Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (08/04/1990)

National Energy Policy Act of 1990 - Establishes as national goals: (1) the identification of an appropriate mix of policies that have the potential of stabilizing and reducing the generation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the United States; and (2) the promotion of international cooperation in addressing potential global climate change through the establishment of an international framework convention on global climate change.

Title I: Energy Policy Initiatives - Mandates that the first National Energy Policy Plan submitted by the President to the Congress (and each subsequent Plan) include a least-cost energy strategy prepared by the Secretary of Energy (the Secretary). Prescribes strategy guidelines.

Amends the Energy Security Act to repeal energy target provisions.

Directs the Secretary to appoint a Director of Climate Protection within the Department of Energy to participate in: (1) global climate change policy considerations; and (2) least-cost energy strategy considerations.

Requires the Director to contract with the National Research Council for the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering (the Academies) to review and report to the Congress on trends in greenhouse gases and global climate change. Requires a report to the Office and the Congress. Requires the President to transmit to the Congress his assessment of such report.

Title II: Energy Efficiency Initiatives - Requires the Secretary to: (1) submit periodic evaluations to the Congress regarding energy efficiency policy options necessary to produce certain percentage decreases in U.S. energy use; (2) pursue a research and development program intended to improve energy efficiency and productivity in energy-intensive industries and industrial processes; (3) undertake joint ventures to encourage commercialization of technologies developed from such program; and (4) conduct competitive solicitation for joint venture proposals and provide financial assistance to such ventures. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Amends the National Energy Conservation Policy Act (NECPA) to set a deadline by which each Federal agency must: (1) install energy conservation measures in its Federal buildings with specified payback periods; (2) submit a list of projects to the Secretary which meets such payback criterion and indicates total energy and cost savings involved; and (3) have substantially completed at least 25 percent of such projects as would account for 25 percent of total energy savings. Directs the Secretary to develop guidelines in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of the General Services Administration with respect to the selection of energy service contractors.

Sets forth a deadline by which: (1) each Federal agency must consider the energy efficiency of all potential building space at the time of lease renewal or entering into a lease; and (2) all federally owned and leased space under construction must meet model Federal building standards for energy efficiency.

Amends the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology Competitiveness Act of 1989 to direct the Secretary to solicit proposals and provide financial assistance for joint ventures in fuel cell technology to demonstrate critical enabling technologies to accelerate commercialization of electric energy production from fuel cells. Authorizes appropriations.

Amends the NECPA to repeal the prohibition against the supply and installation of residential energy conservation measures by utilities.

Directs the Secretary to provide financial assistance to support a voluntary, national window rating program to develop window energy ratings and labels. Mandates that such program be administered by the National Fenestration Rating Council which shall report periodically to the Congress and the Secretary regarding the program's status. Directs the Federal Trade Commission to prescribe labeling rules for windows and window systems. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Directs the Administrator of the Energy Information Administration to report to the Congress regarding the acquisition of energy efficiency information.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) submit a feasibility report to the Congress regarding the mandatory use in Federal facilities of compact fluorescent lamps instead of incandescent lamps; and (2) submit a plan to the Congress for the demonstration in Federal facilities of energy efficiency technologies that are ready for commercial demonstration but are not widely available commercially.

Amends the NECPA to direct the Secretary to: (1) promulgate procedural guidelines enabling the States to assign energy efficiency ratings to residential buildings; and (2) establish a technical assistance program to State and local governments adopting energy efficiency rating systems or building codes.

Amends the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) to mandate that State regulatory commissions consider a least-cost ratemaking standard under which utility investments in demand-side measures shall be as profitable as investments in new generation facilities (thus creating an economic incentive for utilities to promote residential energy conservation measures). Requires the Secretary to report to the President and the Congress an evaluation of: (1) the results of least-cost planning methodologies implemented by electric utilities; and (2) the extent to which ratemaking methodologies implementing least-cost planning take into account the impact of such measures on electric utilities' profitability.

Amends the NECPA to require the Secretary to: (1) conduct a fuel cell systems demonstration program in Federal buildings; and (2) report to the Congress on the program's implementation. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Amends PURPA to remove the size limitations placed upon solar, wind, waste and geothermal electric energy facilities eligible for PURPA regulatory benefits. Amends the Federal Power Act to make conforming amendments and to direct the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue regulations reflecting such amendments. States that the size limitation removal shall only apply for a two-year period.

Title III: Energy Research and Development Initiatives - Requires the Secretary to: (1) consider specified criteria when establishing research and development priorities; (2) biennially submit to the Congress a management plan for research, development and commercialization of energy technologies; (3) implement an engine and vehicle fuel research and demonstration program on systems that offer a potential reduction in the generation of greenhouse gases, and that improve transportation energy uses; and (4) emphasize advanced gas turbine cycles (and their incorporation of energy efficient materials for high efficiency electric and automotive power generation) when implementing a high efficiency heat engine research and demonstration program. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a natural gas cofiring research, development and demonstration program with respect to electric utility units and large industrial boilers. Authorizes appropriations.

Spark M. Matsunaga Hydrogen Research and Development Act of 1990 - Directs the Secretary of Energy to submit to specified congressional committees a comprehensive five-year management plan for a research and development program designed to permit the development of a domestic hydrogen fuel production capability within the shortest time practicable.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) prepare a comprehensive large-scale hydrogen demonstration plan; (2) conduct a domestic hydrogen fuel production capability research and development program; (3) initiate or accelerate research in critical technical issues that will contribute to the development of more economic hydrogen production; (4) conduct demonstrations of critical technologies and small-scale hydrogen technology at self-contained sites; and (5) transfer critical technologies to the private sector in order to accelerate increased use of practicable hydrogen technologies.

Establishes the Hydrogen Technical Advisory Panel to advise the Secretary on the hydrogen research and development program.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Directs the Secretary to conduct demonstration programs regarding: (1) magnetic and inertial confinement fusion for the production of electricity; and (2) coal-based technologies. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Authorizes the Secretary to enter into cooperative agreements or joint ventures with certain urban area transit authorities to demonstrate the feasibility of using natural gas or other alternative mass transit fuels. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Directs the Secretary to implement and finance a fleet vehicle program for the commercialization of natural gas and other alternative fuels. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Directs the Secretary of Labor to implement a technician training and certification program for the conversion of conventionally fueled vehicles to natural gas and alternative fuels. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Directs the Secretary to conduct or expand the following demonstration programs: (1) specified aspects of improved natural gas and alternative fueled vehicle technology; (2) increased availability of natural gas from specified sources; (3) natural gas and electric heating and cooling technologies for residential and commercial buildings; and (4) electric vehicle and battery technology. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress the results of an assessment of the statutory, economic, and regulatory barriers to expanded hydroelectric capacity development at existing dams.

Electric Vehicle Technology Development and Demonstration Act of 1990 - Requires the Secretary to: (1) identify by a specified deadline the nonattainment areas in which conventionally fueled vehicles contribute significantly to that nonattainment and in which the use of electric vehicles could contribute to attainment of National Air Quality Standards; (2) designate nonattainment areas eligible to participate in a specified electric vehicle research and demonstration program; (3) report to the Congress on the program's status; (4) report to the Congress on the extent to which nuclear fission generated electricity can safely and reliably supply electricity and reduce greenhouse gases; and (5) establish within the Department of Energy a program to develop technologies to a point where private industry will undertake further commercial development.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Title IV: Miscellaneous - Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress on: (1) specified aspects of methane generation; (2) measures that could reduce atmospheric methane concentrations from sources within the United States; and (3) methane emissions from countries other than the United States.

Directs the Committee on Renewable Energy Commerce and Trade to: (1) expand the transfer of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies to lesser-developed countries; (2) promote the development of such technologies in those countries; and (3) develop a comprehensive energy technology data base and information dissemination system. Authorizes the Committee to establish renewable energy industry information outreach offices in the Pacific Rim and the Caribbean Basin.

Requires the Secretary to report biennially to the Congress concerning the range of environmental and energy technologies necessary to meet the energy needs of developing countries while reducing the generation of greenhouse gases.

Mandates that a certain management plan required under the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology Competitiveness Act of 1989 include a five-year implementation plan for joint ventures with U.S. manufacturers (including assistance to smaller manufacturers) for the development and marketing of energy efficient and renewable energy technologies in key lesser-developed countries. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1992 through 1994.

Directs the Secretary to report to the Congress the results of a comparative fuel cycle cost analysis with respect to the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1991 to establish a secretariat within the Department of State to prepare for the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development.

Title V: Natural Resource Policy - Directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of ecological and environmental resources that could be affected by global climate change.

Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to report to the President and the Congress on the feasibility of a National Reforestation Initiative.

Directs the Secretary of Energy to conduct a study of the potential for reducing carbon dioxide emissions by undertaking targeted urban tree and vegetative plantings, including landscaping and the use of natural windbreaks designed to reduce the air conditioning and heating needs of buildings.