H.R.2250 - Arctic Coastal Plain Domestic Energy Security Act of 1999106th Congress (1999-2000)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Young, Don [R-AK-At Large] (Introduced 06/16/1999)|
|Committees:||House - Resources|
|Latest Action:||House - 06/29/1999 Referred to Department of the Interior for comments. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.2250 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (06/16/1999)
[Congressional Bills 106th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 2250 Introduced in House (IH)] 106th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2250 To establish and implement a competitive oil and gas leasing program that will result in an environmentally sound and job creating program for the exploration, development, and production of the oil and gas resources of the Coastal Plain, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES June 16, 1999 Mr. Young of Alaska introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To establish and implement a competitive oil and gas leasing program that will result in an environmentally sound and job creating program for the exploration, development, and production of the oil and gas resources of the Coastal Plain, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Arctic Coastal Plain Domestic Energy Security Act of 1999''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND POLICY. (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following: (1) The Nation's domestic oil and gas production is in substantial decline and dependence upon unreliable foreign sources of energy is growing at an alarming rate. (2) The oil-rich Middle East is a highly volatile, turbulent region of the world, upon which the United States cannot continue to grow more dependent for its energy resources critical to our industrial and economic might. (3) The United States currently spends over $100,000,000,000 per year for foreign energy and equally significant amounts on our military presence in the Persian Gulf oil arena. (4) Within the next decade, world production of conventional oil is expected to peak and enter a decline phase that will increase the cost of imported oil and the value of domestic oil. (5) Production from the Prudhoe Bay fields on Alaska's North Slope, which now constitutes 21 percent of the Nation's total domestic crude oil production, has declined 50 percent from its peak output. (6) In 1980, Congress designated almost \1/2\ of the 19,600,000 acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska as wilderness and directed the Secretary of the Interior to study the oil and gas potential and the fish and wildlife resources of the Refuge's 1,500,000 acre Coastal Plain, which lies east of Prudhoe Bay. (7) Reports prepared by the Department of the Interior and other Federal, State, and private studies clearly indicate that the Coastal Plain is the most outstanding oil and gas prospect in the United States, onshore or offshore, with potential resources in place estimated to be from 11,600,000,000 to 31,500,000,000 barrels of oil. (8) The results of over 20 years of operations at Prudhoe Bay and other North Slope fields are compelling evidence that carefully planned and executed oil and gas exploration, development, production, and transportation are compatible with the North Slope's fish and wildlife resources and the needs of subsistence users of those resources. Further, environmental care and protection practiced in the North Slope fields equals or exceeds that of any other oil field worldwide. (9) Technological advancements have substantially reduced the impacts of arctic oil and gas operations on the North Slope. A new well pad, using current technology, utilizes 75 percent less surface area than pads used 25 years ago. Winter operations, using technological advances like ice roads, protect vegetation, fish, and wildlife. (10) The long lead time of 10 or more years required for development of a new North Slope field requires a prompt decision by the Congress on the future use of available Federal lands in the Coastal Plain. (11) Several significant fields have been discovered to underlie State lands adjacent to the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, highlighting the promise of the area. The presence of these fields raises the possibility of drainage of the Federal mineral estate from adjacent State lands. (12) Exploration, development, production, and transportation of the Coastal Plain's oil and gas resources, which are supported by the State of Alaska, the North Slope Borough and other local governments in Alaska, and the Inupiat Eskimo people of the North Slope, serve vital interests of the Nation, including-- (A) national security interests, by providing dependable new sources of domestic oil production outside of the control and influence of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries; (B) interests of United States consumers, by expanding domestic sources of reasonably priced gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil, and the wide array of products derived from crude oil; and (C) national economic interests, by improving the balance of trade through reductions in foreign oil imports, generating new economic activity, creating domestic jobs, and reducing the Federal deficit through increased tax and royalty revenues. (b) Policy.--Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States-- (1) to permit exploration, development, production, and transportation of the oil and gas resources in the Coastal Plain Study Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is-- (A) located east of Prudhoe Bay and south of the Beaufort Sea, areas where oil exploration and development have been conducted in an environmentally sound manner for more than 2 decades; and (B) served by an existing crude oil pipeline and tanker transportation system; (2) that exploration, development, production, and transportation of the oil and gas resources of the Coastal Plain, the Nation's foremost prospect for the discovery of significant new oil and gas accumulations, should proceed with dispatch; and (3) that such activities should be conducted in a manner consistent with the protection of the Coastal Plain's fish and wildlife resources and environment and the needs of the area's subsistence users. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. When used in this Act the term-- (1) ``Coastal Plain'' means that area identified as such in the map entitled ``Arctic National Wildlife Refuge'', dated August 1980, as referenced in section 1002(b) of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (16 U.S.C. 3142(b)(1)), comprising approximately 1,549,000 acres; and (2) ``Secretary'' except as otherwise provided, means the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary's designee. SEC. 4. LEASING PROGRAM FOR LANDS WITHIN THE COASTAL PLAIN. (a) Authorization.--The Secretary shall take such actions as are necessary to establish and implement a competitive oil and gas leasing program that will result in an environmentally sound program for the exploration, development, and production of the oil and gas resources of the Coastal Plain and to administer the provisions of this Act through regulations, lease terms, conditions, restrictions, prohibitions, stipulations and other provisions that ensure the oil and gas exploration, development, and production activities on the Coastal Plain will result in no significant adverse effect on fish and wildlife, their habitat, subsistence resources, and the environment, and shall require the application of the best available technology for oil and gas exploration, development, and production, on all new exploration, development, and production operations, and whenever practicable, on existing operations, and in a manner to ensure the receipt of fair market value by the public for the mineral resources to be leased. (b) Repeal.--The prohibitions and limitations contained in section 1003 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (16 U.S.C. 3143) are hereby repealed. (c) Compatibility.--Congress hereby determines that the oil and gas leasing program and activities authorized by this section in the Coastal Plain are compatible with the purposes for which the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was established, and that no further findings or decisions are required to implement this determination. (d) Sole Authority.--This Act shall be the sole authority for leasing on the Coastal Plain: Provided, That nothing in this Act shall be deemed to expand or limit State and local regulatory authority. (e) Federal Land.--The Coastal Plain shall be considered ``Federal land'' for the purposes of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 . (f) Special Areas.--The Secretary, after consultation with the State of Alaska, the city of Kaktovik, and the North Slope Borough, is authorized to designate up to a total of 45,000 acres of the Coastal Plain as Special Areas and close such areas to leasing if the Secretary determines that these Special Areas are of such unique character and interest so as to require special management and regulatory protection. The Secretary may, however, permit leasing of all or portions of any Special Areas within the Coastal Plain by setting lease terms that limit or condition surface use and occupancy by lessees of such lands but permit the use of horizontal drilling technology from sites on leases located outside the designated Special Areas. (g) Limitation on Closed Areas.--The Secretary's sole authority to close lands within the Coastal Plain to oil and gas leasing and to exploration, development, and production is that set forth in this Act. SEC. 5. RULES AND REGULATIONS. (a) Promulgation.--The Secretary shall prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purposes and provisions of this Act, including rules and regulations relating to protection of the fish and wildlife, their habitat, subsistence resources, and the environment of the Coastal Plain. Such rules and regulations shall be promulgated no later than 10 months after the date of enactment of this Act and shall, as of their effective date, apply to all operations conducted under a lease issued or maintained under the provisions of this Act and all operations on the Coastal Plain related to the leasing, exploration, development and production of oil and gas. (b) Revision of Regulations.--The Secretary shall periodically review and, if appropriate, revise the rules and regulations issued under subsection (a) of this section to reflect any significant biological, environmental, or engineering data which come to the Secretary's attention. SEC. 6. LEASE SALES. (a) Lease Sales.--Lands may be leased pursuant to the provisions of this Act to any person qualified to obtain a lease for deposits of oil and gas under the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.). (b) Procedures.--The Secretary shall, by regulation, establish procedures for-- (1) receipt and consideration of sealed nominations for any area in the Coastal Plain for inclusion in, or exclusion (as provided in subsection (c)) from, a lease sale; and (2) public notice of and comment on designation of areas to be included in, or excluded from, a lease sale. (c) Lease Sales on Coastal Plain.--The Secretary shall, by regulation, provide for lease sales of lands on the Coastal Plain. When lease sales are to be held, they shall occur after the nomination process provided for in subsection (b). For the first lease sale, the Secretary shall offer for lease those acres receiving the greatest number of nominations, but no less than 200,000 acres and no more than 300,000 acres shall be offered. If the total acreage nominated is less than 200,000 acres, the Secretary shall include in such sale any other acreage which he believes has the highest resource potential, but in no event shall more than 300,000 acres of the Coastal Plain be offered in such sale. With respect to subsequent lease sales, the Secretary shall offer for lease no less than 200,000 acres of the Coastal Plain. The initial lease sale shall be held within 12 months of the date of enactment of this Act, with additional sales conducted no later than 12 months thereafter so long as sufficient interest in development exists to warrant, in the Secretary's judgment, the conduct of such sales. SEC. 7. GRANT OF LEASES BY THE SECRETARY. (a) In General.--The Secretary may grant to the highest responsible qualified bidder by sealed competitive cash bonus bid any lands to be leased on the Coastal Plain upon payment by the lessee of such bonus as may be accepted by the Secretary and of such royalty as may be fixed in the lease, which shall be not less than 12\1/2\ percent in amount or value of the production removed or sold from the lease. (b) Antitrust Review.--Following each notice of a proposed lease sale and before the acceptance of bids and the issuance of leases based on such bids, the Secretary shall allow the Attorney General, in consultation with the Federal Trade Commission, 30 days to perform an antitrust review of the results of such lease sale on the likely effects the issuance of such leases would have on competition and the Attorney General shall advise the Secretary with respect to such review, including any recommendation for the nonacceptance of any bid or the imposition of terms or conditions on any lease, as may be appropriate to prevent any situation inconsistent with the antitrust laws. (c) Subsequent Transfers.--No lease issued under this Act may be sold, exchanged, assigned, sublet, or otherwise transferred except with the approval of the Secretary. Prior to any such approval the Secretary shall consult with, and give due consideration to the views of, the Attorney General. (d) Immunity.--Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to convey to any person, association, corporation, or other business organization immunity from civil or criminal liability, or to create defenses to actions, under any antitrust law. (e) Definitions.--As used in this section, the term-- (1) ``antitrust review'' shall be deemed an ``antitrust investigation'' for the purposes of the Antitrust Civil Process Act (15 U.S.C. 1311); and (2) ``antitrust laws'' means those Acts set forth in section 1 of the Clayton Act (15 U.S.C. 12). SEC. 8. LEASE TERMS AND CONDITIONS. An oil or gas lease issued pursuant to this Act shall-- (1) be for a tract consisting of a compact area not to exceed 5,760 acres, or 9 surveyed or protracted sections which shall be as compact in form as possible; (2) be for an initial period of 10 years and shall be extended for so long thereafter as oil or gas is produced in paying quantities from the lease or unit area to which the lease is committed or for so long as drilling or reworking operations, as approved by the Secretary, are conducted on the lease or unit area; (3) require the payment of royalty as provided for in section 7; (4) require that exploration activities pursuant to any lease issued or maintained under this Act shall be conducted in accordance with an exploration plan or a revision of such plan approved by the Secretary; (5) require that all development and production pursuant to a lease issued or maintained pursuant to this Act shall be conducted in accordance with development and production plans approved by the Secretary; (6) provide that the Secretary may close, on a seasonal basis, portions of the Coastal Plain to exploratory drilling activities as necessary to protect caribou calving areas and other species of fish and wildlife; (7) contain such provisions relating to rental and other fees as the Secretary may prescribe at the time of offering the area for lease; (8) provide that-- (A) the Secretary may direct or assent to the suspension of operations and production under any lease granted under the terms of this Act in the interest of conservation of the resource or where there is no available system to transport the resource; and (B) if such a suspension is directed or assented to by the Secretary, any payment of rental prescribed by such lease shall be suspended during such period of suspension of operations and production, and the term of the lease shall be extended by adding any such suspension period thereto; (9) provide that whenever the owner of a nonproducing lease fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Act, or of any applicable provision of Federal or State environmental law, or of the lease, or of any regulation issued under this Act, such lease may be canceled by the Secretary if such default continues for more than 30 days after mailing of notice by registered letter to the lease owner at the lease owner's record post office address of record; (10) provide that whenever the owner of any producing lease fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Act, of any applicable provision of Federal or State environmental law, of the lease, or of any regulation issued under this Act, such lease may be forfeited and canceled by any appropriate proceeding brought by the Secretary in any United States district court having jurisdiction under the provisions of this Act; (11) provide that cancellation of a lease under this Act shall in no way release the owner of the lease from the obligation to provide for reclamation of the lease site; (12) allow the lessee, at the discretion of the Secretary, to make written relinquishment of all rights under any lease issued pursuant to this Act, and provide that the Secretary shall accept such relinquishment by the lessee of any lease issued under this Act where there has not been surface disturbance on the lands covered by the lease; (13) provide that for the purpose of conserving the natural resources of any oil or gas pool, field, or like area, or any part thereof, and in order to avoid the unnecessary duplication of facilities, to protect the environment of the Coastal Plain, and to protect correlative rights, the Secretary shall require that, to the greatest extent practicable, lessees unite with each other in collectively adopting and operating under a cooperative or unit plan of development for operation of such pool, field, or like area, or any part thereof, and that the Secretary is also authorized and directed to enter into such agreements as are necessary or appropriate for the protection of the United States against drainage; (14) require that the holder of a lease or leases on lands within the Coastal Plain shall be fully responsible and liable for the reclamation of lands within the Coastal Plain and any other Federal lands adversely affected in connection with exploration, development, production, or transportation activities on a lease within the Coastal Plain by the holder of a lease or as a result of activities conducted on the lease by any of the leaseholder's subcontractors or agents; (15) provide that the holder of a lease may not delegate or convey, by contract or otherwise, the reclamation responsibility and liability to another party without the express written approval of the Secretary; (16) provide that the standard of reclamation for lands required to be reclaimed under this Act be, as nearly as practicable, a condition capable of supporting the uses which the lands were capable of supporting prior to any exploration, development, or production activities, or upon application by the lessee, to a higher or better use as approved by the Secretary; (17) contain the terms and conditions relating to protection of fish and wildlife, their habitat, and the environment, as required by section 4(a); (18) provide that the holder of a lease, its agents, and its contractors use best efforts to provide a fair share, as determined by the level of obligation previously agreed to in the 1974 agreement implementing Section 29 of the Federal Agreement and Grant of Right of Way for the Operation of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, of employment and contracting for Alaska Natives and Alaska Native Corporations from throughout the State; and (19) contain such other provisions as the Secretary determines necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Act and the regulations issued under this Act. SEC. 9. EXPEDITED JUDICIAL REVIEW. (a) Filing of Complaint.-- (1) Subject to paragraph (2), any complaint seeking judicial review of any provision of this Act or any action of the Secretary under this Act may be filed in any appropriate district court of the United States. Such complaint must be filed within 90 days from the date of the action being challenged, or after such date if such complaint is based solely on grounds arising after such 90th day, in which case the complaint must be filed within 90 days after the complainant knew or reasonably should have known of the grounds for the complaint. (2) Any complaint seeking judicial review of an action of the Secretary in promulgating any regulation under this Act may be filed only in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. (b) Limitation on Other Review.--Actions of the Secretary with respect to which review could have been obtained under this section shall not be subject to judicial review in any civil or criminal proceeding for enforcement. SEC. 10. RIGHTS-OF-WAY ACROSS THE COASTAL PLAIN. Notwithstanding title XI of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (16 U.S.C. 3161 et seq.), the Secretary is authorized and directed to grant, in accordance with the provisions of subsections (c) through (t) and (v) through (y) of section 28 of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 185), rights-of-way and easements across the Coastal Plain for the transportation of oil and gas under such terms and conditions as may be necessary so as not to result in a significant adverse effect on the fish and wildlife, subsistence resources, their habitat, and the environment of the Coastal Plain. Such terms and conditions shall include requirements that facilities be sited or modified so as to avoid unnecessary duplication of roads and pipelines. The regulations issued as required by section 5 shall include provisions granting rights-of-way and easements across the Coastal Plain. <all>