July 28, 1975
Congressional Record - Senate: Pages 25836-25389
By Mr. HATFIELD:
S. 2188. A bill to amend the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974 in order to discourage the use of electricity and natural gas in large amounts and to provide minimal rates for small users. Referred to the Committee on Commerce.
S. 2189. A bill to require the Interstate Commerce Commission to establish non-discriminatory rates and charges for the transportation of recyclable and recycled solid waste materials. Referred to the Committee on Commerce.
S. 2190. A bill to direct the Secretary of Transportation to make an investigation and study to determine a National Transportation Policy which will result in maximum energy efficiency in our national transportation system. Referred to the Committee on Commerce.
S. 2191. A bill to amend the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974 to provide for a study of conservation measures applicable to building construction and of the extent to which agencies of the Federal Government are encouraging energy conservation in such construction, and for other purposes. Referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
SOME ELEMENTS OF A STRATEGY FOR
LONG-RANGE ENERGY CONSERVATION
Mr. HATFIELD. Mr. President, neither the administration nor the Congress is setting forth the kind of comprehensive energy program that will achieve the long-term changes we must make in our energy consumption patterns if we are to become less dependent upon foreign energy sources and at the same time maintain a quality domestic environment. Instead, we continue to focus on emergency, stopgap measures that, if implemented, would not be acceptable to most Americans for very long.
It is clear from any realistic energy supply scenario one cares to examine, that conservation efforts must play a key role in our energy future, yet the conservation mechanisms being discussed today are generally schemes to create artificial energy shortages. Such policies as absolute quotas on imports, allocation or rationing of scarce supplies, mandatory closure of service stations on Sundays, and the like are obviously not the course to steer for the long run. They should be considered only as stand-by measures to be implemented in an emergency. Even over a short period of time, such measures would be destructive—they would add to unemployment, further wound industries that rely on key petroleum supplies, devastate recreation and tourism, and cause new citizen frustration with gasoline waiting lines or rationing regulations. Such heavy-handed programs inevitably produce unnecessarily severe distress and dislocations relative to what gets accomplished.
Indeed, we had an embargo. And we could have another one. But our answer to this immediate threat should not also serve as our long-term energy conservation strategy. We should be planning and legislating today for long-term changes in our energy consumption patterns-changes that will move us away from energy-intensive technologies and that will institute a conservation ethic throughout our economy. Turning this corner on consumption will take some time, for long-range programs cannot do overnight what quotas can do. But programs that do not rely on devices like the petroleum allocation system will be more sure, more true, more in the direction we want to go, and will have a staying power that emergency patchwork policies lack. If there is anything this country needs right now, it is an energy program that meets these criteria—firm and unwavering and consistent with our basic principles of a free economy.
I am offering four bills today that address this problem of long-range energy conservation policy. By no means do they preempt the field, but they should generate actions that will draw needed attention to the general problem.
The first two require immediate policy change—the inversion of electricity and natural gas rate schedules, and the prohibition of freight rates that discriminate against recyclable solid waste materials. The former would require that, in the pricing of electricity and natural gas to the ultimate consumer, rates would increase as consumption increases. A minimal rate, at or below the actual cost of delivery, would apply to the first relatively small block of electrical power or natural gas consumed in a given mont—or year—and increasing rates would apply to each additional block consumed. Consumption in large amounts is obviously discouraged by such a scheme.
The latter bill would require the Interstate Commerce Commission to investigate the rates charged by carriers of recyclable materials and to issue orders to prevent unfair, unreasonable, or discriminatory treatment of such materials. The energy consumption involved with the manufacture of an item from virgin materials in almost all cases exceeds that involved in manufacture from recycled materials. In some cases recycling actually displaced the need for a certain amount of manufacturing activity—as in the case of beverage containers. And, of course, recycling of nonrenewable resources is also desirable from the standpoint of materials conservation.
The third and fourth bills launch investigations that should provide guidance for energy policy in transportation and construction. In transportation I believe we should develop a national strategy that recognizes certain modes of freight transport as being more energy efficient than others for the movement of certain types of freight between certain points. Generally speaking, it takes six times more energy to move 1 ton of freight 1 mile by truck than by rail. And rail is usually less efficient than water transport. Where the systems—the waterways and rail roadbeds—exist, they should be utilized much more for long-haul transport. Yet, sadly, the rails are being left to deteriorate today.
In construction I believe we should investigate the extent to which we can employ materials that require less energy to manufacture, construction methods that are less energy consumptive and designs that will enable the completed structure to operate more efficiently. Attention has been focused recently only on the last of these problems. However, aluminum and cement have been displacing steel as construction materials over the last 30 years, and we are now to the point where production of aluminum, cement, and chemicals consumes 30 p0ercent of the industrial use of electrical power in the United States. Light metals during this period have also been displacing forest products, which are made from a renewable resource produced by solar energy in a natural cycle.
The texts of these two bills are self-explanatory, and I ask unanimous consent that they, together with the first two bills, be printed in the RECORD.
There being no objection, the bills were ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 5 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974 is amended by inserting at the end thereof the following:
“(c) (1) In order to more effectively carry out the purposes of subsection (b) (6) of this section the Administrator shall, not later than 90 days after the effective date of this subsection, prescribe such regulations as are necessary to require that State regulatory agencies, city councils, country governments, utility boards of directors, and any other bodies with authority to set or approve rates for the pricing of electricity or natural gas to the ultimate consumer not approve any rate structure for such electricity or natural gas unless it provides—
“(A) for minimal rates at cost of service or less for the first block of electricity or natural gas used in residential dwellings;
“(B) for increasing rates for additional blocks of electricity or natural gas used in residential dwellings above the initial block; and
“(C) for increasing block rtes for industrial and commercial customers, regardless of whether service delivery is considered retail or wholesale.
“(2) The Administrator shall within such 90 day period also prescribe regulations requiring any Federal agency furnishing electricity to the ultimate consumer to meet the requirements of clauses (A), (B) and (C) of paragraph (1).”.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That (a) the Interstate Commerce Commission shall, within six months after the date of enactment of this Act and on a continuing basis thereafter—
(1) investigate and formally identify all rates charged by transportation carriers subject to its jurisdiction for the transportation of recyclable or recycled materials and shall, in each case, determine whether the rates charged and the terms and conditions of transportation for such materials are fair and reasonable and whether they unjustly discriminate against the movement of shipment in interstate or foreign commerce of recyclable or recycled materials and in favor of competing virgin natural resource materials or commodities;
(2) issue appropriate orders in all cases where the rates charged or terms and conditions of transportation applicable to recyclable or recycled materials are found to be unfair, unreasonable, or discriminatory pursuant to which such rates and conditions of transportation will be effectively canceled and repealed and replaced by rates, tariffs, and conditions of transportation which are found to be fair, reasonable ,and nondiscriminatory; and
(3) file annual and terminal reports with the President and Congress regarding the results of such investigations and all actions taken to establish fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory rates for the transportation of recyclable or recycled materials.
(b) For the purposes of this Act, “fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory rates” for recyclable and recycled materials may include rates which are less than those for similar virgin materials in any case where it is in the national interest to encourage the use of any such recyclable or recycled material.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That (a) the Secretary of Transportation shall make a full and complete investigation and study for the purpose of determining (1) a National Transportation Policy which will promote the maximum use of each mode of transportation in the type of transportation which will result in the maximum energy efficiency for the Nation, and (2) a strategy for achieving the ultimate aims for such policy. Such study shall include all modes of passenger and freight transportation, a determination of their energy efficiency for long and short haul purposes, and such other matters as the Secretary deems appropriate.
(b) The Secretary shall report the results of such investigation and study, together with any recommended legislation necessary to put such policy and strategy into effect, within six months after the date of enactment of this Act.
SEC. 2. There is authorized to be appropriated such amount as is necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section 15 of the Federal Energy Administration Act of 1974 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:
“(f) The Administrator shall carry out a study to determine-
“(1) the feasibility of establishing new or modifying existing Federal standards to require designated minimum levels of energy efficiency in the construction of new residential and other buildings; and
“(2) the extent to which other departments and agencies of the Federal Government are encouraging energy efficient building construction pursuant to standards promulgated under existing law.
Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Administrator shall submit a report to the President and the Congress containing his findings and recommendations for legislation or administrative action to increase energy efficiency in building construction.”