Home > 105th Congressional Bills > H.R. 1222 (ih) To amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and the Public Health Service Act to require managed care group health plans and managed care health insurance coverage to meet certain consumer protection requirements. %%Filenam...

H.R. 1222 (ih) To amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and the Public Health Service Act to require managed care group health plans and managed care health insurance coverage to meet certain consumer protection requirements. %%Filenam...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1221

To provide for the stabilization of prices for gasoline, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             March 12, 2003

 Mr. DeFazio (for himself, Ms. Kaptur, and Mr. Sanders) introduced the 
   following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and 
Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on International Relations, 
    Ways and Means, and Resources, for a period to be subsequently 
   determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such 
 provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To provide for the stabilization of prices for gasoline, 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 ``Gasoline Price Stabilization Act of 
2003''.

SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR PRICE STABILIZATION.

    (a) Presidential Authority.--The President is authorized to issue 
such orders and regulations as he may deem appropriate, including price 
caps, to stabilize prices for wholesale and retail gasoline to levels 
at or below levels prevailing on March 1, 2002.
    (b) Penalty.--Whoever willfully violates any order or regulation 
issued under this section shall be fined $1,000,000 per violation.
    (c) Injunctions.--Whenever it appears to any agency of the United 
States, authorized by the President to exercise the authority contained 
in this subsection to enforce orders and regulations issued under this 
section, that any person has engaged, is engaged, or is about to engage 
in any acts or practices constituting a violation of any regulation or 
order under this section, it may in its discretion bring an action, in 
the proper district court of the United States or the proper United 
States court of any territory or other place subject to the 
jurisdiction of the United States, to enjoin such acts or practices, 
and upon a proper showing a permanent or temporary injunction or 
restraining order shall be granted without bond. Upon application of 
the agency, any such court may also issue mandatory injunctions 
commanding any person to comply with any regulation or order under this 
section.
    (d) Expiration.--
            (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), this 
        section shall cease to have effect 1 year after the date of the 
        enactment of this Act.
            (2) Exception.--Paragraph (1) shall not affect enforcement 
        relating to a violation of this section occurring before the 
        expiration date in paragraph (1).

SEC. 3. STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE DRAWDOWN.

    (a) Drawdowns Authorized To Address State or Regional Economic 
Harm.--Section 161(d)(2)(C) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act 
(42 U.S.C. 6241(d)(2)(C)) is amended by inserting ``, or on a State or 
regional economy'' after ``national economy''.
    (b) Drawdowns Authorized To Combat Anti-Competitive Conduct.--
Section 161(d) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 
6241(d)) is further amended by adding at the end the following new 
paragraph:
    ``(3) Reduction in supply caused by anticompetitive conduct.--
            ``(A) In general.--For the purposes of this section, in 
        addition to the circumstances set forth in section 3(8) and in 
        paragraph (2) of this subsection, a severe energy supply 
        interruption shall be deemed to exist if the President 
        determines that--
                    ``(i) there is a significant reduction in supply 
                that--
                            ``(I) is of significant scope and duration; 
                        and
                            ``(II) has caused a significant increase in 
                        the price of petroleum products;
                    ``(ii) the increase in price is likely to cause a 
                significant adverse impact on the national economy, or 
                on a State or regional economy; and
                    ``(iii) a substantial cause of the reduction in 
                supply is the anticompetitive conduct of--
                            ``(I) 1 or more foreign countries or 
                        international entities; or
                            ``(II) 1 or more producers, refiners, or 
                        marketers of petroleum products.
            ``(B) Deposit and use of proceeds.--Proceeds from the sale 
        of petroleum drawn down pursuant to a Presidential 
        determination under subparagraph (A) shall--
                    ``(i) be deposited in the SPR Petroleum Account; 
                and
                    ``(ii) be used only for the purposes specified in 
                section 167.''.
    (c) Reporting and Consultation Requirements.--When the price of a 
barrel of crude oil exceeds $25 (in constant 2003 United States 
dollars) on the New York Mercantile Exchange for a period greater than 
14 days, the President, through the Secretary of Energy, shall, not 
later than 30 days after the end of the 14-day period, submit to the 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the 
Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a 
report that--
            (1) states the results of a comprehensive review of the 
        causes and potential consequences of the price increase;
            (2) provides an estimate of the likely duration of the 
        price increase, based on analyses and forecasts of the Energy 
        Information Administration;
            (3) provides an analysis of the effects of the price 
        increase on the cost of gasoline at the wholesale and retail 
        levels; and
            (4) states whether, and provides a specific rationale for 
        why, the President does or does not support the drawdown and 
        distribution of a specified amount of oil from the Strategic 
        Petroleum Reserve.
    (d) General Accounting Office Study.--The Comptroller General of 
the United States shall, not later than 1 year after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, transmit to the Congress a review of the 
drawdown authority of the President with respect to the Strategic 
Petroleum Reserve, addressing--
            (1) how and why the authority has changed over time;
            (2) under what circumstances Presidents have actually 
        exercised the authority;
            (3) what the impact on oil prices was as a result of the 
        exercising of the presidential authority; and
            (4) the implications of expanding the drawdown authority 
        beyond the ``severe energy supply interruption'' standard, and 
        instead allowing the release of oil as a regular hedging tool 
        for oil companies, in which such companies could tap the 
        Strategic Petroleum Reserve as necessary to dampen price 
        shocks, but would be required to replace the oil, along with 
        additional barrels, at some predetermined time in the future.

SEC. 4. MINIMUM INVENTORY LEVELS.

    (a) Establishing Minimum Levels.--The Secretary of Energy shall 
establish minimum inventory levels that producers, refiners, and 
marketers of crude oil and petroleum products must maintain in order to 
limit the impact unexpected supply disruptions have on prices at the 
wholesale and retail level.
    (b) Different Industry Segments.--For the purposes of setting the 
minimum inventory levels, the Secretary may set varying levels for each 
segment of the oil industry as he determines appropriate.
    (c) Different Products.--For the purposes of setting the minimum 
inventory levels, the Secretary may set different levels for the 
various crude oil and petroleum products, including gasoline, home 
heating oil, and jet fuel.
    (d) Seasonal Adjustment.--The Secretary may propose to adjust 
minimum inventory levels to reflect seasonal adjustments.
    (e) Regional Variations.--The minimum inventory levels set by the 
Secretary shall take into account regional variations in supply and 
demand, and market structure.

SEC. 5. BAN ON EXPORTING OF ALASKAN OIL.

    (a) Repeal of Provision Authorizing Exports.--Subsection (s) of 
section 28 of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 185(s)) is repealed.
    (b) Reimposition of Prohibition on Exports.--Subsection (d) of 
Section 7 of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (50 U.S.C. App. 
2406(d)) shall be effective as of the date of the enactment of this 
Act, and those provisions of the Export Administration Act of 1979 
(including sections 11 and 12) shall apply to the extent necessary to 
carry out such section 7(d), notwithstanding section 20 of that Act and 
notwithstanding any other provision of law that would otherwise allow 
the export of oil to which such section 7(d) applies.

SEC. 6. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING OPEC AND THE WTO.

    (a) Findings.--The Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) No free market exists in oil production because of 
        collusion among large oil-producing countries.
            (2) The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries 
        (OPEC) and other oil-producing countries have repeatedly agreed 
        to coordinated cutbacks in production, thus manipulating world 
        oil markets, resulting in de facto price fixing.
            (3) This manipulation led to the highest price per barrel 
        of oil in nearly a decade, substantial increases in consumer 
        prices for items such as home heating oil and gasoline, and 
        continued price volatility.
            (4) Rising oil prices greatly harm consumers, farmers, 
        small businesses, and manufacturers, increase the likelihood of 
        inflation, increase the cost of conducting interstate and 
        international commerce, and pose a strong threat to continued 
        economic growth.
            (5) Article XI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and 
        Trade (GATT 1994) prohibits members of the World Trade 
        Organization (WTO) from setting quantitative restrictions on 
        the import or export of resources or products across their 
        borders; specifically the language reads: ``No prohibitions or 
        restrictions other than duties, taxes or other charges, whether 
        made effective through quotas, import or export licenses or 
        other measures, shall be instituted or maintained by any 
        contracting party on the importation of any product of the 
        territory of any other contracting party or on the exportation 
        or sale for export of any product destined for the territory of 
        any other contracting party.''.
            (6) The precise meaning of this provision was spelled out 
        in a GATT Panel Report issued in 1988 entitled ``Japan--Trade 
        in Semi-conductors', which noted, ``. . . this wording [in 
        article XI] was comprehensive: it applied to all measures 
        instituted or maintained by a contracting party prohibiting or 
        restricting the importation, exportation or sale for export of 
        products other than measures that take the form of duties, 
        taxes, or other charges. . . . This wording indicated clearly 
        that any measure instituted or maintained by a contracting 
        party which restricted the exportation or sale for export of 
        products was covered by this provision, irrespective of the 
        legal status of the measure.''.
            (7) Oil production restrictions clearly qualify as a 
        ``quantitative restriction'' based on the original WTO rules 
        and the 1988 GATT panel report, which certify that only 
        ``duties, taxes or other charges'' are allowable, not pacts 
        among countries to limit production of a product for export.
            (8) Article XX of GATT 1994, which sets out a series of 
        exceptions to article XI, notes that none of the exceptions are 
        valid if they are ``applied in a manner which would constitute 
        . . . a disguised restriction on international trade'', a 
        phrase which describes OPEC's production restrictions.
            (9) Of the 11 OPEC countries, 6 are members of the WTO 
        (Kuwait, Indonesia, Nigeria, Qatar, Venezuela, and United Arab 
        Emirates), 2 have observer status and have applied to join the 
        WTO (Saudi Arabia and Algeria), and only 3 have no relationship 
        with the WTO (Libya, Iran, and Iraq).
            (10) Of the remaining large oil-producing countries, Mexico 
        and Norway are members of the WTO, and Russia and Oman have 
        applied for membership.
            (11) Given the substantial WTO membership and pending 
        membership of oil-producing countries, filing a complaint would 
        likely have an immediate impact on the current and future 
        behavior of these countries.
    (b) Sense of Congress.--The Congress strongly urges the President 
to instruct the United States Representative to the World Trade 
Organization to file a complaint in the World Trade Organization 
against oil-producing countries for violating their obligations under 
the rules of that organization.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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