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10.3. Role of the Energy, Materials, and International Security Division
The Energy, Materials, and International Security Division comprises three Programs: Energy and Materials; Industry, Technology, and Employment; and International Security and Commerce.
The Energy and Materials Program is responsible for assisting the Congress in understanding the technological possibilities for developing our energy and materials resources and the consequences of these developments for society. In this way, the Program can help the Congress ensure rational resource development such that economic growth is maintained, undesirable side effects are kept to a minimum, and the resource base is sustained for future generations. The Program covers those technologies that concern the extraction, delivery, and use of energy and materials. Although primarily directed at domestic resources, the Program also is concerned with world markets and policies, including imports and exports of energy and materials.
The Industry, Technology, and Employment Program examines how technology affects the ability of U.S. industry to contribute to a healthy national economy. Its responsibilities include consideration of the competitiveness of U.S. industries in international markets, trade and economic development issues, the number and nature of employment opportunities, needs for worker education, training and retraining, and ways to ease adjustment in structural economic transitions. The ITE Program is concerned with the competitive position of both basic and new industries, with the development and dissemination of pre-competitive technologies, and with the quantity, nature, and quality of jobs.
The International Security and Commerce Program deals with national security, space technology, international relations generally, and international technology transfers. The Program's work in national security includes an assessment of likely impacts of technological considerations on national security, which includes international stability, diplomacy, alliance relations, and arms control, as well as deterrence and defense. Assessment of defense industrial/technological base issues is an increasing part of ISC's work. The work on space technology involves a range of issues, such as space transportation, international cooperation and competition in civilian space activities, and space debris, in which technological progress, civilian exploration, commercial uses of space, and national security must be reconciled. ISC's work in technology transfer combines several perspectives: the national security and foreign policy considerations that lie behind export controls, a concern for the health and competitiveness of U.S. industry in international markets; and a concern for the objective of managing technology transfer in such a way as to contribute to favorable international economic development.
10.4. Accomplishments of the Energy, Materials, and International Security Division In FY 1992, the Energy, Materials, and International Security Division published 15 assessment
Improving Automobile Fuel Economy: New Standards, New Approaches
Competing Economies: America, Europe and the Pacific Rim
Performance Standards for the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program,
Retiring Old Cars: Programs to Save Gasoline and Reduce Emissions
Building Future Security: Strategies for Restructuring the Defense Technology and Industrial Base
The Division also published 5 background papers:
American Military Power: Future Needs, Future Choices
NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications: Process, Priorities and Goals
Lessons in Restructuring Defense Industry: The French Experience
Remotely Sensed Data From Space: Distribution, Pricing, and Applications
In addition, the Division testified 14 times.
Listed below are several examples of direct legislative use of the Division's work:
Energy and Materials
Based on the findings of the reports Energy Efficiency in the Federal Government: Government by Good Example? and Building Energy Efficiency, OTA interacted extensively with the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, which led to Chairman Glenn's introduction of S. 1040, the Government Energy Efficiency Act of 1991. OTA interacted with staff of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power in development of the Federal energy portions of H.R. 776, the National Energy Efficiency Act of 1992. Throughout the year, OTA staff briefed Senate and House staff on prospects and policy options for improving Federal energy efficiency. The report was cited heavily in the February Senate Floor debate over S. 2166, The National Energy Security Act of 1992. OTA's Staff Memorandum on "Opportunities for Compact Fluorescent Lamps in Federal Facilities," which was completed as a follow-up to the Federal energy efficiency report, was also cited extensively in the February Senate Floor debate over Federal energy provisions of S. 2166, and was inserted verbatim by Senator Glenn into the Congressional Record on February 6, 1992 (S. 1180-1181).
OTA's report, Improving Automobile Fuel Economy: New Standards, New Approaches, was used extensively throughout the 102nd Congress in the draft legislative proposals to increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards, which were being considered as amendments to comprehensive energy legislation being debated in both the House and Senate (S. 2166, The National Energy Security Act of 1992 and H.R. 776, The National Energy Efficiency Act of 1992). In the course of this work, OTA provided extensive briefings and testimony for the Senate Committees on Energy and Natural Resources and on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. OTA staff also informally analyzed draft CAFE legislation for Senators Bryan, Johnston, and Gore and provided extensive briefings for Senators Johnston and Levin. Throughout the year, OTA staff briefed a wide range of Senate and House members and staff on alternative fuels and automotive fuel economy and other energy technology issues being addressed in the assessment and testified several times on these subjects in the last year. Several of the OTA options have provided middle ground in the debate over CAFE standards. OTA continues to be consulted frequently by Committee staff and Members on this topic.
3. OTA's report, U.S. Oil Import Vulnerability: The Technical Replacement Capability, was widely cited by Senators on both sides during the cloture debate on S. 1220, the National Energy Security Act of 1991 and in the subsequent February 1992 floor debate over the revised bill, S. 2166. During the course of the study, OTA provided informal technical briefings for Senate and House committee staff on technologies and policy initiatives for reducing oil imports to assist them in drafting legislation. Finally, the OTA report was also cited in Senate consideration of H.R. 776 the House version of the energy bill in August 1992. One of the report's policy options -- establishment of a process for setting clear national energy policy objectives with quantitative indicators of progress, and periodic review by Congress and the Executive Branch -- made its way into S. 1018, a bill to establish national energy policy goals, and H.R. 776 as amended by the Senate. OTA staff continue to respond to requests for information and clarification on the report and its subject matter for congressional staff.
Building on the findings of OTA work on the biological effects of electromagnetic fields completed in the course of the assessment, Electric Power Wheeling and Dealing: Technological Considerations for Increasing Competition, and the background paper, Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields, throughout the 102nd
Congress OTA staff were consulted by staff of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology as they drafted of legislation on federal research efforts on biological effects of electric and magnetic fields (EMF) and on the appropriate level, scope, and structure of federal research efforts.
As follow-up delivery of the Report, Fueling Development: Energy Technologies for Developing Countries, OTA provided background for legislation on foreign aid and trade policy related to energy technology through a series of briefings to Committee and Members' staff. These included a staff briefings with the House Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, Subcommittee on International Development, Trade, Finance, and Monetary Policy. The report was used by Subcommittee staff in drafting in H.R. 3428, The International Development, Trade, and Finance Act of 1991," to authorize U.S. capital contributions to a number of international financial institutions.
In the course of preparation of the report, Green Products by Design: Choices for a Cleaner Environment, OTA staff were consulted frequently by the staff of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Transportation and Hazardous Materials as they have drafted legislation reauthorizing the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). OTA staff provided the Subcommittee with briefing materials on toxic use reduction, as well as a critique of their draft RCRA bill. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Environment convened a hearing shortly after the release of the report to consider R&D legislation.
7. In the course of preparing the report, Retiring Old Cars: Programs to Save Gasoline and Reduce Emissions, OTA staff were consulted by both House and Senate staff regarding legislative proposals aimed at removal of older cars from the U.S. fleet. The OTA work contributed to the analysis of costs and benefits of alternative legislative proposals, in particular legislation introduced by Sen. Roth. Building on the OTA analysis, OTA staff reviewed implementation problems associated with various options and the potential effects on oil use of the Senator's proposed legislation granting CAFE credits to automakers participating in retirement programs.
OTA's assessment report, Electric Power Wheeling and Dealing: Technological Considerations for Increasing Competition, was cited extensively in the early legislative discussions and hearings in the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power affecting the regulation of electric utilities such as proposals to amend the Public Utility Holding Company Act, the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act, and the Federal Power Act included in the House and Senate versions of comprehensive energy legislation considered in the 102nd Congress.
OTA's reports, New Electric Power Technologies: Problems and Prospects for the 1990s, Nuclear Power in an Age of Uncertainty, and Starpower: The U.S. and International Quest for Fusion Energy continue to be used by energy R&D authorizing committees as reference sources. In particular, they were referred to frequently in the House Committee on Science and Technology's Subcommittees on Energy and on Environment authorization hearings on the DOE R&D budget. In addition OTA staff were consulted frequently by Committee staff in the consideration of related bills being considered by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power.
Industry, Technology, and Employment
1. Based on research done for Making Things Better and Competing Economies, OTA was able to make substantial contributions -- briefings, consultations, and document reviews -- to development of the comprehensive legislation, the American Technology and Competitiveness Act of 1992 (H.R. 5100).
2. Frequent references to Competing Economies appear in both the Science, Space and Technology Committee's report to the Budget Committee on the 1993 budget and in Chairman Brown's remarks on the floor of the House. The Committee's report quotes and adopts OTA's conclusion on the future of U.S. competitiveness absent changes in government policies and draws from policy options in technology development, technology diffusion, trade, and taxes.
The report by the Committee on Government Operations on Japan's economic policy toward the highperformance computing industry extensively references Competing Economies on, among other topics, the technology of supercomputers, the policies of the Japanese government to develop Japan's supercomputer industry, and the Japanese response to the 1987 Supercomputer Agreement.
Since its release in February, After the Cold War. Living with Lower Defense Spending has received extraordinary Congressional attention. In particular, OTA has been consulted on an ongoing basis by the Senate Democratic Defense Conversion Task Force headed by Sen. Pryor (who calls OTA's assistance invaluable) and has briefed the Senate Republican Defense Conversion Task Force headed by Sen. Rudmann. One notable briefing included a talk given at the weekly luncheon of the Democratic Policy Committee, which was attended by some 40 members.
After the Cold War. Living with Lower Defense Spending was used intensively and had many impacts in the strategic framework of legislation and in specific provisions. Many of the options of the report became law -- especially in the area of investment for growth. The legislative vehicles were the Defense Authorization and Appropriations Acts. On the technology side, an outstanding feature of the law was an appropriation of $100 million for Federal support of state and local technology extension services open to all small and medium sized manufacturing firms -- not just defense firms.
6. In Introducing S.2554, the Technical Skills Enhancement Act, Senator Rockefeller stated, "The Office of Technology Assessment published an excellent report in 1990 on worker training [Worker Training: Competing in the New International Economy]. [The OTA] report takes an in-depth look at all the training issues, including technology transfer. The report states: State and Federal industrial extension services are slowly learning that small firms need more than just the latest hardware -- they need help in benefiting from the technology which includes training the workers... My bill is a natural, next step in the direction suggested by OTA.....
The Technical Skills Enhancement Act draws upon Options in Worker Training, which suggest ways to combine training with technology transfer and industrial extension services, and discuss the need for a single clearinghouse to disseminate best practice information on training.
7. The analysis in Worker Training of the need for workforce training consortia and collection of data on training influenced provisions on these subjects in H.R. 3507, the proposed American Industrial Quality and Training Act.
8. In preparing S. 2633, introduced by Senator Dole in April 1992, the U.S. Department of Labor drew heavily on Worker Training. OTA's findings on the weaknesses of U.S. training relative to competitors such as Japan, Germany, Korea, and Canada were used to develop the bill's proposal for a comprehensive overhaul of the Federal-State employment and training system.
9. Based on the trade work OTA has done in Competing Economies and in Trade and Environment, OTA assisted staff of the Subcommittee on Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation and the Environment to understand the GATT implications of potential Administration legislation limiting wild bird imports that the Committee wanted, but that the Administration had put on hold because of potential GATT problems. The Committee decided to go ahead with its own legislation limiting imports. The legislation was passed (P.L. 102-440).
curity and Co
1. OTA's study of the defense industrial base study had direct impact on S. 3114 and Conference Report H.R. 102-966 that became the Defense Authorization Act for FY93.
2. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee reprinted OTA briefing materials and the summary of Verification
3. OTA testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the relevance of Verification Technologies: Cooperative Aerial Surveillance in International Agreements to the Open Skies Treaty.
4. OTA's background paper, Remotely Sensed Data from Space: Distribution, Pricing and Applications, focused on the different approaches to data pricing and distribution policies outlined in H.R. 3614, and S. 2297, bills to amend the Landsat Commercialization Act of 1984. It had a role in resolving differences, resulting in the passage of P.L. 102-555, the Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992.
10.5. Changes in Prior Plans for FY 1992 for the Energy, Materials, and International Security Division
During Fiscal Year 1992, the Energy, Materials, and International Security Division essentially accomplished its goals, with approved modifications and additions to meet the changing needs of Congress. These changes reflect the inherent uncertainty of research and the attendant need to be able to make adjustments.
(Please see the chart on page 12 for the breakdown of the differences in estimated and actual Division spending for FY 1992.)
10.6. FY 1993 and FY 1994 Priorities for the Energy, Materials, and International Security Division
A Division's work is determined by the expressed needs of Congressional Committees, so we cannot safely predict an agenda, but an illustrative list of subjects that are representative of the kinds of new assessments that we may be asked to undertake can be prepared. Such an exercise, using a wide variety of information sources, helps sharpen the discussions between OTA staff and Congressional Committees. It also reflects one of the charges Congress assigned to OTA: foresight about emerging technology. Of course each Division can undertake only a few new assessments each year, so this list should be viewed only as representative of potential subjects for the assessments that the Energy, Materials, and International Security Division may be asked to undertake in Fiscal Years 1993 and 1994. Because OTA works hard to be responsive to changing Congressional needs, new work is often significantly different from OTA's prospective list, but it usually does contain some of the identified issues.
Energy and Materials
ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT: RESPONDING TO CHANGING NEEDS
The Federal Government spends about 230 million dollars per year on energy efficiency R&D, and about 2650 million dollars per year on energy supply R&D. The energy efficiency research includes transportation, buildings, industry, and utilities. A rapidly changing external environment has shifted the efficiency-related R&D needs of the nation, but it is not at all clear that DOE's R&D planning methodology allows for these changes to be reflected in the R&D portfolio. In this project OTA will explore (1) how Congress and DOE allocates R&D funds both within sectors and across sectors, (2) alternative methods to allocate these funds (for example, by looking at how other R&D organizations allocate their funds), and (3) provide options to ensure that allocation of R&D funds can respond to changing national needs while still providing the long-term stability needed to bring technologies to commercial application.
SOCIAL COSTS OF ENERGY CONSUMPTION
Energy policymakers frequently make choices -- through R&D funding, tax policy, regulatory changes, etc. -among energy systems without a clear understanding of their comparative overall social costs, especially those costs not captured in our current market economy. Decreasing energy security, faltering economic growth, and environmental degradation are making such a cost accounting ever more important if choices are to be made that are sensitive to externalities not captured in the market. In this study, OTA would examine and review past