On July 22, 2014 the U.S. House of Representatives voted down a bill (H.R.1022) that wouldhave provided for various forms of governmental support to certain industries in theUnited States. The House rejected this bill by a vote of 260 to 143. One provision of the bill would amend the Energy Policy Act of2005 to authorize the Secretary of Energyto make loan guarantee commitmentsfor the commercial application of new or significantly improved technologies forspecified rare earth materials projects.
Atissue was the Securing Energy Critical Elements and American Jobs Act of 2013(H.R.1022). Other provisions in this bill would :
- Establishin the Department of Energy a research, development, and commercial applicationprogram to assure the long-term, secure, and sustainable supply of energycritical elements to satisfy the national security, economic well-being, andindustrial production needs of the United States.
- Directthe Secretary of Energy to support new or significantly improved processes andtechnologies (as compared to those currently in use in the energy criticalelements industry.
- Directthe President's Office of Science and Technology Policy to coordinate theactions of federal agencies to: (1) promote an adequate and stable supply ofenergy critical elements, (2) identify energy critical elements and establishearly warning systems for supply problems, (3) establish a mechanism for thecoordination and evaluation of federal programs with energy critical elementneeds, and (4) encourage private enterprise in the development of aneconomically sound and stable domestic energy critical elements supplychain.
- Amendthe National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act of 1980to: (1) instruct the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy tocoordinate federal materials research and development through the NationalScience and Technology Council (instead of, as currently required, the FederalCoordinating Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology, which is nowdefunct), (2) modify the duties of the Secretary of Commerce regarding criticalneeds assessment, and (3) repeal specified duties of the Secretaries of Defenseand of the Interior.