US (United States) Code. Title 15. Chapter 90: Propane Education and Research

Codificación normativa de EEUU (Estados Unidos). Legislación federal estadounidense # Commerce and Trade

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  • Idioma: inglés
  • País: Estados Unidos Estados Unidos
  • 15 páginas
publicidad

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15 USC CHAPTER 90 - PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH 01/06/03

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TITLE 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE

CHAPTER 90 - PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

.

-HEAD-

CHAPTER 90 - PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

-MISC1-

Sec.

6401. Findings.

6402. Definitions.

6403. Referenda.

(a) Creation of program.

(b) Termination.

6404. Propane Education and Research Council.

(a) Selection of members.

(b) Representation.

(c) Membership.

(d) Compensation.

(e) Terms.

(f) Functions.

(g) Use of funds.

(h) Priorities.

(i) Administration.

(j) Administrative expenses.

(k) Budget.

(l) Records; audits.

(m) Public access to Council proceedings.

(n) Annual report.

6405. Assessments.

(a) Amount.

(b) Ownership.

(c) Alternative collection rules.

(d) Investment of funds.

(e) State programs.

6406. Compliance.

6407. Lobbying restrictions.

6408. Market survey and consumer protection.

(a) Price analysis.

(b) Authority to restrict activities.

6409. Pricing.

6410. Relation to other programs.

6411. Reports.

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15 USC Sec. 6401 01/06/03

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TITLE 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE

CHAPTER 90 - PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

-HEAD-

Sec. 6401. Findings

-STATUTE-

The Congress finds that -

(1) propane gas, or liquefied petroleum gas, is an essential

energy commodity providing heat, hot water, cooking fuel, and

motor fuel among its many uses to millions of Americans;

(2) the use of propane is especially important to rural

citizens and farmers, offering an efficient and economical source

of gas energy;

(3) propane has been recognized as a clean fuel and can

contribute in many ways to reducing the pollution in our cities

and towns; and

(4) propane is primarily domestically produced and its use

provides energy security and jobs for Americans.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 104-284, Sec. 2, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3370.)

-MISC1-

SHORT TITLE

Section 1 of Pub. L. 104-284 provided that: ''This Act (enacting

this chapter) may be cited as the 'Propane Education and Research

Act of 1996'.''

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15 USC Sec. 6402 01/06/03

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TITLE 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE

CHAPTER 90 - PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

-HEAD-

Sec. 6402. Definitions

-STATUTE-

For the purposes of this chapter -

(1) the term ''Council'' means a Propane Education and Research

Council created pursuant to section 6403 of this title;

(2) the term ''industry'' means those persons involved in the

production, transportation, and sale of propane, and in the

manufacture and distribution of propane utilization equipment, in

the United States;

(3) the term ''industry trade association'' means an

organization exempt from tax, under section 501(c)(3) or (6) of

title 26, representing the propane industry;

(4) the term ''odorized propane'' means propane which has had

odorant added to it;

(5) the term ''producer'' means the owner of propane at the

time it is recovered at a gas processing plant or refinery;

(6) the term ''propane'' means a hydrocarbon whose chemical

composition is predominantly C (FOOTNOTE 3) H (FOOTNOTE 8) ,

whether recovered from natural gas or crude oil, and includes

liquefied petroleum gases and mixtures thereof;

(7) the term ''public member'' means a member of the Council,

other than a representative of producers or retail marketers,

representing significant users of propane, public safety

officials, academia, the propane research community, or other

groups knowledgeable about propane;

(8) the term ''qualified industry organization'' means the

National Propane Gas Association, the Gas Processors Association,

a successor association of such associations, or a group of

retail marketers or producers who collectively represent at least

25 percent of the volume of propane sold or produced in the

United States;

(9) the term ''retail marketer'' means a person engaged

primarily in the sale of odorized propane to the ultimate

consumer or to retail propane dispensers;

(10) the term ''retail propane dispenser'' means a person who

sells odorized propane to the ultimate consumer but is not

engaged primarily in the business of such sales; and

(11) the term ''Secretary'' means the Secretary of Energy.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 104-284, Sec. 3, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3370.)

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15 USC Sec. 6403 01/06/03

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TITLE 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE

CHAPTER 90 - PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

-HEAD-

Sec. 6403. Referenda

-STATUTE-

(a) Creation of program

The qualified industry organizations may conduct, at their own

expense, a referendum among producers and retail marketers for the

creation of a Propane Education and Research Council. The Council,

if established, shall reimburse the qualified industry

organizations for the cost of the referendum accounting and

documentation. Such referendum shall be conducted by an

independent auditing firm agreed to by the qualified industry

organizations. Voting rights in such referendum shall be based on

the volume of propane produced or odorized propane sold in the

previous calendar year or other representative period. Upon

approval of those persons representing two-thirds of the total

volume of propane voted in the retail marketer class and two-thirds

of all propane voted in the producer class, the Council shall be

established, and shall be authorized to levy an assessment on

odorized propane in accordance with section 6405 of this title.

All persons voting in the referendum shall certify to the

independent auditing firm the volume of propane represented by

their vote.

(b) Termination

On the Council's own initiative, or on petition to the Council by

producers and retail marketers representing 35 percent of the

volume of propane in each class, the Council shall, at its own

expense, hold a referendum, to be conducted by an independent

auditing firm selected by the Council, to determine whether the

industry favors termination or suspension of the Council.

Termination or suspension shall not take effect unless it is

approved by persons representing more than one-half of the total

volume of odorized propane in the retail marketer class and more

than one-half of the total volume of propane in the producer class,

or is approved by persons representing more than two-thirds of the

total volume of propane in either such class.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 104-284, Sec. 4, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3371.)

-SECREF-

SECTION REFERRED TO IN OTHER SECTIONS

This section is referred to in section 6402 of this title.

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15 USC Sec. 6404 01/06/03

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TITLE 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE

CHAPTER 90 - PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

-HEAD-

Sec. 6404. Propane Education and Research Council

-STATUTE-

(a) Selection of members

The qualified industry organizations shall select all retail

marketer, public, and producer members of the Council. The producer

organizations shall select the producer members of the Council, the

retail marketer organizations shall select retail marketer members,

and all qualified industry organizations shall jointly select the

public members. Vacancies in unfinished terms of Council members

shall be filled in the same manner as were the original

appointments.

(b) Representation

In selecting members of the Council, the qualified industry

organizations shall give due regard to selecting a Council that is

representative of the industry, including representation of -

(1) gas processors and oil refiners among producers;

(2) interstate and intrastate operators among retail marketers;

(3) large and small companies among producers and retail

marketers, including agricultural cooperatives; and

(4) diverse geographic regions of the country.

(c) Membership

The Council shall consist of 21 members, with 9 members

representing retail marketers, 9 members representing producers,

and 3 public members. Other than the public members, Council

members shall be full-time employees or owners of businesses in the

industry or representatives of agricultural cooperatives. No

employee of a qualified industry organization or other industry

trade association shall serve as a member of the Council, and no

member of the Council may serve concurrently as an officer of the

Board of Directors of a qualified industry organization or other

industry trade association. Only one person at a time from any

company or its affiliate may serve on the Council.

(d) Compensation

Council members shall receive no compensation for their services,

nor shall Council members be reimbursed for expenses relating to

their service, except that public members, upon request, may be

reimbursed for reasonable expenses directly related to their

participation in Council meetings.

(e) Terms

Council members shall serve terms of 3 years and may serve not

more than 2 full consecutive terms. Members filling unexpired

terms may serve not more than a total of 7 consecutive years.

Former members of the Council may be returned to the Council if

they have not been members for a period of 2 years. Initial

appointments to the Council shall be for terms of 1, 2, and 3

years, staggered to provide for the selection of 7 members each

year.

(f) Functions

The Council shall develop programs and projects and enter into

contracts or agreements for implementing this chapter, including

programs to enhance consumer and employee safety and training, to

provide for research and development of clean and efficient propane

utilization equipment, to inform and educate the public about

safety and other issues associated with the use of propane, and to

provide for the payment of the costs thereof with funds collected

pursuant to this chapter. The Council shall coordinate its

activities with industry trade association and others as

appropriate to provide efficient delivery of services and to avoid

unnecessary duplication of activities.

(g) Use of funds

Not less than 5 percent of the funds collected through

assessments pursuant to this chapter shall be used for programs and

projects intended to benefit the agriculture industry in the United

States. The Council shall coordinate its activities in this regard

with agriculture industry trade associations and other

organizations representing the agriculture industry. The

percentage of funds collected through assessments pursuant to this

chapter to be used for projects relating to the use of propane as

an over-the-road motor fuel shall not exceed the percentage of the

total market for odorized propane that is used as a motor vehicle

fuel, based on the historical average of such use over the previous

3-year period.

(h) Priorities

Issues related to research and development, safety, education,

and training shall be given priority by the Council in the

development of its programs and projects.

(i) Administration

The Council shall select from among its members a Chairman and

other officers as necessary, may establish committees and

subcommittees of the Council, and shall adopt rules and bylaws for

the conduct of business and the implementation of this chapter.

The Council shall establish procedures for the solicitation of

industry comment and recommendations on any significant plans,

programs, and projects to be funded by the Council. The Council may

establish advisory committees of persons other than Council

members.

(j) Administrative expenses

(1) The administrative expenses of operating the Council (not

including costs incurred in the collection of the assessment

pursuant to section 6406 of this title) plus amounts paid under

paragraph (2) shall not exceed 10 percent of the funds collected in

any fiscal year.

(2) The Council shall annually reimburse the Secretary for costs

incurred by the Federal Government relating to the Council, except

that such reimbursement for any fiscal year shall not exceed the

amount that the Secretary determines is the average annual salary

of two employees of the Department of Energy.

(k) Budget

Before August 1 each year, the Council shall publish for public

review and comment a budget plan for the next calendar year,

including the probable costs of all programs, projects, and

contracts and a recommended rate of assessment sufficient to cover

such costs. Following this review and comment, the Council shall

submit the proposed budget to the Secretary and to the Congress.

The Secretary may recommend programs and activities the Secretary

considers appropriate.

(l) Records; audits

The Council shall keep minutes, books, and records that clearly

reflect all of the acts and transactions of the Council and make

public such information. The books of the Council shall be audited

by a certified public accountant at least once each fiscal year and

at such other times as the Council may designate. Copies of such

audit shall be provided to all members of the Council, all

qualified industry organizations, and to other members of the

industry upon request. The Secretary shall receive notice of

meetings and may require reports on the activities of the Council,

as well as reports on compliance, violations, and complaints

regarding the implementation of this chapter.

(m) Public access to Council proceedings

(1) All meetings of the Council shall be open to the public after

at least 30 days advance public notice.

(2) The minutes of all meetings of the Council shall be made

available to and readily accessible by the public.

(n) Annual report

Each year the Council shall prepare and make publicly available a

report which includes an identification and description of all

programs and projects undertaken by the Council during the previous

year as well as those planned for the coming year. Such report

shall also detail the allocation or planned allocation of Council

resources for each such program and project.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 104-284, Sec. 5, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3371.)

-CITE-

15 USC Sec. 6405 01/06/03

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TITLE 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE

CHAPTER 90 - PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

-HEAD-

Sec. 6405. Assessments

-STATUTE-

(a) Amount

The Council shall set the initial assessment at no greater than

one tenth of 1 cent per gallon of odorized propane. Thereafter,

annual assessments shall be sufficient to cover the costs of the

plans and programs developed by the Council. The assessment shall

not be greater than one-half cent per gallon of odorized propane,

unless approved by a majority of those voting in a referendum in

both the producer and the retail marketer class. In no case may

the assessment be raised by more than one tenth of 1 cent per

gallon of odorized propane annually.

(b) Ownership

The owner of odorized propane at the time of odorization, or the

time of import of odorized propane, shall make the assessment based

on the volume of odorized propane sold and placed into commerce.

Assessments collected are payable to the Council on a monthly basis

by the 25th of the month following the month of such collection.

Propane exported from the United States to another country is not

subject to the assessment.

(c) Alternative collection rules

The Council may establish an alternative means of collecting the

assessment if another means is found to be more efficient and

effective. The Council may establish a late payment charge and

rate of interest to be imposed on any person who fails to remit or

pay to the Council any amount due under this chapter.

(d) Investment of funds

Pending disbursement pursuant to a program, plan, or project, the

Council may invest funds collected through assessments, and any

other funds received by the Council, only in obligations of the

United States or any agency thereof, in general obligations of any

State or any political subdivision thereof, in any interest-bearing

account or certificate of deposit of a bank that is a member of the

Federal Reserve System, or in obligations fully guaranteed as to

principal and interest by the United States.

(e) State programs

The Council shall establish a program coordinating the operation

of the Council with those of any State propane education and

research council created by State law or regulation, or similar

entity. Such coordination shall include a joint or coordinated

assessment collection process, a reduced assessment, or an

assessment rebate. A reduced assessment or rebate shall be 20

percent of the regular assessment collected in that State under

this section. Assessment rebates shall be paid only to -

(1) a State propane education and research council created by

State law or regulation that meets requirements established by

the Council for specific programs approved by the Council; or

(2) a similar entity, such as a foundation established by the

retail propane gas industry in that State, that meets

requirements established by the Council for specific programs

approved by the Council.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 104-284, Sec. 6, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3374.)

-SECREF-

SECTION REFERRED TO IN OTHER SECTIONS

This section is referred to in sections 6403, 6409 of this title.

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15 USC Sec. 6406 01/06/03

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TITLE 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE

CHAPTER 90 - PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

-HEAD-

Sec. 6406. Compliance

-STATUTE-

The Council may bring suit in Federal court to compel compliance

with an assessment levied by the Council under this chapter. A

successful action for compliance under this section may also

require payment by the defendant of the costs incurred by the

Council in bringing such action.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 104-284, Sec. 7, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3374.)

-SECREF-

SECTION REFERRED TO IN OTHER SECTIONS

This section is referred to in section 6404 of this title.

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15 USC Sec. 6407 01/06/03

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TITLE 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE

CHAPTER 90 - PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

-HEAD-

Sec. 6407. Lobbying restrictions

-STATUTE-

No funds collected by the Council shall be used in any manner for

influencing legislation or elections, except that the Council may

recommend to the Secretary changes in this chapter or other

statutes that would further the purposes of this chapter.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 104-284, Sec. 8, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3375.)

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15 USC Sec. 6408 01/06/03

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TITLE 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE

CHAPTER 90 - PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

-HEAD-

Sec. 6408. Market survey and consumer protection

-STATUTE-

(a) Price analysis

Beginning 2 years after establishment of the Council and annually

thereafter, the Secretary of Commerce, using only data provided by

the Energy Information Administration and other public sources,

shall prepare and make available to the Council, the Secretary of

Energy, and the public an analysis of changes in the price of

propane relative to other energy sources. The propane price

analysis shall compare indexed changes in the price of consumer

grade propane to a composite of indexed changes in the price of

residential electricity, residential natural gas, and refiner price

to end users of No. 2 fuel oil on an annual national average

basis. For purposes of indexing changes in consumer grade propane,

residential electricity, residential natural gas, and end user No.

2 fuel oil prices, the Secretary of Commerce shall use a 5-year

rolling average price beginning with the year 4 years prior to the

establishment of the Council.

(b) Authority to restrict activities

If in any year the 5-year average rolling price index of consumer

grade propane exceeds the 5-year rolling average price composite

index of residential electricity, residential natural gas, and

refiner price to end users of No. 2 fuel oil in an amount greater

than 10.1 percent, the activities of the Council shall be

restricted to research and development, training, and safety

matters. The Council shall inform the Secretary of Energy and the

Congress of any restriction of activities under this subsection.

Upon expiration of 180 days after the beginning of any such

restriction of activities, the Secretary of Commerce shall again

conduct the propane price analysis described in subsection (a) of

this section. Activities of the Council shall continue to be

restricted under this subsection until the price index excess is

10.1 percent or less.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 104-284, Sec. 9, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3375.)

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15 USC Sec. 6409 01/06/03

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TITLE 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE

CHAPTER 90 - PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

-HEAD-

Sec. 6409. Pricing

-STATUTE-

In all cases, the price of propane shall be determined by market

forces. Consistent with the antitrust laws, the Council may take

no action, nor may any provision of this chapter be interpreted as

establishing an agreement to pass along to consumers the cost of

the assessment provided for in section 6405 of this title.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 104-284, Sec. 10, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3375.)

-REFTEXT-

REFERENCES IN TEXT

The antitrust laws, referred to in text, are classified generally

to chapter 1 (Sec. 1 et seq.) of this title.

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15 USC Sec. 6410 01/06/03

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TITLE 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE

CHAPTER 90 - PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

-HEAD-

Sec. 6410. Relation to other programs

-STATUTE-

Nothing in this chapter may be construed to preempt or supersede

any other program relating to propane education and research

organized and operated under the laws of the United States or any

State.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 104-284, Sec. 11, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3375.)

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15 USC Sec. 6411 01/06/03

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TITLE 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE

CHAPTER 90 - PROPANE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH

-HEAD-

Sec. 6411. Reports

-STATUTE-

Within 2 years after October 11, 1996, and at least once every 2

years thereafter, the Secretary of Commerce shall prepare and

submit to the Congress and the Secretary a report examining whether

operation of the Council, in conjunction with the cumulative

effects of market changes and Federal programs, has had an effect

on propane consumers, including residential, agriculture, process,

and nonfuel users of propane. The Secretary of Commerce shall

consider and, to the extent practicable, shall include in the

report submissions by propane consumers, and shall consider whether

there have been long-term and short-term effects on propane prices

as a result of Council activities and Federal programs, and whether

there have been changes in the proportion of propane demand

attributable to various market segments. To the extent that the

report demonstrates that there has been an adverse effect, the

Secretary of Commerce shall include recommendations for correcting

the situation. Upon petition by affected parties or upon request

by the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Commerce may prepare

and submit the report required by this section at less than 2-year

intervals.

-SOURCE-

(Pub. L. 104-284, Sec. 12, Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3375.)

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