42 U.S. Code § 6272 - International voluntary agreements

(a) Exclusiveness of section’s requirements
Effective 90 days after December 22, 1975, the requirements of this section shall be the sole procedures applicable to—
(1) the development or carrying out of voluntary agreements and plans of action to implement the international emergency response provisions, and
(2) the availability of immunity from the antitrust laws with respect to the development or carrying out of such voluntary agreements and plans of action.
(b) Prescription by Secretary of standards and procedures for developing and carrying out voluntary agreements and plans of action
The Secretary, with the approval of the Attorney General, after each of them has consulted with the Federal Trade Commission and the Secretary of State, shall prescribe, by rule, standards and procedures by which persons engaged in the business of producing, transporting, refining, distributing, or storing petroleum products may develop and carry out voluntary agreements, and plans of action, which are required to implement the international emergency response provisions.
(c) Requirements for standards and procedures
The standards and procedures prescribed under subsection (b) of this section shall include the following requirements:
(1)
(A)
(i) Except as provided in clause (ii) or (iii) of this subparagraph, meetings held to develop or carry out a voluntary agreement or plan of action under this subsection shall permit attendance by representatives of committees of Congress and interested persons, including all interested segments of the petroleum industry, consumers, and the public; shall be preceded by timely and adequate notice with identification of the agenda of such meeting to the Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission, committees of Congress, and (except during an international energy supply emergency with respect to meetings to carry out a voluntary agreement or to develop or carry out a plan of action) the public; and shall be initiated and chaired by a regular full-time Federal employee.
(ii) Meetings of bodies created by the International Energy Agency established by the international energy program need not be open to interested persons and need not be initiated and chaired by a regular full-time Federal employee.
(iii) The President, in consultation with the Secretary, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General, may determine that a meeting held to carry out a voluntary agreement or to develop or carry out a plan of action shall not be open to interested persons or that attendance by interested persons may be limited, if the President finds that a wider disclosure would be detrimental to the foreign policy interests of the United States.
(B) No meetings may be held to develop or carry out a voluntary agreement or plan of action under this section unless a regular full-time Federal employee is present.
(2) Interested persons permitted to attend such a meeting shall be afforded an opportunity to present, in writing and orally, data, views, and arguments at such meetings, subject to any reasonable limitations with respect to the manner of presentation of data, views, and arguments as the Secretary may impose.
(3) A full and complete record, and where practicable a verbatim transcript, shall be kept of any meeting held, and a full and complete record shall be kept of any communication (other than in a meeting) made, between or among participants or potential participants, to develop, or carry out a voluntary agreement or a plan of action under this section. Such record or transcript shall be deposited, together with any agreement resulting therefrom, with the Secretary, and shall be available to the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission. Such records or transcripts shall be available for public inspection and copying in accordance with section 552 of title 5; except that
(A) matter may not be withheld from disclosure under section 552(b) of such title on grounds other than the grounds specified in section 552(b)(1), (b)(3), or so much of (b)(4) as relates to trade secrets; and
(B) in the exercise of authority under section 552(b)(1), the President shall consult with the Secretary of State, the Secretary, and the Attorney General with respect to questions relating to the foreign policy interests of the United States.
(4) No provision of this section may be exercised so as to prevent representatives of committees of Congress from attending meetings to which this section applies, or from having access to any transcripts, records, and agreements kept or made under this section. Such access to any transcript that is required to be kept for any meeting shall be provided as soon as practicable (but not later than 14 days) after that meeting.
(d) Participation of Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission in development and carrying out of voluntary agreements and plans of action
(1) The Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission shall participate from the beginning in the development, and when practicable, in the carrying out of voluntary agreements and plans of action authorized under this section. Each may propose any alternative which would avoid or overcome, to the greatest extent practicable, possible anticompetitive effects while achieving substantially the purposes of this part. A voluntary agreement or plan of action under this section may not be carried out unless approved by the Attorney General, after consultation with the Federal Trade Commission. Prior to the expiration of the period determined under paragraph (2), the Federal Trade Commission shall transmit to the Attorney General its views as to whether such an agreement or plan of action should be approved, and shall publish such views in the Federal Register. The Attorney General, in consultation with the Federal Trade Commission, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary, shall have the right to review, amend, modify, disapprove, or revoke, on his own motion or upon the request of the Federal Trade Commission or any interested person, any voluntary agreement or plan of action at any time, and, if revoked, thereby withdraw prospectively any immunity which may be conferred by subsection (f) or (j) of this section.
(2) Any voluntary agreement or plan of action entered into pursuant to this section shall be submitted in writing to the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission 20 days before being implemented; except that during an international energy supply emergency, the Secretary, subject to approval of the Attorney General, may reduce such 20-day period. Any such agreement or plan of action shall be available for public inspection and copying, except that a plan of action shall be so available only to the extent to which records or transcripts are so available as provided in the last sentence of subsection (c)(3) of this section. Any action taken pursuant to such voluntary agreement or plan of action shall be reported to the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission pursuant to such regulations as shall be prescribed under paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection (e) of this section.
(3) A plan of action may not be approved by the Attorney General under this subsection unless such plan
(A) describes the types of substantive actions which may be taken under the plan, and
(B) is as specific in its description of proposed substantive actions as is reasonable in light of circumstances known at the time of approval.
(e) Monitoring of development and carrying out of voluntary agreements and plans of action by Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission
(1) The Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission shall monitor the development and carrying out of voluntary agreements and plans of action authorized under this section in order to promote competition and to prevent anticompetitive practices and effects, while achieving substantially the purposes of this part.
(2) In addition to any requirement specified under subsections (b) and (c) of this section and in order to carry out the purposes of this section, the Attorney General, in consultation with the Federal Trade Commission and the Secretary, may promulgate rules concerning the maintenance of necessary and appropriate records related to the development and carrying out of voluntary agreements and plans of action authorized pursuant to this section.
(3) Persons developing or carrying out voluntary agreements and plans of action authorized pursuant to this section shall maintain such records as are required by rules promulgated under paragraph (2). The Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission shall have access to and the right to copy such records at reasonable times and upon reasonable notice.
(4) The Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission may each prescribe such rules as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out their respective responsibilities under this section. They may both utilize for such purposes and for purposes of enforcement any powers conferred upon the Federal Trade Commission or the Department of Justice, or both, by the antitrust laws or the Antitrust Civil Process Act [15 U.S.C. 1311 et seq.]; and wherever any such law refers to “the purposes of this Act” or like terms, the reference shall be understood to include this section.
(f) Defense to civil or criminal antitrust actions
(1) There shall be available as a defense to any civil or criminal action brought under the antitrust laws (or any similar State law) in respect to actions taken to develop or carry out a voluntary agreement or plan of action by persons engaged in the business of producing, transporting, refining, distributing, or storing petroleum products (provided that such actions were not taken for the purpose of injuring competition) that—
(A) such actions were taken—
(i) in the course of developing a voluntary agreement or plan of action pursuant to this section, or
(ii) to carry out a voluntary agreement or plan of action authorized and approved in accordance with this section, and
(B) such persons complied with the requirements of this section and the rules promulgated hereunder.
(2) Except in the case of actions taken to develop a voluntary agreement or plan of action, the defense provided in this subsection shall be available only if the person asserting the defense demonstrates that the actions were specified in, or within the reasonable contemplation of, an approved voluntary agreement or plan of action.
(3) Persons interposing the defense provided by this subsection shall have the burden of proof, except that the burden shall be on the person against whom the defense is asserted with respect to whether the actions were taken for the purpose of injuring competition.
(g) Acts or practices occurring prior to date of enactment of chapter or subsequent to its expiration or repeal
No provision of this section shall be construed as granting immunity for, or as limiting or in any way affecting any remedy or penalty which may result from any legal action or proceeding arising from, any act or practice which occurred prior to the date of enactment of this chapter or subsequent to its expiration or repeal.
(h) Applicability of Defense Production Act of 1950
Section 2158 of title 50, Appendix, shall not apply to any agreement or action undertaken for the purpose of developing or carrying out—
(1) the international energy program; or
(2) any allocation, price control, or similar program with respect to petroleum products under this chapter.
(i) Reports by Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission to Congress and President
The Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission shall each submit to the Congress and to the President, at such intervals as are appropriate based on significant developments and issues, reports on the impact on competition and on small business of actions authorized by this section.
(j) Defense in breach of contract actions
In any action in any Federal or State court for breach of contract, there shall be available as a defense that the alleged breach of contract was caused predominantly by action taken during an international energy supply emergency to carry out a voluntary agreement or plan of action authorized and approved in accordance with this section.
(k) Definitions
As used in this section and section 6274 of this title:
(1) The term “international energy supply emergency” means any period
(A) beginning on any date which the President determines allocation of petroleum products to nations participating in the international energy program is required by chapters III and IV of such program, and
(B) ending on a date on which he determines that such allocation is no longer required. Such a period may not exceed 90 days, but the President may establish one or more additional 90-day periods by making anew the determination under subparagraph (A) of the preceding sentence. Any determination respecting the beginning or end of any such period shall be published in the Federal Register.
(2) The term “international emergency response provisions” means—
(A) the provisions of the international energy program which relate to international allocation of petroleum products and to the information system provided in the program; and
(B) the emergency response measures adopted by the Governing Board of the International Energy Agency (including the July 11, 1984, decision by the Governing Board on “Stocks and Supply Disruptions”) for—
(i) the coordinated drawdown of stocks of petroleum products held or controlled by governments; and
(ii) complementary actions taken by governments during an existing or impending international oil supply disruption.
(l) Applicability of antitrust defense
The antitrust defense under subsection (f) of this section shall not extend to the international allocation of petroleum products unless allocation is required by chapters III and IV of the international energy program during an international energy supply emergency.
(m) Limitation on new plans of action
(1) With respect to any plan of action approved by the Attorney General after July 2, 1985—
(A) the defenses under subsection (f) and (j) of this section shall be applicable to Type 1 activities (as that term is defined in the International Energy Agency Emergency Management Manual, dated December 1982) only if—
(i) the Secretary has transmitted such plan of action to the Congress; and
(ii)
(I) 90 calendar days of continuous session have elapsed since receipt by the Congress of such transmittal; or
(II) within 90 calendar days of continuous session after receipt of such transmittal, either House of the Congress has disapproved a joint resolution of disapproval pursuant to subsection (n) of this section; and
(B) such defenses shall not be applicable to Type 1 activities if there has been enacted, in accordance with subsection (n) of this section, a joint resolution of disapproval.
(2) The Secretary may withdraw the plan of action at any time prior to adoption of a joint resolution described in subsection (n)(3) of this section by either House of Congress.
(3) For the purpose of this subsection—
(A) continuity of session is broken only by an adjournment of the Congress sine die at the end of the second session of Congress; and
(B) the days on which either House is not in session because of an adjournment of more than three days to a day certain are excluded in the computation of the calendar-day period involved.
(n) Joint resolution of disapproval
(1)
(A) The application of defenses under subsections (f) and (j) of this section for Type 1 activities with respect to any plan of action transmitted to Congress as described in subsection (m)(1)(A)(i) of this section shall be disapproved if a joint resolution of disapproval has been enacted into law during the 90-day period of continuous session after which such transmission was received by the Congress. For the purpose of this subsection, the term “joint resolution” means only a joint resolution of either House of the Congress as described in paragraph (3).
(B) After receipt by the Congress of such plan of action, a joint resolution of disapproval may be introduced in either House of the Congress. Upon introduction in the Senate, the joint resolution shall be referred in the Senate immediately to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.
(2) This subsection is enacted by the Congress—
(A) as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate and as such it is deemed a part of the rules of the Senate, but applicable only with respect to the procedure to be followed in the Senate in the case of resolutions described by paragraph (3); it supersedes other rules only to the extent that is inconsistent therewith; and
(B) with full recognition of the constitutional right of the Senate to change the rules (so far as relating to the procedure of the Senate) at any time, in the same manner and to the same extent as in the case of any other rule of the Senate.
(3) The joint resolution disapproving the transmission under subsection (m) of this section shall read as follows after the resolving clause: “That the Congress of the United States disapproves the availability of the defenses pursuant to section 252 (f) and (j) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act with respect to Type 1 activities under the plan of action submitted to the Congress by the Secretary of Energy on        .”, the blank space therein being filled with the date and year of receipt by the Congress of the plan of action transmitted as described in subsection (m) of this section.
(4)
(A) If the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate has not reported a joint resolution referred to it under this subsection at the end of 20 calendar days of continuous session after its referral, it shall be in order to move either to discharge the committee from further consideration of such resolution or to discharge the committee from further consideration of any other joint resolution which has been referred to the committee with respect to such plan of action.
(B) A motion to discharge shall be highly privileged (except that it may not be made after the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources has reported a joint resolution with respect to the plan of action), and debate thereon shall be limited to not more than one hour, to be divided equally between those favoring and those opposing the joint resolution. An amendment to the motion shall not be in order, and it shall not be in order to move to reconsider the vote by which the motion was agreed to or disagreed to.
(C) If the motion to discharge is agreed to or disagreed to, the motion may not be renewed, nor may another motion to discharge the committee be made with respect to any other joint resolution with respect to the same transmission.
(5)
(A) When the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate has reported or has been discharged from further consideration of a joint resolution, it shall be in order at any time thereafter within the 90-day period following receipt by the Congress of the plan of action (even though a previous motion to the same effect has been disagreed to) to move to proceed to the consideration of such joint resolution. The motion shall be highly privileged and shall not be debatable. An amendment to the motion shall not be in order, and it shall not be in order to move to reconsider a vote by which the motion was agreed to or disagreed to.
(B) Debate on the joint resolution shall be limited to not more than 10 hours and final action on the joint resolution shall occur immediately following conclusion of such debate. A motion further to limit debate shall not be debatable. A motion to recommit such a joint resolution shall not be in order, and it shall not be in order to move to reconsider the vote by which such a joint resolution was agreed to or disagreed to.
(6)
(A) Motions to postpone made with respect to the discharge from committee or consideration of a joint resolution, shall be decided without debate.
(B) Appeals from the decision of the Chair relating to the application of rules of the Senate to the procedures relating to a joint resolution shall be decided without debate.

Source

(Pub. L. 94–163, title II, § 252,Dec. 22, 1975, 89 Stat. 894; Pub. L. 95–619, title VI, § 691(b)(2),Nov. 9, 1978, 92 Stat. 3288; Pub. L. 96–30, June 30, 1979, 93 Stat. 80; Pub. L. 96–94, Oct. 31, 1979, 93 Stat. 720; Pub. L. 96–133, §§ 1, 2,Nov. 30, 1979, 93 Stat. 1053; Pub. L. 97–5, Mar. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 7; Pub. L. 97–50, Sept. 30, 1981, 95 Stat. 957; Pub. L. 97–163, Apr. 1, 1982, 96 Stat. 24; Pub. L. 97–190, June 1, 1982, 96 Stat. 106; Pub. L. 97–217, July 19, 1982, 96 Stat. 196; Pub. L. 97–229, § 2(a), (b)(2),Aug. 3, 1982, 96 Stat. 248; Pub. L. 98–239, Mar. 20, 1984, 98 Stat. 93; Pub. L. 99–58, title I, §§ 104(c)(2), (4), 105,July 2, 1985, 99 Stat. 105; Pub. L. 104–66, title I, § 1091(g),Dec. 21, 1995, 109 Stat. 722; Pub. L. 105–177, § 1(4),June 1, 1998, 112 Stat. 105.)
References in Text

The Antitrust Civil Process Act, referred to in subsec. (e)(4), is Pub. L. 87–664, Sept. 19, 1962, 76 Stat. 548, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 34 (§ 1311 et seq.) of Title 15. For complete classification of that Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1311 of Title 15 and Tables.
The date of enactment of this chapter, referred to in subsec. (g), means the date of enactment of Pub. L. 94–163, which was approved Dec. 22, 1975.
This chapter, referred to in subsec. (h)(2), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 94–163, Dec. 22, 1975, 89 Stat. 871, as amended, known as the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6201 of this title and Tables.
Section 252(f) and (j) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, referred to in subsection (n)(3), is classified to subsecs. (f) and (j) of this section.
Amendments

1998—Subsecs. (a)(1), (b). Pub. L. 105–177, § 1(4)(A), substituted “international emergency response provisions” for “allocation and information provisions of the international energy program”.
Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 105–177, § 1(4)(B), substituted “circumstances known at the time of approval” for “known circumstances”.
Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 105–177, § 1(4)(C), substituted “may” for “shall”.
Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 105–177, § 1(4)(D), inserted “voluntary agreement or” after “approved”.
Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 105–177, § 1(4)(E), amended subsec. (h) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (h) read as follows: “Upon the expiration of the 90-day period which begins on December 22, 1975, the provisions of sections 708 and 708A (other than 708A(o)) of the Defense Production Act of 1950 shall not apply to any agreement or action undertaken for the purpose of developing or carrying out (1) the international energy program, or (2) any allocation, price control, or similar program with respect to petroleum products under this chapter or under the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act of 1973. For purposes of section 708(A)(o) of the Defense Production Act of 1950, the effective date of the provisions of this chapter which relate to international voluntary agreements to carry out the International Energy Program shall be deemed to be 90 days after December 22, 1975.”
Subsec. (k)(2). Pub. L. 105–177, § 1(4)(F), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: “The term ‘allocation and information provisions of the international energy program’ means the provisions of the international energy program which relate to international allocation of petroleum products and to the information system provided in such program.”
Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 105–177, § 1(4)(G), amended subsec. (l) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (l) read as follows: “The authority granted by this section shall apply only to the development or carrying out of voluntary agreements and plans of action to implement chapters III, IV, and V of the international energy program.”
1995—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 104–66substituted “, at such intervals as are appropriate based on significant developments and issues, reports” for “, at least once every 6 months, a report”.
1985—Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 99–58, § 104(c)(4), substituted “subsection (f) or (j)” for “subsection (f) or (k)”.
Subsecs. (j) to (l). Pub. L. 99–58, § 104(c)(2), redesignatedsubsecs. (k) to (m) as (j) to (l). Former subsec. (j), which provided that the authority granted by this section would terminate at midnight, June 30, 1985, was struck out.
Subsecs. (m), (n). Pub. L. 99–58, § 105, added subsecs. (m) and (n). Former subsec. (m) redesignated (l).
1984—Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 98–239substituted “June 30, 1985” for “December 31, 1983”.
1982—Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 97–229, § 2(a), substituted “at midnight December 31, 1983” for “August 1, 1982”.
Pub. L. 97–217substituted “August 1, 1982” for “July 1, 1982”.
Pub. L. 97–190substituted “July 1, 1982” for “June 1, 1982”.
Pub. L. 97–163substituted “June 1, 1982” for “April 1, 1982”.
Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 97–229, § 2(b)(2), added subsec. (m).
1981—Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 97–50substituted “April 1, 1982” for “September 30, 1981”.
Pub. L. 97–5substituted “September 30, 1981” for “March 15, 1981”.
1979—Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 96–133, § 2, inserted provisions respecting access to transcripts.
Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 96–133, § 1, substituted “March 15, 1981” for “November 30, 1979”.
Pub. L. 96–94substituted “November 30” for “October 31”.
Pub. L. 96–30substituted “October 31, 1979” for “June 30, 1979”.
1978—Subsecs. (b), (c)(1)(A)(iii), (2), (3), (d)(1), (2), (e)(2). Pub. L. 95–619substituted “Secretary” for “Administrator”, meaning Administrator of the Federal Energy Administration, wherever appearing.
Study and Report on Energy Policy Cooperation Between United States and Other Western Hemisphere Countries

Pub. L. 100–373, § 2,July 19, 1988, 102 Stat. 878, directed Secretary of Energy, in consultation with Secretary of State and Secretary of Commerce, to conduct a study to determine how best to enhance cooperation between United States and other countries of Western Hemisphere with respect to energy policy including stable supplies of, and stable prices for, energy, with Secretary of Energy to report results of such study to Congress, propose a comprehensive international energy policy for United States designed to enhance cooperation between United States and other countries of the Western Hemisphere, and recommend such action as Secretary deemed necessary to establish and implement such policy.
Report of Implementation Activities Under International Voluntary Agreements

Pub. L. 96–133, § 3,Nov. 30, 1979, 93 Stat. 1053, directed Secretary of Energy, in consultation with Secretary of State, Attorney General, and Chairman of Federal Trade Commission, to prepare and submit to appropriate committees of Congress, a report concerning actions taken by them to carry out provisions of this section, which report was to examine and discuss extent to which all, or part, of any meeting held in accordance with subsec. (c) of this section to carry out a voluntary agreement or to develop or carry out a plan of action should be open to interested persons in furtherance of provisions of subsec. (c)(1)(A) of this section, policies and procedures followed by appropriate Federal agencies in reviewing and making public or withholding from the public all, or part, of any transcript of any meeting held to develop or carry out a voluntary agreement or plan of action under this section and in permitting persons, other than citizens of United States, to review such transcripts prior to any public disclosure thereof, extent to which classification of all, or part, of such transcripts should be carried out by one agency, adequacy of actions by responsible Federal agencies in insuring that standards and procedures required by this section are fully implemented and enforced, including monitoring of program concerning any anticompetitive effects, and number of personnel, and amount of funds, assigned by each such agency to carry out such standards and procedures, actions taken, or to be taken, to improve reporting of energy supply data under international energy program and to reconcile such reporting with similar reporting that is conducted by Department of Energy, actions taken, or planned, to improve reporting required by subsec. (i) of this section, and other actions under subsec. (i) of this section and to transmit such report to such committees within 120 days after Nov. 30, 1979, and to make such report available to the public.
Classification of Certain Information and Material

For provisions relating to the classification of certain information and material obtained from advisory bodies created to implement the International Energy Program, see Ex. Ord. No. 11932, eff. Aug. 4, 1976, 41 F.R. 32691, set out as a note under section 3161 of Title 50, War and National Defense.

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42 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

 

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