Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended (04/24/2006)

Protecting America's Competitive Edge Through Energy Act of 2006 or PACE-Energy Act - (Sec. 3) Amends the Department of Energy Science Education Enhancement Act to direct the Secretary of Energy, acting through the Under Secretary for Science, (the Secretary) to appoint a Director of Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education (the Director) with principal responsibility for administering mathematics, science, and engineering education programs of the Department of Energy (DOE). Specifies the Director's duties, including to increase the participation and advancement of women and underrepresented minorities at every level of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Instructs the Secretary to offer to enter into a contract with the National Academy of Sciences under which the National Academy shall assess the performance of such DOE education programs. Authorizes appropriations.

Requires the Secretary to establish a Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education Fund to carry out provisions under the Act relating to laboratory cooperative science centers and other authorized education activities and education partnerships.

Instructs the Director to make available necessary funds for a program, using scientific and engineering staff of the national laboratories, in which such staff assists teaching courses at statewide specialty secondary schools that provide comprehensive mathematics and science (including engineering) education.

Directs the Secretary to establish a summer internship program for middle and secondary school students to provide them with internships at the national laboratories and to promote experiential, hands-on learning in mathematics or science. Requires that priority be given to students who attend certain schools with enrollment from low-income families or certain rural schools. Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director, to establish outreach and experiential-based learning programs that will encourage underrepresented minority students in kindergarten through grade 12 to pursue careers in math, science, and engineering. Instructs the Secretary to ensure that such programs: (1) involve participation by parents and educators and the establishment of partnerships with business organizations and appropriate federal, state, and local agencies; and (2) are located in various geographic regions of the United States. Authorizes appropriations.

Directs the Secretary to establish at each of the national laboratories a program to support a Center of Excellence in Mathematics and Science at one public secondary school located in the region of the national laboratory to provide assistance in accordance with this Act. Requires the establishment of goals and performance assessments for each Center. Instructs the Director to make available necessary funds for a program, using scientific and engineering staff at the national laboratories, during which the staff assist teaching courses at such Centers. Requires consideration of the results of such assessments in any performance review of a national laboratories management and operations contractor.

Directs the Secretary, acting through the Director, to establish or expand summer institute programs at the national laboratories to provide additional training to strengthen the mathematics and science teaching skills of teachers employed at public schools in kindergarten through grade 12.

Directs the Secretary, acting through the Director, to establish a program to support the appointment of distinguished scientists by the national laboratories. Provides for the review and funding of the appointment of such scientists.

Directs the Secretary, acting through the Director, to establish a program to expand and enhance institution of higher education nuclear science educational capabilities.

Directs the Secretary, acting through the Director, to award for each fiscal year through FY2011: (1) up to three grants to institutions of higher education that establish new academic degree programs in nuclear science; (2) up to ten grants to institutions of higher education with existing academic degree programs that produce graduates in nuclear science; and (3) up to 150 scholarships to be used to provide for educational expenses for students at eligible institutions of higher education who enter into academic degree programs in nuclear science. (Instructs the Secretary to ensure that each student who receives a scholarship has the opportunity to participate in an internship at a national laboratory during the course of study of such student.) Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 4) Directs the Secretary to award not less than 65 grants per year through FY2011 to outstanding eligible early-career researchers to support the work of such researchers in DOE. Instructs the Secretary, in awarding such grants, to give special consideration to such researchers who have followed alternative career paths. Requires grant recipients to use funds for basic research in natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, or computer sciences at DOE. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 5) Directs the Secretary to establish an Advanced Research Projects Authority-Energy to oversee the long-term and high-risk technological barriers in the development of applied energy technologies (including carbon neutral technologies) that hinder the successful implementation of such technologies in commercial markets. Provides for the appointment of a Director of the Authority, who shall advise the Secretary on matters pertaining to long-term and high-risk programs to overcome such barriers to the development of applied energy technologies in commercial markets. Directs the Secretary to establish an advisory board to make recommendations on actions necessary to carry out the Authority. Requires the Secretary to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences under which the Academy shall review whether the activities carried out under the Authority are overcoming such barriers to the successful implementation of applied energy technologies in commercial markets. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 6) Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to authorize appropriations for DOE for FY2010-FY2013 for carrying out research, development, demonstration, and commercial application activities of the Office of Science.

(Sec. 7) Directs the Secretary to establish distributed, multidisciplinary Institutes centered at national laboratories to apply fundamental science and engineering discoveries to technological innovations for the creation of products, processes, and services related to the missions of DOE and U.S. global competitiveness. Requires the Institutes to support scientific and engineering research and education activities on critical emerging technologies determined by the Secretary to be essential to global competitiveness. Instructs the Secretary to establish partnerships between the Institutes and institutions of higher education, private industry, state and local governments, and financing entities. Requires the Secretary to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences, under which the Academy reviews the performance of such Institutes. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 8) Directs the Secretary to establish a graduate fellowship program for eligible students pursuing a doctoral degree in a mission area of DOE. Provides for the portability of fellowships awarded pursuant to this Act. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 9) Requires the Secretary to: (1) report on the actions taken by DOE to implement the recommendations in Government Accountability Office (GAO) report 04-639 (concerning agency efforts to ensure women's participation in the sciences); and (2) annually conduct compliance reviews of at least two recipients of DOE grants in order to comply with title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.