[Senate Report 116-201]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


                                                      Calendar No. 351
116th Congress     }                                     {      Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                                     {     116-201

======================================================================



 
                 ENERGY JOBS FOR OUR HEROES ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

                January 9, 2020.--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. 876]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 876) to amend the Energy Policy Act of 
2005 to require the Secretary of Energy to establish a program 
to prepare veterans for careers in the energy industry, 
including the solar, wind, cybersecurity, and other low-carbon 
emissions sectors or zero-emissions sectors of the energy 
industry, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with amendments and recommends that 
the bill, as amended, do pass.

                               Amendments

    The amendments are as follows:
    Beginning on page 7, strike line 7 and all that follows 
through page 8, line 11, and insert the following:

    ``(f) Establishment of Industry-Recognized Certification 
and Training Programs.--For purposes of subsection (d), if an 
appropriate industry-recognized certification and training 
program does not exist, the Secretary shall establish a grant 
program to assist the industry in developing such an industry-
recognized certification and training program.

    On page 8, line 12, strike ``(h)'' and insert ``(g)''.
    On page 8, line 16, strike ``program.'' and insert the 
following:

``program, including--
          (1) the number of veterans enrolled in the program;
          (2) the regional distribution of those veterans;
          (3) the cost of certification under the program;
          (4) the rate of job placement;
          (5) the rate of job retention; and
          (6) the average salaries of veterans who were 
        enrolled in the program.''

                                Purpose

    The purpose of S. 876 is to amend the Energy Policy Act of 
2005 (EPAct '05, Public Law 109-58) to require the Secretary of 
Energy (Secretary) to establish a program to prepare veterans 
for careers in the energy industry, including the solar, wind, 
cybersecurity, and other low-carbon emissions sectors or zero-
emissions sectors of the energy industry.

                          Background and Need

    As deployed energy generation, storage, transmission, 
distribution, and use technologies evolve, energy industry 
subsectors require a talented workforce that can adapt and meet 
these needs. The men and women who serve in the U.S. military 
acquire many skills that translate well to employment in 
civilian industries.
    S. 876 seeks to build upon the broad skill set veterans 
have already attained with additional training in certified or 
accredited programs to gain highly needed energy industry 
sector-specific skills. This program will accelerate solutions 
to ongoing national energy workforce challenges while 
facilitating the transition from military service to civilian 
industry. The Department of Energy (DOE) has expertise in 
energy industry needs and the Department of Defense (DOD) has 
expertise in veteran workforce training and placement programs. 
This bill would require the two Departments to co-facilitate 
such a program.

                          Legislative History

    S. 876 was introduced on March 26, 2019, by Senators 
Duckworth, Graham, Bennet, and Gardner. The Subcommittee on 
Energy held a hearing on S. 876 on November 6, 2019.
    During the 115th Congress, similar legislation, S. 3088, 
was introduced on June 19, 2018, by Senators Duckworth, Graham, 
Bennet, and Gardner.
    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in 
open business session on November 19, 2019, and ordered S. 876 
favorably reported, as amended.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on November 19, 2019, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
876, if amended as described herein. Senator Lee asked to be 
recorded as voting no.

                          Committee Amendments

    During its consideration of S. 876, the Committee adopted a 
joint staff amendment and an amendment offered by Senator Lee.
    The joint staff amendment strikes section 1107(g) of EPAct 
'05 (as proposed to be added by section 2 of the bill), which 
would have allocated funds appropriated for the job training 
program established by the bill among DOD facilities based on 
participant enrollment in the program. The amendment also 
redesignates the reporting requirement in section 1107(h) as 
1107(g).
    The Lee amendment amends the requirement in section 1107(g) 
of EPAct '05 (as proposed to be added by section 2 of the bill 
and redesignated by the joint staff amendment) that the 
Secretary report to Congress annually on the program by 
requiring specifically that the Secretary report on the number 
of veterans enrolled in the program, the rate of job placement 
and retention, and the average salaries of veterans enrolled in 
the program.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Sec. 1. Short title

    Section 1 sets forth the short title of the bill as 
``Energy Jobs for our Heroes Act of 2019.''

Sec. 2. Energy-Ready Vets Program

    Section 2 amends title XI of EPAct '05 to add at the end a 
new section 1107, establishing a program to prepare veterans 
for careers in the energy industry.
    The new subsection 1107(a) sets forth the purpose of the 
section.
    The new subsection 1107(b) defines relevant terms.
    The new subsection 1107(c) directs the Secretary to 
establish and implement a program called the ``Energy Ready 
Vets Program.''
    The new subsection 1107(d) sets forth the details of how 
the program shall be implemented in partnership with the 
Secretary of Defense through DOD's SkillBridge program. The 
program will provide standardized training courses to prepare 
eligible veterans for careers in the energy industry, including 
in solar energy, wind energy, cybersecurity, grid 
modernization, resilience planning, other low-carbon energy 
fields, energy infrastructure, and other related subfields. The 
program will consist of job training, employment skills 
training, internships, and exams that lead to industry-
recognized entry-level certificates or credentials.
    The new subsection 1107(e) requires the Secretary to 
recognize commercial entities that hire eligible veterans who 
have received certifications or credentials through the 
program.
    The new subsection 1107(f) requires the Secretary to 
develop appropriate industry-recognized certifications and 
training that do not currently exist.
    The new subsection 1107(g) requires the Secretary to submit 
a report to Congress describing the activities carried out 
within the program no later than one year after the date on 
which the program is established, and annually thereafter.

                   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. 876. 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. 876, as ordered reported.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    S. 876, 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 Energy at the 
November 6, 2019, hearing on S. 876 follows:

   Testimony of Assistant Secretary Daniel Simmons, Office of Energy 
       Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy


                              introduction


    Chairman Cassidy, Ranking Member Heinrich, and Members of 
the Energy Subcommittee of the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on 
legislation pertinent to the Department of Energy now pending 
in the Senate. My name is Daniel Simmons, and I am the 
Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and 
Renewable Energy (EERE).
    As the Assistant Secretary, I am responsible for overseeing 
a broad portfolio of energy efficiency and renewable energy 
programs. The technologies in my portfolio advance America's 
economic growth and energy security while enhancing the 
reliability and resilience of the U.S. energy system. The 
Department of Energy supports improving the energy efficiency 
and reducing energy costs, while at the same time ensuring 
important performance standards are met or exceeded. For 
instance, we want to ensure schools and other buildings are 
sufficiently bright to ensure safety, and that water flow from 
faucets is strong enough to clean dirty hands. Today, I would 
like to share what relevant work my office has done and is 
doing in the areas that these bills address.
    I have been asked to testify on eleven (11) bills today, 
addressing a range of important energy issues. The 
Administration continues to review all of these bills. I 
appreciate the ongoing bipartisan efforts to address our 
Nation's energy challenges and I look forward to working with 
the Committee.


                                 bills


S. 876--Energy Jobs for Our Heroes Act of 2019
    S. 876, the Energy Jobs for Our Heroes Act of 2019 would 
establish the `Energy-Ready Vets Program' that would prepare 
veterans for careers in the energy industry. The program will 
allow eligible participants to earn an applicable industry-
recognized entry-level certificate or other credential. The 
program will be carried out through the SkillBridge program of 
the Department of Defense.
    The Department will continue to review the legislation and 
looks forward to working with Congress as the legislative 
process moves forward.


                               conclusion


    Thank you again for the opportunity to testify before the 
Subcommittee today. The Department appreciates the ongoing 
bipartisan efforts to address our Nation's energy challenges, 
and looks forward to working with the Committee on the 
legislation on today's agenda and any future legislation. I 
would be happy to answer your questions.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the changes in existing law made 
by S. 876, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                       ENERGY POLICY ACT OF 2005

Public Law 109-58, as amended

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TITLE XI--PERSONNEL AND TRAINING

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 1106. NATIONAL POWER PLANT OPERATIONS TECHNOLOGY AND EDUCATIONAL 
                    CENTER.

    (a) Establishment.--The Secretary shall support the 
establishment of a National Power Plant Operations Technology 
and Education Center (referred to in this section as the 
``Center''), to address the need for training and educating 
certified operators and technicians for the electric power 
industry.
    (b) Location of Center.--The Secretary shall support the 
establishment of the Center at an institution of higher 
education that has--
          (1) expertise in providing degree programs in 
        electric power generation, transmission, and 
        distribution technologies;
          (2) expertise in providing onsite and Internet-based 
        training; and
          (3) demonstrated responsiveness to workforce and 
        training requirements in the electric power industry.
    (c) Training and Continuing Education.--
          (1) In general.--The Center shall provide training 
        and continuing education in electric power generation, 
        transmission, and distribution technologies and 
        operations.
          (2) Location.--The Center shall carry out training 
        and education activities under paragraph (1)--
                  (A) at the Center; and
                  (B) through Internet-based information 
                technologies that allow for learning at remote 
                sites.

SEC. 1107. ENERGY READY VETS PROGRAM.

    (a) Purpose.--The purpose of this section is to ensure that 
veterans have the credentials and training necessary to secure 
careers in the energy industry.
    (b) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Active military, naval, or air service.--The term 
        ``active military, naval, or air service'' has the 
        meaning given such term in section 101 of title 38, 
        United States Code.
          (2) Eligible participant.--The term ``eligible 
        participant'' means a veteran who--
                  (A) was discharged or released from service 
                in the active military, naval, or air service 
                during the most recent 1-year period; or
                  (B)(i) was discharged or released from 
                service in the active military, naval, or air 
                service during the 2-year period immediately 
                preceding the most recent 1-year period; and
                  (ii) receives the approval of the Secretary 
                to participate in the program.
          (3) Program.--The term ``program'' means the Energy-
        Ready Vets Program established under subsection (c)(1).
          (4) Uniformed services.--The term ``uniformed 
        services'' has the meaning given such term in section 
        10(a) of title 10, United States Code.
          (5) Veteran.--The term ``veteran'' has the meaning 
        given such term in section 101 of title 38, United 
        States Code.
    (c) Establishment; Implementation.--
          (1) Establishment.--The Secretary shall establish a 
        program, to be known as the ``Energy-Ready Vets 
        Program'', to prepare eligible participants for careers 
        in the energy industry.
          (2) Implementation.--The Secretary shall ensure that 
        the program is implemented by an administrator, to be 
        appointed by the Secretary from among individuals with 
        experience relating to military service.
    (d) Administration of Program.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary, in partnership with 
        the Secretary of Defense, shall carry out the program 
        through the SkillBridge program of the Department of 
        Defense, under which the Secretary shall provide 
        standardized training courses, based, to the maximum 
        extent practicable, on existing industry-recognized 
        certification and training programs, to prepare 
        eligible participants in the program for careers in the 
        energy industry, including--
                  (A) in the solar energy industry, careers--
                          (i) as solar photovoltaic system 
                        installers;
                          (ii) as solar technicians;
                          (iii) as system inspectors; and
                          (iv) in other areas relating to the 
                        solar energy industry;
                  (B) in the wind energy industry, careers--
                          (i) in wind energy operations;
                          (ii) in wind energy development;
                          (iii) in wind energy manufacturing;
                          (iv) as wind energy technicians;
                          (v) in the support of all parts of 
                        the wind energy supply chain; and
                          (vi) in other areas relating to the 
                        wind energy industry;
                  (C) in the cybersecurity sector of the energy 
                industry, careers in--
                          (i) cybersecurity preparedness;
                          (ii) cyber incident response and 
                        recovery;
                          (iii) grid modernization, security, 
                        and maintenance;
                          (iv) resilience planning; and
                          (v) other areas relating to the 
                        cybersecurity sector of the energy 
                        industry;
                  (D) careers in other low-carbon emissions 
                sectors or zero-emissions sectors of the energy 
                industry identified by the Secretary; and
                  (E) careers in sectors that plan, develop, 
                construct, maintain, and expand energy industry 
                infrastructure.
          (2) Program requirements.--
                  (A) In general.--In carrying out the program, 
                the Secretary shall ensure that the courses 
                described in paragraph (1)--
                          (i) provide--
                                  (I) job training;
                                  (II) employment skills 
                                training, including providing 
                                comprehensive wraparound 
                                support services to eligible 
                                participants that--
                                          (aa) enhance the 
                                        training experience and 
                                        promote the 
                                        professional 
                                        development of eligible 
                                        participants; and
                                          (bb) help eligible 
                                        participants transition 
                                        into the workforce; and
                                  (III) opportunities for 
                                internships of not longer than 
                                180 days; and
                          (ii) are carried out primarily 
                        through--
                                  (I) internships; or
                                  (II) applied, work-based 
                                training.
                  (B) Exam requirement.--As a requirement for 
                completing a course described in paragraph (1), 
                the Secretary shall require each eligible 
                participant in the course to earn an applicable 
                industry-recognized entry-level certificate or 
                other credential.
    (e) Recognition of Entities.--The Secretary and the 
administrator of the program appointed under subsection (c)(2), 
working jointly, shall establish and carry out a program to 
recognize commercial entities that hire eligible participants 
who receive certifications or other credentials under the 
program, based on the proportion that--
          (1) the number of such eligible participants hired by 
        the commercial entity; bears to
          (2) the number of such eligible participants hired by 
        all commercial entities.
    (f) Establishment of Industry-Recognized Certification and 
Training Programs.--For purposes of subsection (d), if an 
appropriate industry-recognized certification and training 
program does not exist, the Secretary shall establish a grant 
program to assist the industry in developing such an industry-
recognized certification and training program.
    (g) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date on which 
the program is established, and annually thereafter, the 
Secretary shall submit to Congress a report describing the 
activities carried out under, and accomplishments of, the 
program, including--
          (1) the number of veterans enrolled in the program;
          (2) the regional distribution of those veterans;
          (3) the cost of certification under the program;
          (4) the rate of job placement;
          (5) the rate of job retention; and
          (6) the average salaries of veterans who were 
        enrolled in the program.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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