues and to develop measures to improve safety.
      `(6) ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS-
        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Alliance shall ensure that not more than 5 percent of the assessments collected for each calendar year under this title are used for--
          `(i) administrative costs; or
          `(ii) indirect costs incurred in carrying out paragraphs (1) through (5).
        `(B) ADMINISTRATION- Activities under this section shall be documented pursuant to a transparent process and procedures developed in coordination with the Secretary.
      `(7) REPORTS-
        `(A) ANNUAL REPORTS-
          `(i) IN GENERAL- Each qualified State association or the Alliance shall prepare an annual report describing the development and administration of this section, and yearly expenditures under this section.
          `(ii) CONTENTS- Each report required under clause (i) shall include a description of the use of proceeds under this section, including a description of--
            `(I) advancements made in energy-efficient heating systems and biofuel heating oil blends; and
            `(II) heating system upgrades and modifications and energy efficiency programs funded under this section.
          `(iii) VERIFICATION-
            `(I) IN GENERAL- The Alliance shall ensure that an independent third-party reviews each report described in clause (i) and verifies the accuracy of the report.
            `(II) COUNCILS- If a State has a stakeholder efficiency oversight council, the council shall be the entity that reviews and verifies the report of the State association or Alliance for the State under clause (i).
        `(B) REPORTS ON HEATING OIL EFFICIENCY AND UPGRADE PROGRAM- At least once every 3 years, the Alliance shall prepare a detailed report describing the consumer savings, cost-effectiveness of, and the lifetime and annual energy savings achieved by heating system upgrades and modifications and energy efficiency programs funded under paragraph (4).
        `(C) AVAILABILITY- Each report, and any subsequent changes to the report, described in this paragraph shall be made publically available, with notice of availability provided to the Secretary, and posted on the website of the Alliance.'.

SEC. 7. MARKET SURVEY AND CONSUMER PROTECTION.

    Section 708 of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is repealed.

SEC. 8. LOBBYING RESTRICTIONS.

    Section 710 of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended--
      (1) by striking `No funds' and inserting the following:
    `(a) In General- No funds';
      (2) by inserting `or to lobby' after `elections'; and
      (3) by adding at the end the following:
    `(b) Assessments-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraph (2), no funds derived from assessments collected by the Alliance under section 707 shall be used, directly or indirectly, to influence Federal, State, or local legislation or elections, or the manner of administering of a law.
      `(2) INFORMATION- The Alliance may use funds described in paragraph (1) to provide information requested by a Member of Congress, or an official of any Federal, State, or local agency, in the course of the official business of the Member or official.'.

SEC. 9. NONCOMPLIANCE.

    Section 712 of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    `(g) Noncompliance- If the Alliance, a qualified State association, or any other entity or person violates this title, the Secretary shall--
      `(1) notify Congress of the noncompliance; and
      `(2) provide notice of the noncompliance on the Alliance website.'.

SEC. 10. SUNSET.

      Section 713 of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by striking `9 years' and inserting `19 years'.