[Senate Report 116-161]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


                                                      Calendar No. 310
116th Congress     }                                    {       Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session       }                                    {      116-161

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   TO MAKE AVAILABLE THE CONTINUED USE OF PICK-SLOAN MISSOURI BASIN 
  PROGRAM PROJECT USE POWER BY THE KINSEY IRRIGATION COMPANY AND THE 
     SIDNEY WATER USERS IRRIGATION DISTRICT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

               November 21, 2019.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

        Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural 
                   Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1882]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 1882) to make available the continued use 
of Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program project use power by the 
Kinsey Irrigation Company and the Sidney Water Users Irrigation 
District, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with an amendment (in the nature of a 
substitute) and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

                               AMENDMENT

    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. CONTINUED USE OF PICK SLOAN MISSOURI BASIN PROGRAM PROJECT 
                    USE POWER BY THE KINSEY IRRIGATION COMPANY AND THE 
                    SIDNEY WATER USERS IRRIGATION DISTRICT.

    (a) Authorization.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law and 
subject to subsection (b), the Secretary of the Interior (acting 
through the Commissioner of Reclamation) shall continue to treat the 
irrigation pumping units known as the ``Kinsey Irrigation Company'' in 
Custer County, Montana and the ``Sidney Water Users Irrigation 
District'' in Richland County, Montana, or any successor to the Kinsey 
Irrigation Company or Sidney Water Users Irrigation District, as 
irrigation pumping units of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program for 
the purposes of wheeling, administration, and payment of project use 
power, including the applicability of provisions relating to the 
treatment of costs beyond the ability to pay under section 9 of the Act 
of December 22, 1944 (commonly known as the ``Flood Control Act of 
1944'') (58 Stat. 891, chapter 665).
    (b) Limitation.--The quantity of power to be provided to the Kinsey 
Irrigation Company and the Sidney Water Users Irrigation District 
(including any successor to the Kinsey Irrigation Company or the Sidney 
Water Users Irrigation District) under subsection (a) may not exceed 
the maximum quantity of power provided to the Kinsey Irrigation Company 
and the Sidney Water Users Irrigation District under the applicable 
contract for electric service in effect on the date of enactment of 
this Act.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 1882 is to make available the continued 
use of Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program project use power by 
the Kinsey Irrigation Company and the Sidney Water Users 
Irrigation District.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    In 1938, Congress enacted the Fort Peck Project Act 
directing the completion of the Fort Peck Project in Montana, 
and authorizing the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to transmit and 
sell electric energy generated by the project (Act of May 18, 
1938, ch. 250, 52 Stat. 403). In 1944, Congress enacted the 
Flood Control Act of 1944 (58 Stat. 891, chapter 665). The Act 
authorized the Missouri River Basin Project, (now known as the 
Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program (Program)), incorporated the 
Fort Peck project into the Program, and approved a 
comprehensive plan for the Program to be governed by 
Reclamation laws.
    The Kinsey Irrigation Company (Kinsey) and the Sidney Water 
Users Irrigation District operate non-federal water projects in 
eastern Montana. Both have relied on electric service from the 
Program for the past 73 years. The Kinsey Project was 
constructed by the Farm Security Administration in 1937. 
Although it briefly operated as a unit of the Program, Kinsey 
purchased all project facilities in 1945 and has been a non-
federal project since that time. The Sidney Project was built 
by the State of Montana in 1938. Although federal funds from 
the Public Works Administration were used in its construction, 
it has never been a federal project. Nonetheless, the BOR 
entered into project use power (PUP) contracts with Kinsey and 
Sidney in 1946. These contracts provide electric service needed 
to operate and maintain the two projects.
    The PUP contracts between the BOR and the two irrigation 
districts have been modified and renewed over the years. The 
current PUP contracts expire in 2020. During the negotiations 
to renew the PCP contracts, the BOR determined it did not have 
the authority to continue supplying either Kinsey or Sidney 
with electric energy because the two irrigation districts are 
not part of the federal project.
    Kinsey and Sidney have relied on Program power for over 73 
years, primarily for groundwater pumping, and together 
currently serve over 130 farmers and nearly 12,000 acres. If 
Kinsey is unable to extend its contract it would have to obtain 
service through the local rural electric cooperative, which 
Kinsey expects will increase power rates about 1900 percent. 
Likewise, Sidney would seek to purchase power from the Western 
Area Power Administration and expects, based on current rate 
schedules, for power rates to increase about 3200 percent.
    S. 1882 will authorize BOR to continue to treat Kinsey and 
Sidney as units of the Program for purposes of purchasing 
project use power.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 1882 was introduced by Senator Daines on June 18, 2019. 
The Subcommittee on Water and Power held a hearing on the 
measure on June 26, 2019.
    An identical bill, H.R. 3471, was introduced by 
Representative Gianforte in the House of Representatives on 
July 10, 2019, and referred to the House Committee on Natural 
Resources.
    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in 
open business session on September 25, 2019, and ordered S. 
1882 favorably reported, as amended.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on September 25, 2019, by a majority 
voice vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass 
S. 1882, if amended as described herein.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENT

    During its consideration of S. 1882, the Committee adopted 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The substitute 
strikes all findings from the bill and adds language in section 
1(a) clarifying the applicability to the irrigation districts 
of provisions relating to treatment of costs beyond the ability 
to pay under section 9 of the Act of the Flood Control Act of 
1944.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION-ANALYSIS

Sec. 1. Continued use of Pick Sloan Missouri Basin Program project use 
        power by the Kinsey Irrigation Company and the Sidney Water 
        Users Irrigation District

    Subsection (a) directs the Secretary of the Interior, 
acting through the Commissioner of Reclamation, notwithstanding 
any other provision of law, to continue to treat the Kinsey 
Irrigation Co. and Sidney Water Users Irrigation District as 
irrigation pumping units of the program for the purpose of 
wheeling, administration, and payment of project use power, 
including the applicability of provisions in Flood Control Act 
of 1944 related to the treatment of costs beyond the ability of 
irrigators to pay.
    Subsection (b) specifies that the contract is subject to 
the requirements that the quantity of power provided cannot 
exceed the maximum quantity provided to the Kinsey and Sidney 
on the date of enactment.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The Congressional Budget Office estimate of the costs of 
this measure has been requested but was not received at the 
time the report was filed. When the Congressional Budget Office 
completes its cost estimate, it will be posted on the internet 
at www.cbo.gov.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 1882. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 1882, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    S. 1882, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The testimony provided by the Department of the Interior at 
the June 26, 2019, Subcommittee on Water and Power hearing on 
S. 1882 follows:

  Statement of Kiel Weaver, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for 
           Water and Science, U.S. Department of the Interior

    Chairman McSally, Ranking Member Cortez Masto, and Members 
of the Subcommittee, I am Kiel Weaver, Principal Deputy 
Assistant Secretary for Water and Science with the U.S. 
Department of the Interior (``Department''). Thank you for the 
opportunity to provide the views of the Department on several 
water related pieces of legislation. I will address each of 
these individually.
S. 1882, The Kinsey/Sidney (Montana) Project Use Power Bill
    The Department did not receive a final draft of this 
legislation in enough time to provide detailed testimony on the 
bill. Reclamation would need additional time to analyze the 
final text of this legislation before stating a position.


                               conclusion


    Again, thank you for the opportunity to testify. The 
Department looks forward to working closely with this Committee 
on these bills. I would be happy to answer any questions.

    Additional views were requested from the Bureau of 
Reclamation on S. 1882, at the Subcommittee on Water and Power 
hearing on June 26, 2019. The Bureau of Reclamation provided 
additional views on September 23, 2019 on S. 1882 as follows:

    Dear Madam Chairman: As requested during the June 26, 2019, 
hearing before your subcommittee, the Department of the 
Interior is providing these views on S. 1882, a bill to make 
available the continued use of Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin 
Program Project Use Power (PUP) by the Kinsey Irrigation 
Company and the Sidney Water Users Irrigation District, and for 
other purposes.
    Under the laws governing the Reclamation program, PUP is 
generally only available to federal projects, unless otherwise 
authorized by Congress.
    The Sidney Pumping Project was constructed by the State of 
Montana in 1938 and financed through a loan and a grant from 
the Federal Public Works Administration. Reclamation initially 
believed the project met the conditions to receive PUP as it 
was financed by the United States. However, this determination 
was made in error because the Sidney Project is not and has 
never been a federal project with the required federal nexus to 
receive PUP. As such, Reclamation did not have authority to 
enter into the PUP contract with Sidney.
    The Kinsey Project was constructed in 1937 by the Farm 
Security Administration and was briefly a Pick-Sloan Missouri 
Basin Program unit. However, in 1945, Kinsey purchased all 
project facilities, thus rendering it a non-federal project.
    Reclamation has been providing PUP to both Sidney and 
Kinsey since 1946, although neither Sidney nor Kinsey are 
Reclamation projects or are specifically authorized by Congress 
to receive PUP. As a result, Reclamation has notified both 
Sidney and Kinsey that we will be unable to renew their 
contracts when they expire on December 31, 2020 absent specific 
legislative authority.
    This legislation, if enacted, would give Reclamation the 
authority to continue to provide PUP to both Sidney and Kinsey. 
In addition, the legislation includes language to preserve the 
current contractual service while limiting the quantity of PUP 
from exceeding the maximum contractual amount in the future.
    In general, the Department does not oppose the inclusion of 
specific authority for these specific cases.
            Sincerely,
                                             Brenda Burman,
                                                      Commissioner.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the bill as ordered 
reported.

                                  [all]