H.R. 6160 (111th): Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2010

111th Congress, 2009–2010. Text as of Sep 28, 2010 (Reported by House Committee).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

IB

Union Calendar No. 384

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6160

[Report No. 111–644]

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 22, 2010

(for herself, Mr. Lewis of California, Mr. Coffman of Colorado, Mr. Gordon of Tennessee, and Mr. Carnahan) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Science and Technology

September 28, 2010

Additional sponsors: Mr. McMahon and Mr. Lipinski

September 28, 2010

Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic

For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on September 20, 2010


A BILL

To develop a rare earth materials program, to amend the National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act of 1980, and for other purposes.


1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2010.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Definitions.

Title I—Rare Earth Materials

Sec. 101. Rare earth materials program.

Sec. 102. Rare earth materials loan guarantee program.

Title II—National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research, and Development

Sec. 201. Amendments to National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act of 1980.

Sec. 202. Repeal.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Appropriate Congressional committees

The term appropriate Congressional committees means the Committee on Science and Technology of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.

(2)

Department

The term Department means the Department of Energy.

(3)

Rare earth materials

The term rare earth materials means any of the following chemical elements in any of their physical forms or chemical combinations:

(A)

Scandium.

(B)

Yttrium.

(C)

Lanthanum.

(D)

Cerium.

(E)

Praseodymium.

(F)

Neodymium.

(G)

Promethium.

(H)

Samarium.

(I)

Europium.

(J)

Gadolinium.

(K)

Terbium.

(L)

Dysprosium.

(M)

Holmium.

(N)

Erbium.

(O)

Thulium.

(P)

Ytterbium.

(Q)

Lutetium.

(4)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Energy.

I

Rare Earth Materials

101.

Rare earth materials program

(a)

Establishment of program

(1)

In general

There is established in the Department a program of research, development, demonstration, and commercial application to assure the long-term, secure, and sustainable supply of rare earth materials sufficient to satisfy the national security, economic well-being, and industrial production needs of the United States.

(2)

Program activities

The program shall support activities to—

(A)

better characterize and quantify virgin stocks of rare earth materials using theoretical geochemical research;

(B)

explore, discover, and recover rare earth materials using advanced science and technology;

(C)

improve methods for the extraction, processing, use, recovery, and recycling of rare earth materials;

(D)

improve the understanding of the performance, processing, and adaptability in engineering designs of rare earth materials;

(E)

identify and test alternative materials that can be substituted for rare earth materials in particular applications;

(F)

engineer and test applications that—

(i)

use recycled rare earth materials;

(ii)

use alternative materials; or

(iii)

seek to minimize rare earth materials content; and

(G)

collect, catalogue, archive, and disseminate information on rare earth materials, including scientific and technical data generated by the research and development activities supported under this section.

(3)

Improved processes and technologies

To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall support new or significantly improved processes and technologies as compared to those currently in use in the rare earth materials industry.

(4)

Expanding participation

The Secretary shall encourage—

(A)

multidisciplinary collaborations among program participants; and

(B)

extensive opportunities for students at institutions of higher education, including institutions listed under section 371(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1067q(a)).

(5)

Consistency

The program shall be consistent with the policies and programs in the National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act of 1980 (30 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).

(6)

International collaboration

In carrying out the program, the Secretary shall collaborate, to the extent practicable, with the relevant directorates of the European Commission to coordinate activities of mutual interest and avoid duplication of effort.

(b)

Plan

(1)

In general

Within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act and biennially thereafter, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the appropriate Congressional committees a plan to carry out the program established under subsection (a).

(2)

Specific requirements

The plan shall include a description of—

(A)

the research and development activities to be carried out by the program during the subsequent 2 years;

(B)

the expected contributions of the program to the creation of innovative methods and technologies for the efficient and sustainable provision of rare earth materials to the domestic economy;

(C)

the criteria to be used to evaluate applications for loan guarantees under section 1706 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005;

(D)

any projects receiving loan guarantee support under such section and the status of such projects;

(E)

how the program is promoting the broadest possible participation by academic, industrial, and other contributors; and

(F)

actions taken or proposed that reflect recommendations from the assessment conducted under subsection (c) or the Secretary’s rationale for not taking action pursuant to any recommendation from such assessment for plans submitted following the completion of the assessment under such subsection.

(3)

Consultation

In preparing each plan under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consult with appropriate representatives of industry, institutions of higher education, Department of Energy national laboratories, professional and technical societies, and other entities, as determined by the Secretary.

(c)

Assessment

(1)

In general

After the program has been in operation for 4 years, the Secretary shall offer to enter into a contract with the National Academy of Sciences under which the National Academy shall conduct an assessment of the program under subsection (a).

(2)

Inclusions

The assessment shall include the recommendation of the National Academy of Sciences that the program should be—

(A)

continued, accompanied by a description of any improvements needed in the program; or

(B)

terminated, accompanied by a description of the lessons learned from the execution of the program.

(3)

Availability

The assessment shall be made available to Congress and the public upon completion.

102.

Rare earth materials loan guarantee program

(a)

Amendment

Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16511 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

1706.

Temporary program for rare earth materials revitalization

(a)

In general

As part of the program established in section 101 of the Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2010, the Secretary is authorized to make guarantees under this title for the commercial application of new or significantly improved technologies (compared to technologies currently in use in the United States at the time the guarantee is issued) for the following categories of projects:

(1)

The separation and recovery of rare earth materials from ores or other sources.

(2)

The preparation of rare earth materials in oxide, metal, alloy, or other forms needed for national security, economic well-being, or industrial production purposes.

(3)

The application of rare earth materials in the production of improved—

(A)

magnets;

(B)

batteries;

(C)

refrigeration systems;

(D)

optical systems;

(E)

electronics; and

(F)

catalysis.

(4)

The application of rare earth materials in other uses, as determined by the Secretary.

(b)

Timeliness

The Secretary shall seek to minimize delay in approving loan guarantee applications, consistent with appropriate protection of taxpayer interests.

(c)

Cooperation

To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall cooperate with appropriate private sector participants to achieve a complete rare earth materials production capability in the United States within 5 years after the date of enactment of the Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2010.

(d)

Domestic supply chain

In support of the objective in subsection (c) to achieve a rare earth materials production capability in the United States that includes the complete value chain described in paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (a), the Secretary may not award a guarantee for a project unless the project’s proponent provides to the Secretary an assurance that the loan or guarantee shall be used to support the separation, recovery, preparation, or manufacturing of rare earth materials in the United States for customers within the United States unless insufficient domestic demand for such materials results in excess capacity.

(e)

Sunset

The authority to enter into guarantees under this section shall expire on September 30, 2015.

.

(b)

Table of contents amendment

The table of contents of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1705 the following new item:

Sec. 1706. Temporary program for rare earth materials revitalization.

.

II

National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research, and Development

201.

Amendments to National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act of 1980

(a)

Program Plan

Section 5 of the National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act of 1980 (30 U.S.C. 1604) is amended—

(1)

by striking date of enactment of this Act each place it appears and inserting date of enactment of the Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2010;

(2)

in subsection (b), by striking Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology and inserting National Science and Technology Council,;

(3)

in subsection (c)—

(A)

by striking the Federal Emergency and all that follows through Agency, and;

(B)

by striking appropriate shall and inserting appropriate, shall;

(C)

by striking paragraph (1);

(D)

in paragraph (2), by striking in the case and all that follows through subsection,

(E)

by redesignating paragraph (2) as paragraph (1); and

(F)

by amending paragraph (3) to read as follows:

(2)

assess the adequacy, accessibility, and stability of the supply of materials necessary to maintain national security, economic well-being, and industrial production.

;

(4)

by striking subsections (d) and (e); and

(5)

by redesignating subsection (f) as subsection (d).

(b)

Policy

Section 3 of such Act (30 U.S.C. 1602) is amended—

(1)

by striking The Congress declares that it and inserting It; and

(2)

by striking The Congress further declares that implementation and inserting Implementation.

(c)

Implementation

Section 4 of such Act (30 U.S.C. 1603) is amended—

(1)

by striking For the purpose and all that follows through declares that the and inserting The; and

(2)

by striking departments and agencies, and inserting departments and agencies to implement the policies set forth in section 3.

202.

Repeal

Title II of Public Law 98–373 (30 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.; 98 Stat. 1248), also known as the National Critical Materials Act of 1984, is repealed.

September 28, 2010

Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed