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                                                       Calendar No. 176
                                                                                                              
116th Congress    }                                            {   Report
                                  SENATE
 1st Session      }                                            {   116-74

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



 
                    RARE EARTH ELEMENT ADVANCED COAL
                            TECHNOLOGIES ACT

                                _______
                                

                August 16, 2019.--Ordered to be printed

  Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of August 1, 2019

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1052]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 1052) to authorize the Office of Fossil 
Energy to develop advanced separation technologies for the 
extraction and recovery of rare earth elements and minerals 
from coal and coal byproducts, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute and recommends that the 
bill, as amended, do pass.

                               AMENDMENT

    The amendment is as follows:
    1. Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Rare Earth Element Advanced Coal 
Technologies Act''.

SEC. 2. PROGRAM FOR EXTRACTION AND RECOVERY OF RARE EARTH ELEMENTS AND 
                    MINERALS FROM COAL AND COAL BYPRODUCTS.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Energy, acting through the 
Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy (referred to in this Act as the 
``Secretary''), shall carry out a program under which the Secretary 
shall develop advanced separation technologies for the extraction and 
recovery of rare earth elements and minerals from coal and coal 
byproducts.
    (b) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary to carry out the program described in 
subsection (a) $23,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2027.

SEC. 3. REPORT.

    Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 
of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of 
Representatives a report evaluating the development of advanced 
separation technologies for the extraction and recovery of rare earth 
elements and minerals from coal and coal byproducts, including acid 
mine drainage from coal mines.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 1052 is to authorize the Office of Fossil 
Energy to develop advanced separation technologies for the 
extraction and recovery of rare earth elements and minerals 
from coal and coal byproducts.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    Rare earth elements (REEs) are designated as a critical 
mineral by the Department of the Interior and are used in a 
range of products including cell phones, global positioning 
systems (GPS), medical equipment, and defense applications. The 
United States currently produces only a small amount of REEs, 
with the majority of the world production and processing 
occurring in China. Due to the reduction of Chinese exports of 
REEs in 2006, the average cost of imports from China increased 
2,432 percent from 2002 to 2011, and by 723 percent in 2011 
alone.
    U.S. mineral import dependence and the concentration of 
mineral supply from certain countries are broadly recognized as 
growing threats to economic growth, competitiveness, and 
national security. The resulting price and supply chain 
volatility has prompted a greater focus on policies related to 
mineral security and ``critical minerals'' that are important 
in use, susceptible to supply disruption, and for which no 
substitutes are readily available.
    According to the National Energy Technology Lab (NETL) and 
based on annual estimates, acid mine drainage sludge in West 
Virginia and Pennsylvania represents approximately 610 to 2,700 
tons per year of REEs. NETL has been examining the concept of 
extracting REEs from coal and coal byproducts since 2010. 
Congress appropriated funding in 2014 for NETL to develop 
extraction technologies for REEs from coal byproducts. S. 1052 
formally authorizes the program.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 1052 was introduced by Senators Manchin, Murkowski, and 
Capito on April 4, 2019. The Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources held a hearing to consider the bill on May 14, 2019.
    In the 115th Congress, S. 1563, similar legislation, was 
introduced by Senator Manchin on July 13, 2017. On December 5, 
2017, the Subcommittee on Energy held a legislative hearing on 
S. 1563. The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in 
open business session on March 8, 2018, and ordered S. 1563 
favorably reported (S. Rept. 115-255).
    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in 
open business session on July 16, 2019, and ordered S. 1052 
favorably reported, as amended.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on July 16, 2019, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
1052, if amended as described herein. Senator Lee asked to be 
recorded as voting no.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENT

    During its consideration of S. 1052, the Committee adopted 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The substitute 
amendment strikes section 2, which provided Congressional 
findings, and renumbers the sections accordingly.
    Section 3 (as renumbered) is amended to: (1) strike the 
requirement for an assessment to be conducted; (2) strike the 
requirement that the Secretary of Energy (Secretary) write and 
submit the report in consultation with the Secretary of 
Defense; and (3) limit the scope of the reporting requirement 
to evaluate only the development of the advanced separation 
technologies.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 contains the short title.

Sec. 2. Program for the extraction and recovery of rare earth elements 
        and minerals from coal and coal byproducts

    Section 2 requires the Secretary, acting through the 
Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, to carry out a program 
to develop advanced separation technologies for the extraction 
and recovery of REEs and minerals from coal and coal 
byproducts. Subsection (b) authorizes $23 million for each of 
fiscal years 2020 through 2027.

Sec. 3. Report

    Section 3 directs the Secretary, within one year of 
enactment, to provide a report to the Congressional committees 
of jurisdiction that evaluates the development of advanced 
separation technologies for the extraction and recovery of REEs 
and minerals from coal and coal byproducts.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


    S. 1052 would authorize the appropriation of $23 million 
annually over the 2020-2027 period for the Department of Energy 
(DOE) to develop advanced technologies to extract rare earth 
elements and minerals from coal and coal byproducts. In 2019, 
DOE allocated $18 million for such activities. The bill also 
would direct DOE to submit a report to the Congress on the 
development of such technologies.
    Based on historical spending patterns for similar 
activities, and assuming appropriation of the authorized 
amounts, CBO estimates that implementing S. 1052 would cost $66 
million over the 2019-2024 period and $165 million over the 
2019-2029 period.
    The costs of the legislation (detailed in Table 1) fall 
within budget function 270 (energy).

                                    TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION UNDER S. 1052
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     By fiscal year, millions of dollars--
                                                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   2025   2026   2027   2028   2029  2019-2024  2019-2029
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Authorization........................................      0     23     23     23     23     23     23     23     23      0      0       115        184
Estimated Outlays....................................      0      3      9     15     18     21     22     22     22     20     13        66        165
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Janani 
Shankaran. The estimate was reviewed 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. 1052. 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. 1052, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    S. 1052, 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 views on S. 1052 were requested, but have not 
been received. The testimony provided by the Department of 
Energy at the December 5, 2017, hearing on S. 1563, similar 
legislation, follows:

  Testimony of Under Secretary Mark Menezes, U.S. Department of Energy

S. 1563--Rare Earth Element Advanced Coal Technologies Act
    It's likely the development of a domestic supply of rare 
earth elements (REEs) that is economically competitive will 
help fuel our nation's economic growth, secure our energy 
independence, and increase our national security. The bill 
appears to authorize $20 million per year from 2018 through 
2025 for the Department of Energy (specifically the Office of 
Fossil Energy) to develop advanced separation technologies for 
the extraction and recovery of REEs and minerals from coal and 
coal byproducts. It appears the bill also requests that DOE, in 
consultation with the Department of Defense, within 1 year 
after date of enactment, submit a report that assesses the 
importance of REEs to the United States, evaluates the 
development of new separation technologies, and analyzes the 
market impact of new technologies. Due to the complexities of 
the research and scope of the report, Congress may want to 
consider extending the due date of the initial assessment.
    The bill appears to acknowledge the current ongoing efforts 
within DOE to advance separation technologies for the recovery 
of REEs. Thus, DOE appreciates the proposed legislation as it 
incorporates its ongoing R&D. DOE is developing technologies 
with the goal of enabling additional domestic supplies of REEs, 
reducing environmental impact of coal and REE production, and 
delivering technologies that can be manufactured within the 
United States. DOE has accomplished much in this area, 
including the evaluation of pilot-scale processing options, and 
the nature and distribution of REEs in U.S. coal deposits.

                        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.