“This Act may be cited as the ‘Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000’.
“Congress finds that—
“(1) in order to promote energy independence and meet the increasing demand for energy, the United States will require a diversified portfolio of substantially increased quantities of electricity, natural gas, and transportation fuels;
“(2) according to the report submitted to Congress by the National Research Council entitled ‘Charting the Future of Methane Hydrate Research in the United States’, the total United States resources of gas hydrates have been estimated to be on the order of 200,000 trillion cubic feet;
“(3) according to the report of the National Commission on Energy Policy entitled ‘Ending the Energy Stalemate—A Bipartisan Strategy to Meet America’s Energy Challenge’, and dated December 2004, the United States may be endowed with over one-fourth of the methane hydrate deposits in the world;
“(4) according to the Energy Information Administration, a short-fall in natural gas supply from conventional and unconventional sources is expected to occur in or about 2020; and
“(5) the National Academy of Sciences states that methane hydrate may have the potential to alleviate the projected shortfall in the natural gas supply.
“In this Act:
“(1) CONTRACT.—The term ‘contract’ means a procurement contract within the meaning of section 6303 of title 31, United States Code.
“(2) COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT.—The term ‘cooperative