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H.Res. 425 (eh) [Engrossed in House] ...

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  2d Session
H. RES. 424

 Providing for the consideration of the bill H.R. 1753 and the Senate 
                          amendments thereto.



                           February 29, 2000

    Mr. Sensenbrenner submitted the following resolution; which was 
                   referred to the Committee on Rules



 Providing for the consideration of the bill H.R. 1753 and the Senate 
                          amendments thereto.

    Resolved, That, upon the adoption of this resolution, the House 
shall be considered to have taken from the Speaker's table the bill 
H.R. 1753 together with the Senate amendments thereto, and to have (1) 
concurred in the amendment of the Senate to the title, and (2) 
concurred in the amendment of the Senate to the text with an amendment 
as follows: In lieu of the matter proposed to be inserted by the Senate 
amendment, insert the following:


    This Act may be cited as the ``Methane Hydrate Research and 
Development Act of 2000''.


    In this Act:
            (1) Contract.--The term ``contract'' means a procurement 
        contract within the meaning of section 6303 of title 31, United 
        States Code.
            (2) Cooperative agreement.--The term ``cooperative 
        agreement'' means a cooperative agreement within the meaning of 
        section 6305 of title 31, United States Code.
            (3) Director.--The term ``Director'' means the Director of 
        the National Science Foundation.
            (4) Grant.--The term ``grant'' means a grant awarded under 
        a grant agreement, within the meaning of section 6304 of title 
        31, United States Code.
            (5) Industrial enterprise.--The term ``industrial 
        enterprise'' means a private, nongovernmental enterprise that 
        has an expertise or capability that relates to methane hydrate 
        research and development.
            (6) Institution of higher education.--The term 
        ``institution of higher education'' means an institution of 
        higher education, within the meaning of section 102(a) of the 
        Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002(a)).
            (7) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Energy, acting through the Assistant Secretary for Fossil 
            (8) Secretary of commerce.--The term ``Secretary of 
        Commerce'' means the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the 
        Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
            (9) Secretary of defense.--The term ``Secretary of 
        Defense'' means the Secretary of Defense, acting through the 
        Secretary of the Navy.
            (10) Secretary of the interior.--The term ``Secretary of 
        the Interior'' means the Secretary of the Interior, acting 
        through the Director of the United States Geological Survey and 
        the Director of the Minerals Management Service.


    (a) In General.--
            (1) Commencement of program.--Not later than 180 days after 
        the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in 
        consultation with the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of 
        Defense, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Director, shall 
        commence a program of methane hydrate research and development 
        in accordance with this section.
            (2) Designations.--The Secretary, the Secretary of 
        Commerce, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the 
        Interior, and the Director shall designate individuals to carry 
        out this section.
            (3) Coordination.--The individual designated by the 
        Secretary shall coordinate all activities within the Department 
        of Energy relating to methane hydrate research and development.
            (4) Meetings.--The individuals designated under paragraph 
        (2) shall meet not later than 270 days after the date of 
        enactment of this Act and not less frequently than every 120 
        days thereafter to--
                    (A) review the progress of the program under 
                paragraph (1); and
                    (B) make recommendations on future activities to 
                occur subsequent to the meeting.
    (b) Grants, Contracts, Cooperative Agreements, Interagency Funds 
Transfer Agreements, and Field Work Proposals.--
            (1) Assistance and coordination.--In carrying out the 
        program of methane hydrate research and development authorized 
        by this section, the Secretary may award grants or contracts 
        to, or enter into cooperative agreements with, institutions of 
        higher education and industrial enterprises to--
                    (A) conduct basic and applied research to identify, 
                explore, assess, and develop methane hydrate as a 
                source of energy;
                    (B) assist in developing technologies required for 
                efficient and environmentally sound development of 
                methane hydrate resources;
                    (C) undertake research programs to provide safe 
                means of transport and storage of methane produced from 
                methane hydrates;
                    (D) promote education and training in methane 
                hydrate resource research and resource development;
                    (E) conduct basic and applied research to assess 
                and mitigate the environmental impacts of hydrate 
                degassing (including both natural degassing and 
                degassing associated with commercial development);
                    (F) develop technologies to reduce the risks of 
                drilling through methane hydrates; and
                    (G) conduct exploratory drilling in support of the 
                activities authorized by this paragraph.
            (2) Competitive merit-based review.--Funds made available 
        under paragraph (1) shall be made available based on a 
competitive merit-based process.
    (c) Consultation.--The Secretary shall establish an advisory panel 
consisting of experts from industrial enterprises, institutions of 
higher education, and Federal agencies to--
            (1) advise the Secretary on potential applications of 
        methane hydrate;
            (2) assist in developing recommendations and priorities for 
        the methane hydrate research and development program carried 
        out under subsection (a)(1); and
            (3) not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of 
        this Act, and at such later dates as the panel considers 
        advisable, submit to Congress a report on the anticipated 
        impact on global climate change from--
                    (A) methane hydrate formation;
                    (B) methane hydrate degassing (including natural 
                degassing and degassing associated with commercial 
                development); and
                    (C) the consumption of natural gas produced from 
                methane hydrates.
Not more than twenty-five percent of the individuals serving on the 
advisory panel shall be Federal employees.
    (d) Limitations.--
            (1) Administrative expenses.--Not more than 5 percent of 
        the amount made available to carry out this section for a 
        fiscal year may be used by the Secretary for expenses 
        associated with the administration of the program carried out 
        under subsection (a)(1).
            (2) Construction costs.--None of the funds made available 
        to carry out this section may be used for the construction of a 
        new building or the acquisition, expansion, remodeling, or 
        alteration of an existing building (including site grading and 
        improvement and architect fees).
    (e) Responsibilities of the Secretary.--In carrying out subsection 
(b)(1), the Secretary shall--
            (1) facilitate and develop partnerships among government, 
        industrial enterprises, and institutions of higher education to 
        research, identify, assess, and explore methane hydrate 
            (2) undertake programs to develop basic information 
        necessary for promoting long-term interest in methane hydrate 
        resources as an energy source;
            (3) ensure that the data and information developed through 
        the program are accessible and widely disseminated as needed 
        and appropriate;
            (4) promote cooperation among agencies that are developing 
        technologies that may hold promise for methane hydrate resource 
        development; and
            (5) report annually to Congress on accomplishments under 
        this section.


    Section 201 of the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (30 
U.S.C. 1901) is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (6)--
                    (A) in subparagraph (F), by striking ``and'' at the 
                    (B) by redesignating subparagraph (G) as 
                subparagraph (H); and
                    (C) by inserting after subparagraph (F) the 
                    ``(G) for purposes of this section and sections 202 
                through 205 only, methane hydrate; and'';
            (2) by redesignating paragraph (7) as paragraph (8); and
            (3) by inserting after paragraph (6) the following:
            ``(7) The term `methane hydrate' means--
                    ``(A) a methane clathrate that is in the form of a 
                methane-water ice-like crystalline material and is 
                stable and occurs naturally in deep-ocean and 
                permafrost areas; and
                    ``(B) other natural gas hydrates found in 
                association with deep-ocean and permafrost deposits of 
                methane hydrate.''.


    There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Energy 
to carry out this Act--
            (1) $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2001;
            (2) $7,500,000 for fiscal year 2002;
            (3) $11,000,000 for fiscal year 2003;
            (4) $12,000,000 for fiscal year 2004; and
            (5) $12,000,000 for fiscal year 2005.
Amounts authorized under this section shall remain available until 


    Section 3 of this Act shall cease to be effective after the end of 
fiscal year 2005.


    The Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the National 
Research Council for such council to conduct a study of the progress 
made under the methane hydrate research and development program 
implemented pursuant to this Act, and to make recommendations for 
future methane hydrate research and development needs. The Secretary 
shall transmit to the Congress, not later than September 30, 2004, a 
report containing the findings and recommendations of the National 
Research Council under this section.


    The Secretary of Energy shall provide to the Committee on Science 
of the House of Representatives copies of any report or study that the 
Department of Energy prepares at the direction of any committee of the 

Pages: 1

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