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H.R. 654 (ih) To reduce fraud in connection with the provision of legal advice and [Introduced in House] ...
108th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 653 To establish a Fund for Environmental Priorities to be funded by a portion of the consumer savings resulting from retail electricity choice, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES February 7, 2003 Mr. Andrews introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 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 establish a Fund for Environmental Priorities to be funded by a portion of the consumer savings resulting from retail electricity choice, 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 ``Environmental Priorities Act of 2003''. SEC. 2. RECAPTURE OF SAVINGS FROM RETAIL ELECTRICITY COMPETITION. (a) Effective Date.--This Act shall take effect for a consumer sector in any State on January 1 of the first year after all State regulated electric utilities and all nonregulated electric utilities in that State have been determined by the Secretary of Energy to have established retail electric service choice for customers in that sector, but not earlier than January 1, 2004. The Secretary shall annually review the laws and regulations of each State relating to retail electric service regulation and make such determinations on January 1, 2004, and January 1 of each year thereafter. (b) 10 Percent of Consumer Savings.--For each State, on December 31 of the first full calendar year following the effective date of this Act for any consumer sector in the State, and on December 31 of each subsequent calendar year, each provider of retail electric services in the State shall contribute to the fiscal agent for the Environmental Priorities Board established under section 2 an amount equal to 10 percent of the total consumer savings for that sector for that calendar year. (c) Definitions.--For purposes of this section: (1) Consumer savings.--For any provider of retail electric services in a State, for any consumer sector in the State, the term ``consumer savings'' means, for any calendar year, the amount (if any) by which the potential rate for electric energy provided by that provider to that sector exceeds the current rate for that sector, multiplied by that sector's total consumption (in kilowatt-hours) during that calendar year. (2) Current rate.--For any provider of retail electric services in a State, for any consumer sector in the State, the term ``current rate'' means, for the 12 months following the effective date of this Act for that sector in that State, the average kilowatt-hour rate paid by customers of the provider in that consumer sector in that State, as calculated by the provider and recalculated annually. (3) Potential rate.-- (A) General rule.--For any provider of retail electric services in a State, for any consumer sector in the State, the term ``potential rate'' means, for each calendar year following the effective date of this act for that sector in that State, the average kilowatt-hour rate paid by the provider's customers in that sector during the 12-month period preceding the date on which retail electric service choice for customers in that sector was established, adjusted for inflation. The adjustment for inflation shall be made using a methodology to be determined by the Secretary of Energy. The Secretary of Energy shall recalculate the potential rate annually to adjust it for inflation. (B) Special rules.-- For all sectors not serviced by the provider during any period, the average kilowatt-hour rate for that sector shall be estimated or measured by the Secretary of Energy. In any case where retail choice in a State or sector did not all occur on one effective date but was phased-in over time, the Secretary of Energy shall establish regulations to fairly establish the potential rate. In any cases where, for the 12-month period preceding the date on which retail electric service choice for customers in that sector was established, a provider served a sector in the State but did not serve it for the full period, the Secretary of Energy shall establish regulations to fairly establish the potential rate. SEC. 3. USE OF CONTRIBUTIONS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PRIORITIES. (a) National Environmental Priorities Board.--The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (hereinafter in this section referred to as the ``Administrator'') shall establish a National Environmental Priorities Board to carry out the functions and responsibilities specified in this section. The Board shall be composed of 3 persons who are officers or employees of the United States, and 4 State commissioners nominated by the national organization of the State commissions and appointed by the Administrator. The Administrator shall appoint one member of the Board to serve as Chairman. (b) Rules.--Within 180 days after the enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall promulgate a final rule containing the rules and procedures of the Board, including the rules and procedures for selecting a non-Federal fiscal agent under subsection (e). The Administrator shall have oversight responsibilities over the Board. (c) Environmental Priorities Program.-- (1) Regulations.--Within 90 days after the promulgation of the Administrator's rules under subsection (b), the Board shall institute a proceeding to establish regulations governing creation and administration of an Environmental Priorities Program. Such regulations shall include criteria and methods of selecting State projects to receive support under the Program. Such support may include direct loans, loan guarantees, grants, capitalization grants for State revolving funds, and other assistance. The State projects may include-- (A) lowering borrowing costs for municipal and regional governments constructing wastewater treatment plants; (B) increasing the use of filter strips and riparian buffers in protecting rivers and streams; (C) mitigating the deleterious effect of electricity production on air quality; (D) supporting the preservation of open space for resource conservation, wildlife protection, or recreation; and (E) such other projects furthering national environmental priorities as may be established by the Board. (2) Agent.--The Board shall enter into arrangements with a non-Federal fiscal agent who shall be authorized to receive the contributions made under section 2(b) and to disburse such contributions as provided in subsection (d). (3) Programs.--Any State in which retail electric service choice has been established for any consumer sector may establish one or more public purpose programs and apply for matching funding under this section for projects to be funded under such program. A participating State may use matching funds received under this section only to support one or more eligible environmental priorities programs meeting the selection criteria established under paragraph (1). The Board shall regularly audit the expenditures of matching funds received by a participating State under this section. (4) State option.--At no time shall a State be required, pursuant to this section, to participate in the Environmental Priorities Program, nor may a State be required by the Board to fund a particular project. (d) Fund for Environmental Priorities.-- (1) Distribution.--The fiscal agent shall distribute contributions received by the fiscal agent under section 2(b) to States (or entities designated by the States) under this subsection in accordance with the criteria established by the Board under subsection (c) to carry out eligible projects under environmental priorities programs established by the States. For each calendar year after the year 2002, the Board shall solicit applications from States for matching funds to carry out eligible environmental priorities programs. The applications for assistance during any calendar year must be received by the Board before the commencement of such year. In its application, the State shall certify that the moneys will be used for one or more eligible public purpose programs and shall specify the amount of State support which is projected for the coming calendar year for the programs concerned. (2) Calculation.--Upon receipt of all State requests for matching funds submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) for any calendar year, the Board shall calculate the funds necessary to match the level of projected States funds for eligible environmental priorities programs for that calendar year. (3) Reduction.--Following the calculation of the amount of matching funds required under paragraph (2) for all States requesting funds for any calendar year, the Board shall communicate that amount to the fiscal agent. Expenditures by the fiscal agent for any calendar year may not exceed the total balance. To the extent the matching funds requested by all such States for a calendar year exceed the total amount received by the fiscal agent during the prior calendar year and available to the fiscal agent at the commencement of the calendar year concerned, the matching funds distributed to each such State shall be reduced pro rata so that the percentage of State funds matched by funds provided under this section is the same for all States requesting funds. (4) Use of funds.--The fiscal agent shall distribute matching funds to the States (or to an entity or entities designated by the State to receive payments) to be used for eligible environmental priorities programs designated under subsection (c). All funds received shall be used only for the eligible environmental priorities programs designated by the State. <all>
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