S 330 RFH
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
April 27, 1999
April 27, 1999
Referred to the Committee on Science, and in addition to the Committee on 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
To promote the research, identification, assessment, exploration, and development of methane hydrate resources, 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 ‘Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 1999’.
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
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) GRANT- The term ‘grant’ means a grant awarded under a grant agreement, within the meaning of section 6304 of title 31, United States Code.
(4) INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION- The term ‘institution of higher education’ means an institution of higher education, within the meaning of section 102(a)(1) of the Higher Education Act of 1965.
(5) METHANE HYDRATE- The term ‘methane hydrate’ means a methane clathrate that--
(A) is in the form of a methane-water ice-like crystalline material; and
(B) is stable and occurs naturally in deep-ocean and permafrost areas.
(6) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Energy.
(7) SECRETARY OF DEFENSE- The term ‘Secretary of Defense’ means the Secretary of Defense, acting through the Secretary of the Navy.
(8) 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.
(9) DIRECTOR- The term ‘Director’ means the Director of the National Science Foundation.
SEC. 3. METHANE HYDRATE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.
(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 Defense, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Director, shall commence a program of methane hydrate research and development.
(2) DESIGNATIONS- The Secretary, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Director shall designate individuals to carry out this section.
(3) MEETINGS- The individuals designated under paragraph (2) shall meet not later than 120 days after the date on which all such individuals are designated 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, AND COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS-
(1) ASSISTANCE AND COORDINATION- 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); and
(F) develop technologies to reduce the risks of drilling through methane hydrates.
(2) CONSULTATION- The Secretary may establish an advisory panel consisting of experts from industry, institutions of higher education, and Federal agencies to--
(A) advise the Secretary on potential applications of methane hydrate; and
(B) assist in developing recommendations and priorities for the methane hydrate research and development program carried out under subsection (a)(1).
(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).
(d) RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SECRETARY- In carrying out subsection (b)(1), the Secretary shall--
(1) facilitate and develop partnerships among government, industry, and institutions of higher education to research, identify, assess, and explore methane hydrate resources;
(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.
SEC. 4. AMENDMENT TO THE MINING AND MINERALS POLICY ACT OF 1970.
Section 201 of the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 1901) is amended--
(1) by redesignating paragraphs (6) and (7) as paragraphs (7) and (8), respectively;
(2) by inserting after paragraph (5) the following:
‘(6) The term ‘methane hydrate’ means a methane clathrate that--
‘(A) is in the form of a methane-water ice-like crystalline material; and
‘(B) is stable and occurs naturally in deep-ocean and permafrost areas.’; and
(3) in paragraph (7) (as redesignated by paragraph (1))--
(A) in subparagraph (F), by striking ‘and’ at the end;
(B) by redesignating subparagraph (G) as subparagraph (H); and
(C) by inserting after subparagraph (F) the following:
‘(G) methane hydrate; and’.
SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this Act.
Passed the Senate April 19, 1999.