Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 348 (rs) To authorize and facilitate a program to enhance training, research and development, energy conservation and efficiency, and consumer education in the oilheat industry for the benefit of oilheat consumers and the public, and for other purposes...

S. 348 (rs) To authorize and facilitate a program to enhance training, research and development, energy conservation and efficiency, and consumer education in the oilheat industry for the benefit of oilheat consumers and the public, and for other purposes...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                 S. 348


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            January 27, 2000

                 Referred to the Committee on Commerce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To authorize and facilitate a program to enhance training, research and 
development, energy conservation and efficiency, and consumer education 
 in the oilheat industry for the benefit of oilheat consumers and the 
                    public, and for other purposes.

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

        TITLE I--NATIONAL OIL HEAT RESEARCH ALLIANCE ACT OF 1999

SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``National Oilheat Research Alliance 
Act of 1999''.

SEC. 102. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
            (1) oilheat is an important commodity relied on by 
        approximately 30,000,000 Americans as an efficient and 
        economical energy source for commercial and residential space 
        and hot water heating;
            (2) oilheat equipment operates at efficiencies among the 
        highest of any space heating energy source, reducing fuel costs 
        and making oilheat an economical means of space heating;
            (3) the production, distribution, and marketing of oilheat 
        and oilheat equipment plays a significant role in the economy 
        of the United States, accounting for approximately 
        $12,900,000,000 in expenditures annually and employing millions 
        of Americans in all aspects of the oilheat industry;
            (4) only very limited Federal resources have been made 
        available for oilheat research, development, safety, training, 
        and education efforts, to the detriment of both the oilheat 
        industry and its 30,000,000 consumers; and
            (5) the cooperative development, self-financing, and 
        implementation of a coordinated national oilheat industry 
        program of research and development, training, and consumer 
        education is necessary and important for the welfare of the 
        oilheat industry, the general economy of the United States, and 
        the millions of Americans that rely on oilheat for commercial 
        and residential space and hot water heating.

SEC. 103. DEFINITIONS.

    In this title:
            (1) Alliance.--The term ``Alliance'' means a national 
        oilheat research alliance established under section 104.
            (2) Consumer education.--The term ``consumer education'' 
        means the provision of information to assist consumers and 
        other persons in making evaluations and decisions regarding 
        oilheat and other nonindustrial commercial or residential space 
        or hot water heating fuels.
            (3) Exchange.--The term ``exchange'' means an agreement 
        that--
                    (A) entitles each party or its customers to receive 
                oilheat from the other party; and
                    (B) requires only an insubstantial portion of the 
                volumes involved in the exchange to be settled in cash 
                or property other than the oilheat.
            (4) Industry trade association.--The term ``industry trade 
        association'' means an organization described in paragraph (3) 
        or (6) of section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 
        that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of that Code 
        and is organized for the purpose of representing the oilheat 
        industry.
            (5) No. 1 distillate.--The term ``No. 1 distillate'' means 
        fuel oil classified as No. 1 distillate by the American Society 
        for Testing and Materials.
            (6) No. 2 dyed distillate.--The term ``No. 2 dyed 
        distillate'' means fuel oil classified as No. 2 distillate by 
        the American Society for Testing and Materials that is 
        indelibly dyed in accordance with regulations prescribed by the 
        Secretary of the Treasury under section 4082(a)(2) of the 
        Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
            (7) Oilheat.--The term ``oilheat'' means--
                    (A) No. 1 distillate; and
                    (B) No. 2 dyed distillate;
        that is used as a fuel for nonindustrial commercial or 
        residential space or hot water heating.
            (8) Oilheat industry.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``oilheat industry'' 
                means--
                            (i) persons in the production, 
                        transportation, or sale of oilheat; and
                            (ii) persons engaged in the manufacture or 
                        distribution of oilheat utilization equipment.
                    (B) Exclusion.--The term ``oilheat industry'' does 
                not include ultimate consumers of oilheat.
            (9) Public member.--The term ``public member'' means a 
        member of the Alliance described in section 105(c)(1)(F).
            (10) Qualified industry organization.--The term ``qualified 
        industry organization'' means the National Association for 
        Oilheat Research and Education or a successor organization.
            (11) Qualified state association.--The term ``qualified 
        State association'' means the industry trade association or 
        other organization that the qualified industry organization or 
        the Alliance determines best represents retail marketers in a 
        State.
            (12) Retail marketer.--The term ``retail marketer'' means a 
        person engaged primarily in the sale of oilheat to ultimate 
        consumers.
            (13) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Energy.
            (14) Wholesale distributor.--The term ``wholesale 
        distributor'' means a person that--
                    (A)(i) produces No. 1 distillate or No. 2 dyed 
                distillate;
                    (ii) imports No. 1 distillate or No. 2 dyed 
                distillate; or
                    (iii) transports No. 1 distillate or No. 2 dyed 
                distillate across State boundaries or among local 
                marketing areas; and
                    (B) sells the distillate to another person that 
                does not produce, import, or transport No. 1 distillate 
                or No. 2 dyed distillate across State boundaries or 
                among local marketing areas.
            (15) State.--The term ``State'' means the several States, 
        except the State of Alaska.

SEC. 104. REFERENDA.

    (a) Creation of Program.--
            (1) In general.--The oilheat industry, through the 
        qualified industry organization, may conduct, at its own 
        expense, a referendum among retail marketers and wholesale 
        distributors for the establishment of a national oilheat 
        research alliance.
            (2) Reimbursement of cost.--The Alliance, if established, 
        shall reimburse the qualified industry organization for the 
        cost of accounting and documentation for the referendum.
            (3) Conduct.--A referendum under paragraph (1) shall be 
        conducted by an independent auditing firm.
            (4) Voting rights.--
                    (A) Retail marketers.--Voting rights of retail 
                marketers in a referendum under paragraph (1) shall be 
                based on the volume of oilheat sold in a State by each 
                retail marketer in the calendar year previous to the 
                year in which the referendum is conducted or in another 
                representative period.
                    (B) Wholesale distributors.--Voting rights of 
                wholesale distributors in a referendum under paragraph 
                (1) shall be based on the volume of No. 1 distillate 
                and No. 2 dyed distillate sold in a State by each 
                wholesale distributor in the calendar year previous to 
                the year in which the referendum is conducted or in 
                another representative period, weighted by the ratio of 
                the total volume of No. 1 distillate and No. 2 dyed 
                distillate sold for nonindustrial commercial and 
                residential space and hot water heating in the State to 
                the total volume of No. 1 distillate and No. 2 dyed 
                distillate sold in that State.
            (5) Establishment by approval of two-thirds.--
                    (A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), on 
                approval of persons representing two-thirds of the 
                total volume of oilheat voted in the retail marketer 
                class and two-thirds of the total weighted volume of 
                No. 1 distillate and No. 2 dyed distillate voted in the 
                wholesale distributor class, the Alliance shall be 
                established and shall be authorized to levy assessments 
                under section 107.
                    (B) Requirement of majority of retail marketers.--
                Except as provided in subsection (b), the oilheat 
                industry in a State shall not participate in the 
                Alliance if less than 50 percent of the retail marketer 
                vote in the State approves establishment of the 
                Alliance.
            (6) Certification of volumes.--Each person voting in the 
        referendum shall certify to the independent auditing firm the 
        volume of oilheat, No. 1 distillate, or No. 2 dyed distillate 
        represented by the vote of the person.
            (7) Notification.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
        enactment of this title, a qualified State association may 
        notify the qualified industry organization in writing that a 
        referendum under paragraph (1) will not be conducted in the 
        State.
    (b) Subsequent State Participation.--The oilheat industry in a 
State that has not participated initially in the Alliance may 
subsequently elect to participate by conducting a referendum under 
subsection (a).
    (c) Termination or Suspension.--
            (1) In general.--On the initiative of the Alliance or on 
        petition to the Alliance by retail marketers and wholesale 
        distributors representing 35 percent of the volume of oilheat 
        or weighted No. 1 distillate and No. 2 dyed distillate in each 
        class, the Alliance shall, at its own expense, hold a 
        referendum, to be conducted by an independent auditing firm 
        selected by the Alliance, to determine whether the oilheat 
        industry favors termination or suspension of the Alliance.
            (2) Volume percentages required to terminate or suspend.--
        Termination or suspension shall not take effect unless 
        termination or suspension is approved by--
                    (A) persons representing more than one-half of the 
                total volume of oilheat voted in the retail marketer 
                class and more than one-half of the total volume of 
                weighted No. 1 distillate and No. 2 dyed distillate 
                voted in the wholesale distributor class; or
                    (B) persons representing more than two-thirds of 
                the total volume of fuel voted in either such class.
    (d) Calculation of Oilheat Sales.--For the purposes of this section 
and section 105, the volume of oilheat sold annually in a State shall 
be determined on the basis of information provided by the Energy 
Information Administration with respect to a calendar year or other 
representative period.

SEC. 105. MEMBERSHIP.

    (a) Selection.--
            (1) In general.--Except as provided in subsection 
        (c)(1)(C), the qualified industry organization shall select 
        members of the Alliance representing the oilheat industry in a 
        State 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.
    (b) Representation.--In selecting members of the Alliance, the 
qualified industry organization shall make best efforts to select 
members that are representative of the oilheat industry, including 
representation of--
            (1) interstate and intrastate operators among retail 
        marketers;
            (2) wholesale distributors of No. 1 distillate and No. 2 
        dyed distillate;
            (3) large and small companies among wholesale distributors 
        and retail marketers; and
            (4) diverse geographic regions of the country.
    (c) Number of Members.--
            (1) In general.--The membership of the Alliance shall be as 
        follows:
                    (A) One member representing each State with oilheat 
                sales in excess of 32,000,000 gallons per year.
                    (B) If fewer than 24 States are represented under 
                subparagraph (A), 1 member representing each of the 
                States with the highest volume of annual oilheat sales, 
                as necessary to cause the total number of States 
                represented under subparagraph (A) and this 
                subparagraph to equal 24.
                    (C) 5 representatives of retail marketers, 1 each 
                to be selected by the qualified State associations of 
                the 5 States with the highest volume of annual oilheat 
                sales.
                    (D) 5 additional representatives of retail 
                marketers.
                    (E) 21 representatives of wholesale distributors.
                    (F) 6 public members, who shall be representatives 
                of significant users of oilheat, the oilheat research 
                community, State energy officials, or other groups 
                knowledgeable about oilheat.
            (2) Full-time owners or employees.--Other than the public 
        members, Alliance members shall be full-time owners or 
        employees of members of the oilheat industry, except that 
        members described in subparagraphs (C), (D), and (E) of 
        paragraph (1) may be employees of the qualified industry 
        organization or an industry trade association.
    (d) Compensation.--Alliance members shall receive no compensation 
for their service, nor shall Alliance members be reimbursed for 
expenses relating to their service, except that public members, on 
request, may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses directly related to 
participation in meetings of the Alliance.
    (e) Terms.--
            (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (4), a member of the 
        Alliance shall serve a term of 3 years, except that a member 
        filling an unexpired term may serve a total of 7 consecutive 
        years.
            (2) Term limit.--A member may serve not more than 2 full 
        consecutive terms.
            (3) Former members.--A former member of the Alliance may be 
        returned to the Alliance if the member has not been a member 
        for a period of 2 years.
            (4) Initial appointments.--Initial appointments to the 
        Alliance shall be for terms of 1, 2, and 3 years, as determined 
        by the qualified industry organization, staggered to provide 
        for the subsequent selection of one-third of the members each 
        year.

SEC. 106. FUNCTIONS.

    (a) In General.--
            (1) Programs, projects; contracts and other agreements.--
        The Alliance--

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