Summary: S.953 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.953. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (05/11/2011)

Offshore Production and Safety Act of 2011 - Amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to direct the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to require an exploration plan to incorporate a third-party reviewed response plan which describes the means and timeline to contain and terminate an ongoing discharge of oil.

Requires the Secretary to certify, as a prerequisite to plan approval, the technological feasibility of methods proposed to be used under a response plan, as demonstrated by the potential lessee through simulation, demonstration, or other means.

Directs the Secretary of Energy (DOE), acting through the DOE Office of Science, to use specified funds to study, in collaboration with the DOE Office of Fossil Energy, means of improving prevention methodologies and technological responses to oil spills and mitigating the effects of oil spills on natural habitat.

Requires the DOE Secretary, as part of the study, to convene a task force to assess: (1) such methodologies and technological response to the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon on April 20, 2010, and the resulting hydrocarbon releases into the environment; as well as (2) the adequacy of existing technologies for prevention and responses to deep water oil spills.

Directs the Comptroller General to study existing federal capabilities and legal authorities to prevent and respond to oil spills.

Instructs the Secretary to conduct certain oil and gas lease sales within specified deadlines.

States that such lease sales are considered to satisfy the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

Prohibits the Secretary from issuing a permit without ensuring that the proposed drilling operations meet all: (1) critical safety system requirements, including blowout prevention; and (2) oil spill response and containment requirements. Requires the Secretary to decide whether to issue a permit within 30 days after receiving an application. Allows up to two 15-day extensions of such deadline. Prescribes implementation procedures.

Imposes a deadline for a final decision on certain permit applications under existing leases.

Directs the Secretary to extend by one year the terms of certain oil and gas leases (covered leases) for the Gulf of Mexico outer Continental Shelf (OCS) region.

Establishes any district court within the Fifth Circuit as the exclusive venue for civil actions relating to covered energy projects on leased federal land in the Gulf of Mexico unless there is no proper venue within that circuit.

Bars such a civil action unless it is filed within 60 days after the final federal action to which it relates.

Sets forth a standard of review under which: (1) the court is directed to hear and determine any covered civil action as expeditiously as possible; and (2) any judicial review of a covered civil action makes a presumption that the administrative findings and conclusions relating to the challenged federal action or decision are correct.

Sets restrictions on prospective relief.

Prohibits federal payment of attorneys' fees, expenses, and other court costs to any party in a covered civil action under this Act.