Summary: H.R.6256 — 94th Congress (1975-1976)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.6256. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (04/22/1975)

Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments - Title I: Purposes, Definitions, and National Policy for Managing the Resources of the Outer Continental Shelf - States that the purposes of this Act are to: (1) establish policies and procedures for managing the oil and natural gas resources of the Outer Continental Shelf in order to achieve national economic goals; (2) preserve, protect, and develop oil and natural gas resources in the Outer Continental Shelf; (3) encourage development of new and improved technology for energy resource production that will increase human safety and eliminate or reduce risk of environmental damage; and (4) assure that coastal States which are directly impacted by oil and natural gas exploration and development are provided with an opportunity to take part in policy and planning decisions.

Title II: Amendments to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act - Revises bidding and lease administration provisions under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. Provides for the orderly development of oil and gas leases and requires that no geological and geophysical exploration shall take place in the Outer Continental Shelf without a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a comprehensive exploratory program designed to obtain sufficient data and information to evaluate the extent, location, and potential for developing the oil and gas resources in the Outer Continental Shelf. States that the Secretary shall, by regulation, establish procedures for determining the areas to be considered for exploratory drilling and potential leasing. Authorizes to be appropriated for such purposes $200,000,000 during fiscal years 1976 and 1977.

Requires the Secretary to transmit a leasing and development plan to Congress at least 90 calendar days prior to announcing the invitation to bid on each tract in which oil or gas is found in commercial quanties.

Provides that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shall be considered the "lead agency" for the purpose of complying with the requirements of the Environmental Policy Act as such Act pertains to the implementation of this Act. Requires that the environmental impact statements include such information as: (1) the probable impact of the proposed exploration or development on the marine coastal environments; and (2) any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources that would be involved in the proposed exploration or development.

Makes provisions for the development, promulgation, and enforcement of safety regulations for operations in the Outer Continental Shelf. Requires that the Coast Guard make regular inspections and strictly enforce the safety regulations.

States that any person who knowingly and willfully violates any provision of this Act shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $100,000, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Allows citizen suits by persons having an interest which is, or may be, adversely affected. Permits civil actions against any person, including the United States, and against the Secretary of the Interior where there is alleged a failure of the Secretary to perform any act or duty under this Act which is not discretionary.

Provides that any person is in charge of any oil and gas operations in the Outer Continental Shelf shall be subject to a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, for failure to immediately notify an appropriate agency of the U.S. Government of a discharge or spillage of oil. Authorizes, for the purpose of removing a discharge or spilling, the withdrawal of money available in the Offshore Oil Pollution Settlements Fund established pursuant to this Act.

Imposes on each barrel of oil produced pursuant to any lease issued or maintained under this Act a fee of two and a half cents per barrel to pay costs of administration of this Act. Provides that collection of amounts for the fund shall cease when $100,000,000 has been accumulated, but shall be renewed when the accumulation in the fund falls be renewed when the accumulation in fund falls below $85,000,000.

Provides that immediately upon the date of enactment of this Act, there shall cease any additional leasing of tracts for the purpose of developing oil and gas under the authority of the Older Continental Shelf Lands Act in all regions and areas where there has been no previous development of oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf or other areas where geological or environment conditions make such development hazardous. States that such moratorium shall continue until a specified time.

Title III: Miscellaneous Provisions - Requires that the Secretary of the Interior shall prepare and publish a report with recommendations for achieving an equitable system of lease sales while maximizing production and revenues from the leasing of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands. Provides that the Secretary also shall study the most appropriate means of developing a National Strategic Energy Reserve.