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Full Text of this Amendment

SA 4848. Mr. NELSON of Nebraska submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 3036, to direct the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a program to decrease emissions of greenhouse gases, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:

At the appropriate place, insert the following:
SEC. __X. NATIONAL COMMISSION ON ENERGY POLICY AND GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE.
(a) Establishment.--There is established a commission, to be known as the ``National Commission on Energy Policy and Global Climate Change'' (referred to in this section as the ``Commission'').
(b) Purposes.--The purposes of the Commission are--
(1) to examine all aspects of the national energy situation and related policies in order to develop a comprehensive, economy-wide policy approach to energy issues;
(2) to examine relevant data relating to global climate change, including impacts of human activities; and
(3) to report to Congress and the President the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Commission for legislation to establish a comprehensive national energy policy that ensures national energy security and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions in order to address global climate change without damaging the economy.
(c) Composition.--
(1) MEMBERSHIP.--The Commission shall be composed of 12 members, of whom--
(A) 1 shall be jointly appointed by the Majority Leader of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall serve as Chairperson of the Commission;
(B) 1 shall be jointly appointed by the Minority Leader of the Senate and the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, who shall serve as Vice-Chairperson of the Commission;
(C) 1 shall be jointly appointed by the Chairperson and Ranking Member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate;
(D) 1 shall be jointly appointed by the Chairperson and Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives, in consultation with the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming of the House of Representatives;
(E) 1 shall be jointly appointed by the Chairperson and Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate;
(F) 1 shall be jointly appointed by the Chairperson and Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives;
(G) 1 shall be jointly appointed by the Chairperson and Ranking Member of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate;
(H) 1 shall be jointly appointed by the Chairpersons and Ranking Members of the Committees on Science and Technology and Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives;
(I) 1 shall be jointly appointed by the Chairperson and Ranking Member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate;
(J) 1 shall be jointly appointed by the Chairperson and Ranking Member of the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives;
(K) 1 shall be jointly appointed by the Chairperson and Ranking Member of the Committee on Finance of the Senate; and
(L) 1 shall be jointly appointed by the Chairperson and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives.
(2) QUALIFICATIONS.--
(A) POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATION.--An appointment of a member of the Commission under paragraph (1) shall be made--
(i) without regard to the political party affiliation of the member; and
(ii) on a nonpartisan basis.
(B) NONGOVERNMENTAL APPOINTEES.--A member appointed to the Commission under paragraph (1) shall not be an officer or employee of--
(i) the Federal Government; or
(ii) any unit of State or local government.
(C) SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING OTHER QUALIFICATIONS.--It is the sense of Congress that members appointed to the Commission under paragraph (1) should be prominent, nationally recognized United States citizens, with a significant depth of experience in professions such as governmental service, science, energy, economics, the environment, agriculture, manufacturing, public administration, and commerce (including aviation matters).
(3) DEADLINE FOR APPOINTMENTS.--All members of the Commission shall be appointed by not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
(4) MEETINGS.--
(A) INITIAL MEETING.--The Commission shall hold the initial meeting of the Commission as soon as practicable, and not later than 60 days, after the date on which all members of the Commission are appointed.
(B) SUBSEQUENT MEETINGS.--After the initial meeting under subparagraph (A), the Commission shall meet at the call of--
(i) the Chairperson; or
(ii) a majority of the members of the Commission.
(5) QUORUM.--7 members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum.
(6) VACANCIES.--A vacancy on the Commission--
(A) shall not affect the powers of the Commission; and
(B) shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.
(d) Duties.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--The Commission shall--
(A) study and evaluate relevant data, studies, and proposals relating to national energy policies and policies to address global climate change, including any relevant legislation, Executive order, regulation, plan, policy, practice, or procedure relating to--
(i) domestic production and consumption of energy from all sources and imported sources of energy, particularly oil and natural gas;
(ii) domestic and international oil and gas exploration, production, refining, and pipelines and other forms of infrastructure and transportation;
(iii) energy markets, including energy market speculation, transparency, and oversight;
(iv) the structure of the energy industry, including the impacts of consolidation, antitrust, and oligopolistic concerns, market manipulation and collusion concerns, and other similar matters;
(v) electricity production and transmission issues, including fossil fuels, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy conservation matters;
(vi) transportation fuels, biofuels and other renewable fuels, fuel cells, motor vehicle power systems, efficiency, and conservation; and
(vii) nuclear energy, including matters relating to permitting, regulation, and legal liability;
(B) examine relevant data relating to global climate change and the national and global environment, including--
(i) the impacts on the global climate system and the environment of human activities, particularly greenhouse gas emissions and pollution; and
(ii) the consequences of global climate change on humans and other species, particularly consequences to the national security, economy, and public health and safety of the United States;
(C) identify, review, and evaluate the lessons of past energy policies, energy crises, environmental problems, and attempts to address global climate change;
(D) evaluate proposals for energy and global climate change policies, including proposals developed by Members of Congress, congressional Committees, relevant Federal, regional, and State government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, independent organizations, and international organizations, with the goal of expanding those proposals to develop a blueprint for comprehensive energy and global climate change legislation; and
(E) submit to Congress and the President the reports required under subsection (h).
(2) RELATIONSHIP TO EFFORTS OF CONGRESS.--The Commission shall--
(A) review the information compiled by, and the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of, congressional Committees of relevant jurisdiction; and
(B) based on the results of the review, pursue any appropriate inquiry that the Commission determines to be necessary to carry out the duties of the Commission under paragraph (1).
(e) Powers.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--
(A) RULES.--The Commission may establish such rules relating to administrative procedures as are reasonably necessary to enable the Commission to carry out this section.
(B) HEARINGS AND EVIDENCE.--
(i) IN GENERAL.--The Commission or any subcommittee or member of the Commission may, for the purpose of carrying out this section--
(I) hold such hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the Commission determines to be appropriate; and
(II) subject to paragraph (2)(A), require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of such witnesses and the production of such books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents, as the Commission determines to be necessary.
(ii) PUBLIC REQUIREMENT.--In accordance with applicable laws (including regulations) and Executive orders regarding protection of information acquired by the Commission, the Commission shall ensure that, to the maximum extent practicable--
(I) all hearings of the Commission are open to the public, including by--
(aa) providing live and recorded public access to hearings on the Internet; and
(bb) publishing all transcripts and records of hearings at such time and in such manner as is agreed to by the majority of members of the Commission; and
(II) all findings and reports of the Commission are made public.
(2) SUBPOENAS.--
(A) ISSUANCE.--
(i) IN GENERAL.--A subpoena may be issued under this subsection only--
(I) on agreement of the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Commission; or
(II) on the affirmative vote of at least 6 members of the Commission.
(ii) SIGNATURE.--Subject to clause (i), a subpoena issued under this paragraph may be--
(I) issued under the signature of the Chairperson of the Commission (or a designee who is a member of the Commission); and
(II) served by any individual or entity designated by the Chairperson or designee.
(B) ENFORCEMENT.--
(i) IN GENERAL.--In the case of contumacy or failure to obey a subpoena issued under subparagraph (A), the United States district court for the judicial district in which the subpoenaed individual or entity resides, is served, or may be found, or to which the subpoena is returnable, may issue an order requiring the individual or entity to appear at a designated place to testify or to produce documentary or other evidence.
(ii) FAILURE TO OBEY.--
(I) IN GENERAL.--A failure to obey the order of a United States district court under clause (i) may be punished by the United States district court as a contempt of the court.
(II) ENFORCEMENT BY COMMISSION.--In the case of failure of a witness to comply with a subpoena, or to testify if summoned pursuant to this paragraph--
(aa) the Commission, by majority vote, may certify to the appropriate United States Attorney a statement of fact regarding the failure; and
(bb) the United States Attorney may bring the matter before the grand jury for action in accordance with sections 102 through 104 of the Revised Statutes (2 U.S.C. 192 et seq.).
(3) CONTRACTING.--To the extent amounts are made available in appropriations Acts, the Commission may enter into contracts to assist the Commission in carrying out the duties of the Commission under this section.
(4) INFORMATION FROM FEDERAL AGENCIES.--
(A) IN GENERAL.--The Commission may secure directly from a Federal agency such information as the Commission considers to be necessary to carry out this section.
(B) PROVISION OF INFORMATION.--On request of the Chairperson of the Commission, the head of the agency shall provide the information to the Commission.
(C) TREATMENT.--Information provided to the Commission under this paragraph shall be received, handled, stored, and disseminated by members and staff of the Commission in accordance with applicable law (including regulations) and Executive orders.
(5) ASSISTANCE FROM FEDERAL AGENCIES.--
(A) GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION.--The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission, on a reimbursable basis, administrative support and other services to assist the Commission in carrying out the duties of the Commission under this section.
(B) OTHER DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES.--In addition to the assistance described in subparagraph (A), any other Federal department or agency may provide to the Commission such services, funds, facilities, staff, and other support as the head of the department or agency determines to be appropriate.
(6) POSTAL SERVICES.--The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other agencies of the Federal Government.
(7) GIFTS.--The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts or donations of services or property only in accordance with the ethical rules applicable to congressional officers and employees.
(8) VOLUNTEER SERVICES.--
(A) IN GENERAL.--Notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, United States Code, the Commission may accept and use the services of volunteers serving without compensation.
(B) REIMBURSEMENT.--The Commission may reimburse a volunteer for office supplies, local travel expenses, and other travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with section 5703 of title 5, United States Code.
(C) TREATMENT.--A volunteer of the Commission shall be considered to be an employee of the Federal Government in carrying out activities for the Commission, for purposes of--
(i) chapter 81 of title 5, United States Code;
(ii) chapter 11 of title 18, United States Code; and
(iii) chapter 171 of title 28, United States Code.
(f) Commission Personnel Matters.--
(1) COMPENSATION OF MEMBERS.--A member of the Commission shall be compensated at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, for each day (including travel time) during which the member is engaged in the performance of the duties of the Commission.
(2) TRAVEL EXPENSES.--A member of the Commission shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for an employee of an agency under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from the home or regular place of business of the member in the performance of the duties of the Commission.
(3) STAFF.--
(A) IN GENERAL.--The Chairperson of the Commission may, without regard to the civil service laws (including regulations), appoint and terminate an executive director and such other additional personnel as are necessary to enable the Commission to perform the duties of the Commission.
(B) CONFIRMATION OF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.--The employment of an executive director shall be subject to confirmation by the Commission.
(C) COMPENSATION.--
(i) IN GENERAL.--Except as provided in clause (ii), the Chairperson of the Commission may fix the compensation of the executive director and other personnel without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates.
(ii) MAXIMUM RATE OF PAY.--The rate of pay for the executive director and other personnel shall not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of title 5, United States Code.
(D) STATUS.--The executive director and any employee (not including any member) of the Commission shall be considered to be employees under section 2105 of title 5, United States Code, for purposes of chapters 63, 81, 83, 84, 85, 87, 89, and 90 of that title.
(E) CONSULTANT SERVICES.--The Commission may procure the services of experts and consultants in accordance with section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, at rates not to exceed the daily rate paid to an individual occupying a position at level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.
(g) Nonapplicability of FACA.--The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Commission.
(h) Reports.--
(1) INTERIM REPORTS.--Not later than June 1, 2009, and thereafter as the Commission determines to be appropriate, the Commission shall submit to Congress and the President an interim report describing the findings and recommendations agreed to by a majority of members of the Commission during the period beginning on the date on which, as applicable--
(A) all members of the Commission are appointed under subsection (c); or
(B) the most recent interim report was submitted under this paragraph.
(2) FINAL REPORT.--Not later than 18 months after the date on which all members of the Commission are appointed under subsection (c), the Commission shall submit to Congress and the President a final report establishing a plan for development of legislation for a comprehensive national policy relating to energy security that--
(A) addresses global climate change; and
(B) describes the findings and recommendations agreed to by a majority of members of the Commission.
(i) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission such sums as are necessary to carry out this section, to remain available until the later of--
(1) the date on which the funds are expended; or
(2) the date of termination of the Commission under subsection (j).
(j) Termination.--
(1) IN GENERAL.--The Commission shall terminate on the date that is 60 days after the date on which the final report is submitted under subsection (h)(2).
(2) ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES BEFORE TERMINATION.--During the 60-day period described in paragraph (1), the Commission may conclude the activities of the Commission, including--
(A) providing testimony to appropriate committees of Congress regarding the reports of the Commission; and
(B) publishing the final report of the Commission.


(As printed in the Congressional Record for the Senate on Jun 4, 2008.)