Follow The Orator Network

S 841

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 841

To provide cost-sharing assistance to improve access to the markets of foreign countries for energy efficiency products and renewable energy products exported by small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

April 14, 2011

Mr. UDALL of Colorado (for himself, Ms. STABENOW, and Mr. MERKLEY) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs


A BILL

To provide cost-sharing assistance to improve access to the markets of foreign countries for energy efficiency products and renewable energy products exported by small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States, 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 `Renewable Energy Market Access Program Act'.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) ENERGY EFFICIENCY PRODUCT- The term `energy efficiency product' means any product, technology, or component of a product that--

        (A) as compared with products, technologies, or components of products being deployed at the time for widespread commercial use in the country in which the product, technology, or component will be used--

          (i) substantially increases the energy efficiency of buildings, industrial or agricultural processes, or electricity transmission, distribution, or end-use consumption; or

          (ii) substantially increases the energy efficiency of the transportation system; and

        (B) results in no significant incremental adverse effects on public health or the environment.

      (2) RENEWABLE ENERGY- The term `renewable energy' means energy generated by a renewable energy resource.

      (3) RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCT- The term `renewable energy product' means any product, technology, or component of a product used in the development or production of renewable energy.

      (4) RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCE- The term `renewable energy resource' means solar, wind, ocean, tidal, or geothermal energy, biofuel, biomass, hydropower, or hydrokinetic energy.

      (5) SMALL- AND MEDIUM-SIZED BUSINESSES- The term `small- and medium-sized businesses' means--

        (A) small business concerns (as that term used in section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632)); and

        (B) businesses the Secretary of Commerce determines to be small- or medium-sized, based on factors that include the structure of the industry, the amount of competition in the industry, the average size of businesses in the industry, and costs and barriers associated with entering the industry.

SEC. 3. COST-SHARING ASSISTANCE WITH RESPECT TO THE EXPORTATION OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY PRODUCTS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCTS.

    (a) In General- The Under Secretary for International Trade of the Department of Commerce (in this section referred to as the `Under Secretary') shall establish and carry out a program to provide cost-sharing assistance to eligible organizations--

      (1) to improve access to the markets of foreign countries for energy efficiency products and renewable energy products exported by small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States; and

      (2) to assist small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States in obtaining services and other assistance with respect to exporting energy efficiency products and renewable energy products, including services and assistance available from the Department of Commerce and other Federal agencies.

    (b) Eligible Organizations- An eligible organization is a nonprofit trade association in the United States or a State or regional organization that promotes the exportation and sale of energy efficiency products or renewable energy products.

    (c) Application Process- An eligible organization shall submit an application for cost-sharing assistance under subsection (a)--

      (1) at such time and in such manner as the Under Secretary may require; and

      (2) that contains a plan that describes the activities the organization plans to carry out using the cost-sharing assistance provided under subsection (a).

    (d) Awarding Cost-Sharing Assistance-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Under Secretary shall establish a process for granting applications for cost-sharing assistance under subsection (a) that includes a competitive review process.

      (2) PRIORITY FOR INNOVATIVE IDEAS- In awarding cost-sharing assistance under subsection (a), the Under Secretary shall give priority to an eligible organization that includes in the plan of the organization submitted under subsection (c)(2) innovative ideas for improving access to the markets of foreign countries for energy efficiency products and renewable energy products exported by small- and medium-sized businesses in the United States.

    (e) Level of Cost-Sharing Assistance-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraph (2), the Under Secretary shall determine an appropriate percentage of the cost of carrying out a plan submitted by an eligible organization under subsection (c)(2) to be provided in the form of assistance under this section.

      (2) LIMITATION- Assistance provided under this section may not exceed 50 percent of the cost of carrying out the plan of an eligible organization.

SEC. 4. REPORT.

    Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, shall submit to Congress a report on the export promotion needs of businesses in the United States that export energy efficiency products or renewable energy products.

SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Commerce to carry out this Act--

      (1) $15,000,000 for fiscal year 2012;

      (2) $16,000,000 for fiscal year 2013;

      (3) $17,000,000 for fiscal year 2014;

      (4) $18,000,000 for fiscal year 2015; and

      (5) $19,000,000 for fiscal year 2016.

END