Text: H.R.39 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (01/03/2001)

 
[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 39 Introduced in House (IH)]







107th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 H. R. 39

 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

                            January 3, 2001

 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 2001''.

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>