GovTrack’s Bill Summary
We don’t have a summary available yet.
The bill’s title was written by the bill’s sponsor. H.R. stands for House of Representatives bill.
We don’t have a summary available yet.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.
This summary can be found at http://www.gop.gov/bill/113/1/hr271.
The United States commercial power grid currently serves over 300 million people. Electricity, however, cannot be reliably stored on a large scale, meaning that it must be generated as needed. Any disruption in this constant balance of supply and demand can result in power lost to customers, which has the possibility of causing harm to national security and the U.S. economy.
In the event of an emergency, the Department of Energy has the authority to order power plants to continue operating and temporarily connect to other facilities in order to ensure continued power delivery. However, legal problems can arise for the providers that operate pursuant to an emergency order. For instance, in 2005, a Virginia power company was fined by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality because it exceeded its National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) operating limits, this despite the fact that had done so in order to comply with a DOE emergency order.
Current law does not make power reliability a priority over environmental laws. H.R. 271 fixes this by indemnifying parties complying with a DOJ emergency order from criminal or civil liability, thereby no longer putting companies in the no-win situation of having to choose between conflicting legal responsibilities. It also balances this with the need to minimize environmental effects by limiting the length of any emergency order by the DOE to 90 days.
The House passed similar legislation (H.R. 4273) in the 112th Congress on August 1, 2012 by voice vote.
H.R. 271 amends the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824a(c)) to limit the extent that an order may limit the generation, delivery or transmission of electricity to only the extent that it is consistent with an emergency and necessary to serve the public interest. The bill stipulates that any emergency order by the Department of Energy that may conflict with Federal, State, or local law or regulation must be limited to only those hours necessary to meet the emergency and may not last longer than 90 days.
Further, the bill provides that any action or omission required to comply with such an emergency order will not be considered as a violation of any Federal, state or local environmental law or regulation. The Department of Energy may renew orders for subsequent periods, not to exceed, 90 days. However, the Department of Energy must consult with the primary federal agency in the renewed order to minimize any adverse environmental impacts. The Department of Energy may waive such conditions if it determines that the condition would prevent the order from adequately addressing the emergency.
There is no CBO score currently available. However, CBO previously estimated that H.R. 4273, similar legislation passed in the House in the 112th Congress, would have an, “impact on the federal budget [that] would be insignificant over the 2012-2022 period.”
The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.
So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.
We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.
The bill contains the following citations to other parts of U.S. law:
The United States Code is the compilation of permanent laws enacted by Congress. Temporary and other non-permanent laws do not appear in the United States Code. (About half of the United States Code is the law itself, called positive law. The other half is merely a compilation of the laws but has no legal significance.)