September 15, 2003
12:00 AM
The draft language for hydrogen, clean coal technology, the Alaska natural gas pipeline, energy efficiency and personnel has been released. The language is posted on the energy committee website at: The House and Senate staff of Republican and Democrat conferees and relevant committee staff will meet every day this week at 2 p.m. in 2322 Rayburn to discuss changes to this language. This meeting is not open to the press or public. A joint press statement from Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairman Pete V. Domenici and House Energy & Commerce Chairman Billy Tauzin is posted separately. TALKING POINTS SUMMARIZING DRAFT CONFERENCE LANGUAGE RELEASED SEPTEMBER 15, 2003 HYDROGEN These hydrogen provisions include the full range of research, development, and deployment actions required to advance the nation toward significant use of hydrogen as soon as possible. This language encourages activities in all the key areas: production, transportation, storage and final use of hydrogen. This language encourages a wide range of demonstration projects, but leaves it up to the technical leaders to select those projects for which the technology is sufficiently mature to benefit from a demonstration project or for which a demonstration project can help select among competing technologies. This language does not mandate highly specific demonstration projects as was done in S.14. This language does not mandate specific goals for utilization of hydrogen-powered vehicles by specific dates, as was done in S.14. It recognizes that the technical uncertainties today are just too large to mandate such goals. Instead it sets a broad goal for hydrogen-powered vehicles to be making significant inroads in the marketplace by 2020. This language creates an Interagency Task Force to guide the government’s policy response to the hydrogen challenge and an Advisory Committee to guide the technical aspects of the national program. S. 14 and H.R. 6 as passed by the House include both of these provisions. The language includes authorization levels totaling $2.15 Billion by FY2008. These exceed the Administration’s requests for FY2005 and the years beyond to enable the Secretary to select and fund the best opportunities for demonstration and deployment projects as the technologies mature. These authorization levels are higher than H.R. 6 as passed by the House but lower than S. 14. CLEAN COAL TECHNOLOGIES This language provides $600 million to the Department of Energy’s fossil program for existing and new coal-based research and development. This language also provides a $2 billion authorization for the Secretary to carry out the Clean Coal Power Initiative, which will provide funding to those projects that can demonstrate advanced coal-based power generating technologies that achieve significant reductions in emissions. The above authorization language is the same as found in S. 14 and H.R. 6 as passed by the House. The language mandates that at least 60 percent but no more than 80 percent of the $2 billion will be used for projects on coal-based gasification technology. This reflects a compromise between the language in S. 14 and the language in H.R. 6. ALASKA NATURAL GAS PIPELINE (There is no House counterpart) This language reflects the authorizing language of S. 14. It does not include the loan guarantees, which will be addressed in the larger tax incentives package. The language mandates the use of the southern route through Alaska It creates a federal coordinator position to facilitate in the permitting and construction of the pipeline. ENERGY EFFICIENCY The Act will promote greater efficiency in the use of energy by the federal government and the public in general. The language establishes a program for developing plans for energy and water savings measures in Congressional buildings. It also targets and timetables for energy consumption reductions in federal buildings nationwide. This language is similar to House language and language from both Senate bills. Permanently extends existing authority provided to Federal agencies to contract with energy service companies to assume the capital costs of installing energy and water conservation equipment and renewable energy systems in federal facilities or buildings, and recover costs and profit from associated life-cycle energy cost savings over the term of the contract. Expands the use of these contracts to cover the replacement of existing federal buildings with new, more energy-efficient buildings and expands the definition of energy savings to include a reduction in water costs. This language is similar to both House and Senate language. Directs federal agencies to procure Energy Star or FEMP designated-energy efficient products. Last year’s Senate bill required energy star purchases. This language directs but does not require. Authorizes $20 million annually through fiscal year 2006 for grants to local governments, community development corporations, and Indian tribes for efficiency and renewable energy projects in low-income communities. S. 14, H.R. 6 as passed by the House and last year’s Senate bill have similar language. Authorizes $3.4 billion for each fiscal year 2004 through 2006 for LIHEAP. Similar authorization to last year’s Senate bill and H.R. 6 as passed by the House. Amends ECPA reauthorizing funds for weatherization assistance to $325 million in FY 2004, $400 million in FY 2005, and $500 million in FY 2006. Similar to House and Senate provisions. Authorizes $100 million for each fiscal year 2004 through 2008 for state grant programs to assist consumers in the purchase of new residential energy efficient appliances. This differs from the S. 14 and H.R.6 as passed by the House, which each authorized $50 million annually. Establishes a voluntary program at the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency to identify and promote energy-efficient products and buildings in order to reduce energy consumption, improve energy security, and reduce pollution through voluntary labeling of or other forms of communication about products and buildings that meet the highest energy efficiency standards. This language is largely the same as S. 14 and H.R. 6. PERSONNEL AND TRAINING (The House bill does not have a similar section.) Establishes a National Power Plant Operations Technology Education Center Improves access to energy scientific and technical careers, especially for minorities. Instructs the Secretaries of Labor and Energy to develop training guidelines for electric energy industry personnel to support electric system reliability and safety.