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                                                       Calendar No. 101

115th Congress }                                      { Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session   }                                      { 115-82

======================================================================

 
  TO EXTEND THE DEADLINE FOR COMMENCEMENT OF CONSTRUCTION OF CERTAIN 
                         HYDROELECTRIC PROJECTS

                                _______
                                

                  May 24, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 730]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 730) to extend the deadline for 
commencement of construction of certain hydroelectric projects, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 730 is to extend the deadline for 
commencement of construction of the Gathright and Flannagan 
hydroelectric projects in Virginia.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) 
issued an original license for the Flannagan Hydroelectric 
Project (No. 12740) in Dickinson County, Virginia, on January 
27, 2012. Pursuant to section 13 of the Federal Power Act (FPA, 
16 U.S.C. 806), the licensee was required to commence project 
construction within two years. At the licensee's request, the 
Commission extended the deadline by two years, until January 
27, 2016.
    The Commission issued an original license for the Gathright 
Project (No. 12737) in Alleghany County, Virginia, on March 13, 
2012, and subsequently extended the construction commencement 
deadline at the licensee's request by two years, until March 
13, 2016.
    Construction has not yet begun on either project, and the 
Commission has granted the maximum extensions allowed by the 
FPA.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Senator Kaine introduced S. 730 on March 27, 2017.
    In the 114th Congress, a similar measure was included in 
Amendment No. 3234, which the Senate agreed to on April 19, 
2016, as an amendment to S. 2012, the Energy Policy 
Modernization Act of 2016, which the Senate passed, as amended, 
on April 20, 2016.
    In the House of Representatives, Representative Griffith 
introduced H.R. 4411, to extend the deadline for the Gathright 
project, and H.R. 4412, to extend the deadline for the 
Flannagan project, on February 1, 2016. Both bills passed the 
House of Representatives by voice vote on March 14, 2016.
    In the 115th Congress, Representative Griffith introduced 
companion measures, H.R. 446, related to the Gathright Project, 
and H.R. 447, related to the Flannagan project, in the House of 
Representatives on January 11, 2017.
    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in open 
business session on March 30, 2017, and ordered S. 730 
favorably reported.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on March 30, 2017, by a majority voice vote of 
a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 730.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1 authorizes the Commission to extend, for up to 
six years, the commencement of construction deadline for two 
projects: the Flannagan Hydroelectric Project (No. 12740), to 
be located at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) John W. 
Flannagan Dam and Reservoir, on the Pound River in Dickinson 
County, Virginia, and the Gathright Hydroelectric Project (No. 
12737), to be located at the Corps' Gathright Dam in Alleghany 
County, Virginia. This section also authorizes the Commission 
to reinstate the license for either project if the license has 
expired prior to the date of enactment of this Act. If so 
reinstated, the reinstated license is to be effective as of the 
date of expiration of the previous extension.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 730 would have no net 
effect on the federal budget. The bill would authorize the 
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reinstate the 
licenses and extend the deadline for beginning construction of 
two hydroelectric projects in Virginia: the Gathright 
Hydroelectric Project (number 12737) and the Flannagan 
Hydroelectric Project (number 12740). The proposed extensions 
could have a minor effect on FERC's workload; however, because 
FERC recovers 100 percent of its costs through user fees, any 
change in that agency's costs (which are controlled through 
annual appropriation acts) would be offset by an equal change 
in fees that the commission charges, resulting in no net change 
in federal spending.
    Enacting S. 730 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting S. 730 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 730 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 730. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 730, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    S. 730, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    Executive Communications were not requested by the 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in the 115th 
Congress.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the bill as ordered 
reported.