July 29, 2013
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on July 17, 2013
H.R. 83 would require the Department of the Interior (DOI) to establish a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to develop action plans aimed at reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels and increasing the use of clean-energy sources in the insular areas (American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands) and the Freely Associated States (the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau). In establishing the team, DOI would be required to consider including regional utility organizations. Both the team and DOI would report to the Congress on their findings annually.
DOI currently spends $1.2 million annually to establish energy action plans for insular areas. Based on information from the agency, CBO expects that under H.R. 83, DOI would need to spend about $2 million more annually to hire additional staff to handle the increased technical support called for under the bill. Thus, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost about $10 million over the 2014-2018 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. Enacting H.R. 83 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 83 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.