The U.S. House of Representatives has passed comprehensive energy legislation (H.R. 4), which included an only slightly modified version of the full text of the Fusion Energy Sciences Act of 2001. That bill was introduced earlier this year by Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and George Nethercutt (R-WA) with over 40 co-sponsors. The House energy bill includes a broad range of incentives and programs for conservation, renewables, oil, gas, nuclear, etc., including fusion.
The House Energy Bill (HR 4) and all the fusion related bills, including: HR 1781, S 1130, and HR 2460 are posted at the FIRE web site: http://fire.pppl.gov
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is also working to complete its own version of comprehensive national energy legislation. The draft bill, which the Committee is marking up, includes a modified version of S.1130, The Fusion Energy Sciences Act of 2001. The Senate fusion bill (which was essentially identical to the House version) was introduced by Senators Craig (R-ID), Feinstein (D-CA) and Corzine (D-NJ). The Senate Energy Committee's version of that bill is in almost all respects essentially identical to the House version. Senate passage of its version of comprehensive energy legislation has not yet occurred.
Due to a number of controversial provisions (of which fusion is not one), including drilling in ANWR in the House version, the time frame for the ultimate resolution between the House and Senate bills and their final passage is not clear but may occur before the end of the year.
It is important to note that these bills are statements of Congressional interest and policy but do not appropriate funds. Both the House and Senate have now passed their own versions of the FY02 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, which contains funding for fusion. The House-Senate conference on that bill will probably occur sometime in late September. Both the Senate and House Appropriations bills fund the fusion program at $248.5 million, the same as this year's funding and identical to the President's request. However, there is still hope that a higher number for fusion may come out of the House-Senate conference. The House-passed energy bill authorizes $320 million for fusion.
TEXT OF FUSION SECTIONS OF H.R. 4, THE HOUSE PASSED VERSION OF COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY LEGISLATION
SEC. 2501. SHORT TITLE.
This subtitle may be cited as the 'Fusion Energy Sciences Act of 2001.
SEC. 2502. FINDINGS.
The Congress finds that --