(a) Selection of members
The qualified industry organizations shall select all retail marketer, public, and producer members of the Council. The producer organizations shall select the producer members of the Council, the retail marketer organizations shall select retail marketer members, and all qualified industry organizations shall jointly select the public members. Vacancies in unfinished terms of Council members shall be filled in the same manner as were the original appointments.
In selecting members of the Council, the qualified industry organizations shall give due regard to selecting a Council that is representative of the industry, including representation of—
(1) gas processors and oil refiners among producers;
(2) interstate and intrastate operators among retail marketers;
(3) large and small companies among producers and retail marketers, including agricultural cooperatives; and
(4) diverse geographic regions of the country.
The Council shall consist of 21 members, with 9 members representing retail marketers, 9 members representing producers, and 3 public members. Other than the public members, Council members shall be full-time employees or owners of businesses in the industry or representatives of agricultural cooperatives. No employee of a qualified industry organization or other industry trade association shall serve as a member of the Council, and no member of the Council may serve concurrently as an officer of the Board of Directors of a qualified industry organization or other industry trade association. Only one person at a time from any company or its affiliate may serve on the Council.
Council members shall receive no compensation for their services, nor shall Council members be reimbursed for expenses relating to their service, except that public members, upon request, may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses directly related to their participation in Council meetings.
Council members shall serve terms of 3 years and may serve not more than 2 full consecutive terms. Members filling unexpired terms may serve not more than a total of 7 consecutive years. Former members of the Council may be returned to the Council if they have not been members for a period of 2 years. Initial appointments to the Council shall be for terms of 1, 2, and 3 years, staggered to provide for the selection of 7 members each year.
The Council shall develop programs and projects and enter into contracts or agreements for implementing this chapter, including programs to enhance consumer and employee safety and training, to train propane distributors and consumers in strategies to mitigate negative effects of future propane price spikes, to provide for research and development of clean and efficient propane utilization equipment, to inform and educate the public about safety and other issues associated with the use of propane, and to provide for the payment of the costs thereof with funds collected pursuant to this chapter. The Council shall coordinate its activities with industry trade association and others as appropriate to provide efficient delivery of services and to avoid unnecessary duplication of activities.
(g) Use of funds
Not less than 5 percent of the funds collected through assessments pursuant to this chapter shall be used for programs and projects intended to benefit the agriculture industry in the United States. The Council shall coordinate its activities in this regard with agriculture industry trade associations and other organizations representing the agriculture industry. The percentage of funds collected through assessments pursuant to this chapter to be used for projects relating to the use of propane as an over-the-road motor fuel shall not exceed the percentage of the total market for odorized propane that is used as a motor vehicle fuel, based on the historical average of such use over the previous 3-year period.
Issues related to research and development, safety, education, and training shall be given priority by the Council in the development of its programs and projects.
The Council shall select from among its members a Chairman and other officers as necessary, may establish committees and subcommittees of the Council, and shall adopt rules and bylaws for the conduct of business and the implementation of this chapter. The Council shall establish procedures for the solicitation of industry comment and recommendations on any significant plans, programs, and projects to be funded by the Council. The Council may establish advisory committees of persons other than Council members.
(j) Administrative expenses
(1) The administrative expenses of operating the Council (not including costs incurred in the collection of the assessment pursuant to section 6406 of this title) plus amounts paid under paragraph (2) shall not exceed 10 percent of the funds collected in any fiscal year.
(2) The Council shall annually reimburse the Secretary for costs incurred by the Federal Government relating to the Council, except that such reimbursement for any fiscal year shall not exceed the amount that the Secretary determines is the average annual salary of two employees of the Department of Energy.
Before August 1 each year, the Council shall publish for public review and comment a budget plan for the next calendar year, including the probable costs of all programs, projects, and contracts and a recommended rate of assessment sufficient to cover such costs. Following this review and comment, the Council shall submit the proposed budget to the Secretary and to the Congress. The Secretary may recommend programs and activities the Secretary considers appropriate.
(l) Records; audits
The Council shall keep minutes, books, and records that clearly reflect all of the acts and transactions of the Council and make public such information. The books of the Council shall be audited by a certified public accountant at least once each fiscal year and at such other times as the Council may designate. Copies of such audit shall be provided to all members of the Council, all qualified industry organizations, and to other members of the industry upon request. The Secretary shall receive notice of meetings and may require reports on the activities of the Council, as well as reports on compliance, violations, and complaints regarding the implementation of this chapter.
(m) Public access to Council proceedings
(1) All meetings of the Council shall be open to the public after at least 30 days advance public notice.
(2) The minutes of all meetings of the Council shall be made available to and readily accessible by the public.
(n) Annual report
Each year the Council shall prepare and make publicly available a report which includes an identification and description of all programs and projects undertaken by the Council during the previous year as well as those planned for the coming year. Such report shall also detail the allocation or planned allocation of Council resources for each such program and project.
AMENDMENTS 2014—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 113–269 inserted "to train propane distributors and consumers in strategies to mitigate negative effects of future propane price spikes," after "to enhance consumer and employee safety and training,".
15 U.S.C. § 6404 (2018)