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house Bill H.R. 5803

Making an Energy Plan for American Territories Outside of the Continental U.S.

Argument in favor

Will help wean U.S. territories off of foreign oil and establish a self-reliance on local resources.

Brendan's Opinion
···
03/27/2016
Shipping fossil fuels to remote islands is really expensive. It makes long-term sense to invest now in renewable energy sources that will diminish the need for future energy shipments.
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Argument opposed

The U.S. should reduce its own foreign oil dependence before it tackles the energy problems of the Freely Associated States.

Darius's Opinion
···
01/29/2016
As it stands, the continental US is not exactly an shining example of being dependent on our own local resources for energy so, before we regulate the freely associated states, we should fix our own reliance on foreign oil.
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What is House Bill H.R. 5803?

This bill would order the Secretary of the Interior to develop a comprehensive energy plan that addresses the needs of American territories outside of the continental U.S. — namely, the insular areas and Freely Associated States

America’s insular areas include American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. The Freely Associated States include the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.


Each territory would receive a plan that includes :

  • Recommendations for reducing reliance on fossil fuels, expenditures on fossil fuel imports, and developing native sources of non-fossil fuel energy.  
  • Scheduling for the implementation of recommended projects.
  • A financial plan for making these projects sustainable.
  • Establishing benchmarks to measures the progress of various projects.

Impact

People who live in the Freely Associated States and insulated areas, the Secretary of the Interior, the energy industry, and oil companies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5803

$1.00 Thousand
The CBO estimates that implementing this bill would cost approximately $10 million over the 2014-2018 period.

More Information

 In Depth:

In addition to its 50 states, America is composed of several far-flung territories in the Pacific Ocean. This collection of islands — the most well known are the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau — was under U.S. jurisdiction until they elected to become sovereign nations in the 1970s and 80s. Although they are technically foreignnations, the Freely Associated States have access to U.S. federal programs, can work in the states as non-immigrant residents, and are under the umbrella of U.S. military protection.

Media:

CBO Cost Analysis

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet)

Official Title

To require the Secretary of the Interior to assemble a team of technical, policy, and financial experts to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States through the development of energy action plans aimed at promoting access to affordable, reliable energy, including increasing use of indigenous clean-energy resources, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed December 12th, 2014
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
    IntroducedDecember 8th, 2014

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    Less foreign oil dependence
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    As it stands, the continental US is not exactly an shining example of being dependent on our own local resources for energy so, before we regulate the freely associated states, we should fix our own reliance on foreign oil.
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    Shipping fossil fuels to remote islands is really expensive. It makes long-term sense to invest now in renewable energy sources that will diminish the need for future energy shipments.
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    Solar and wind is really feasible in sunny territories which most are quite sunny since they are islands in tropical places. American Samoa has had good success with solar farms. This is an opportunity for the territories to pioneer the way for the continental US. Does it seem like the US is using the territories as test sites for new technology? Yup, wouldn't be the first time. Thankfully sustainable energy is better for the environment than nuclear test sites.
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