S 537

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 537

To require the Secretary of the Treasury to instruct the United States Executive Directors of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to use the voice and vote of the United States to oppose the provision of any loan or financial or technical assistance for a project for the construction of hydroelectric dams or electricity transmission systems in the Mekong River Basin unless the Secretary makes certain assurances with respect to the project, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 9, 2011

Mr. WEBB introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


A BILL

To require the Secretary of the Treasury to instruct the United States Executive Directors of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to use the voice and vote of the United States to oppose the provision of any loan or financial or technical assistance for a project for the construction of hydroelectric dams or electricity transmission systems in the Mekong River Basin unless the Secretary makes certain assurances with respect to the project, 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 `Mekong River Protection Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. OPPOSITION OF THE UNITED STATES TO LOANS AND ASSISTANCE FROM THE WORLD BANK AND THE ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK WITH RESPECT TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF HYDROELECTRIC DAMS AND ELECTRICITY TRANSMISSION SYSTEMS IN THE MEKONG RIVER BASIN.

    (a) In General- The Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States Executive Directors of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to use the voice and vote of the United States to oppose the provision of any loan or financial or technical assistance for a project for the construction of hydroelectric dams or electricity transmission systems in the Mekong River Basin unless, not later than 21 days before a vote to provide such a loan or such assistance, the Secretary of the Treasury submits the report described in subsection (b) to the committees specified in subsection (c).

    (b) Report Described- The report described in this subsection is a report that, based on information provided by the Bank considering providing a loan or other assistance with respect to a project described in subsection (a), provides the following assurances with respect to the project:

      (1) The project will be carried out in a manner that adheres to the safeguard policies of the Bank with respect to protecting the environment, ensuring the safety of dams, the involuntary resettlement of people displaced by dams, indigenous peoples, and the reduction of poverty.

      (2) The project will not result in significant adverse effects on--

        (A) water flows along the Mekong River mainstream and its tributaries or the seasonal changes in the flow of the river; or

        (B) local or regional public health, food security, or the environment.

      (3) The project includes a plan to incorporate the benefits gained by the generation of electricity and irrigation projects into the local and national economies in the area surrounding the site of the project.

      (4) The project includes a contingency plan to address the effects on income and food insecurity that might arise from disruptions along the Mekong River during the construction phase of the project.

      (5) The project was developed taking into consideration assessments of the environmental and socioeconomic impact of the project on the Mekong River Basin region and the results of those assessments have been made available to all countries along the Mekong River.

      (6) The development of the project included consultations with the governments of the countries along the Mekong River and appropriate regional multilateral institutions and community organizations.

    (c) Committees Specified- The committees specified in this subsection are--

      (1) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and

      (2) the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

    (d) World Bank Defined- In this section, the term `World Bank' means the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association.

END