H. Rept. 113-262 - 113th Congress (2013-2014)

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House Report 113-262 - FEDERAL LANDS JOBS AND ENERGY SECURITY ACT

[House Report 113-262]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


113th Congress  }                                       { Rept. 113-262
  1st Session   }        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES       {        Part 1

=======================================================================

 
               FEDERAL LANDS JOBS AND ENERGY SECURITY ACT 

                                _______
                                

               November 12, 2013.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1965]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1965) to streamline and ensure onshore energy 
permitting, provide for onshore leasing certainty, and give 
certainty to oil shale development for American energy 
security, economic development, and job creation, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do 
pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security 
Act''.

SEC. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title.
Sec. 2. Table of contents.
Sec. 3. Policies regarding buying, building, and working for America.

            TITLE I--ONSHORE OIL AND GAS PERMIT STREAMLINING

Sec. 101. Short title.

      Subtitle A--Application for Permits to Drill Process Reform

Sec. 111. Permit to drill application timeline.
Sec. 112. Solar and wind right-of-way rental reform.

        Subtitle B--Administrative Protest Documentation Reform

Sec. 121. Administrative protest documentation reform.

                    Subtitle C--Permit Streamlining

Sec. 131. Improve Federal energy permit coordination.
Sec. 132. Administration of current law.

                      Subtitle D--Judicial Review

Sec. 141. Definitions.
Sec. 142. Exclusive venue for certain civil actions relating to covered 
energy projects.
Sec. 143. Timely filing.
Sec. 144. Expedition in hearing and determining the action.
Sec. 145. Standard of review.
Sec. 146. Limitation on injunction and prospective relief.
Sec. 147. Limitation on attorneys' fees.
Sec. 148. Legal standing.

          Subtitle E--Knowing America's Oil and Gas Resources

Sec. 151. Funding oil and gas resource assessments.

                TITLE II--OIL AND GAS LEASING CERTAINTY

Sec. 201. Short title.
Sec. 202. Minimum acreage requirement for onshore lease sales.
Sec. 203. Leasing certainty.
Sec. 204. Leasing consistency.
Sec. 205. Reduce redundant policies.
Sec. 206. Streamlined congressional notification.

                          TITLE III--OIL SHALE

Sec. 301. Short title.
Sec. 302. Effectiveness of oil shale regulations, amendments to 
resource management plans, and record of decision.
Sec. 303. Oil shale leasing.

                  TITLE IV--MISCELLANEOUIS PROVISIONS

Sec. 401. Rule of construction.

SEC. 3. POLICIES REGARDING BUYING, BUILDING, AND WORKING FOR AMERICA.

  (a) Congressional Intent.--It is the intent of the Congress that--
          (1) this Act will support a healthy and growing United States 
        domestic energy sector that, in turn, helps to reinvigorate 
        American manufacturing, transportation, and service sectors by 
        employing the vast talents of United States workers to assist 
        in the development of energy from domestic sources;
          (2) to ensure a robust onshore energy production industry and 
        ensure that the benefits of development support local 
        communities, under this Act, the Secretary shall make every 
        effort to promote the development of onshore American energy, 
        and shall take into consideration the socioeconomic impacts, 
        infrastructure requirements, and fiscal stability for local 
        communities located within areas containing onshore energy 
        resources; and
          (3) the Congress will monitor the deployment of personnel and 
        material onshore to encourage the development of American 
        manufacturing to enable United States workers to benefit from 
        this Act through good jobs and careers, as well as the 
        establishment of important industrial facilities to support 
        expanded access to American resources.
  (b) Requirement.--The Secretary of the Interior shall when possible, 
and practicable, encourage the use of United States workers and 
equipment manufactured in the United States in all construction related 
to mineral resource development under this Act.

            TITLE I--ONSHORE OIL AND GAS PERMIT STREAMLINING

SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

  This title may be cited as the ``Streamlining Permitting of American 
Energy Act of 2013''.

      Subtitle A--Application for Permits to Drill Process Reform

SEC. 111. PERMIT TO DRILL APPLICATION TIMELINE.

  Section 17(p)(2) of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 226(p)(2)) is 
amended to read as follows:
          ``(2) Applications for permits to drill reform and process.--
                  ``(A) Timeline.--The Secretary shall decide whether 
                to issue a permit to drill within 30 days after 
                receiving an application for the permit. The Secretary 
                may extend such period for up to 2 periods of 15 days 
                each, if the Secretary has given written notice of the 
                delay to the applicant. The notice shall be in the form 
                of a letter from the Secretary or a designee of the 
                Secretary, and shall include the names and titles of 
                the persons processing the application, the specific 
                reasons for the delay, and a specific date a final 
                decision on the application is expected.
                  ``(B) Notice of reasons for denial.--If the 
                application is denied, the Secretary shall provide the 
                applicant--
                          ``(i) in writing, clear and comprehensive 
                        reasons why the application was not accepted 
                        and detailed information concerning any 
                        deficiencies; and
                          ``(ii) an opportunity to remedy any 
                        deficiencies.
                  ``(C) Application deemed approved.--If the Secretary 
                has not made a decision on the application by the end 
                of the 60-day period beginning on the date the 
                application is received by the Secretary, the 
                application is deemed approved, except in cases in 
                which existing reviews under the National Environmental 
                Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) or 
                Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) 
                are incomplete.
                  ``(D) Denial of permit.--If the Secretary decides not 
                to issue a permit to drill in accordance with 
                subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall--
                          ``(i) provide to the applicant a description 
                        of the reasons for the denial of the permit;
                          ``(ii) allow the applicant to resubmit an 
                        application for a permit to drill during the 
                        10-day period beginning on the date the 
                        applicant receives the description of the 
                        denial from the Secretary; and
                          ``(iii) issue or deny any resubmitted 
                        application not later than 10 days after the 
                        date the application is submitted to the 
                        Secretary.
                  ``(E) Fee.--
                          ``(i) In general.--Notwithstanding any other 
                        law, the Secretary shall collect a single 
                        $6,500 permit processing fee per application 
                        from each applicant at the time the final 
                        decision is made whether to issue a permit 
                        under subparagraph (A). This fee shall not 
                        apply to any resubmitted application.
                          ``(ii) Treatment of permit processing fee.--
                        Of all fees collected under this paragraph, 50 
                        percent shall be transferred to the field 
                        office where they are collected and used to 
                        process protests, leases, and permits under 
                        this Act subject to appropriation.''.

SEC. 112. SOLAR AND WIND RIGHT-OF-WAY RENTAL REFORM.

  (a) In General.--Subject to subsection (b), and notwithstanding any 
other provision of law, of fees collected each fiscal year as annual 
wind energy and solar energy right-of-way authorization fees required 
under section 504(g) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
1976 (43 U.S.C. 1764(g))--
          (1) no less than 25 percent shall be available, subject to 
        appropriation, for use for solar and wind permitting and 
        management activities by Department of the Interior field 
        offices responsible for the land where the fees were collected;
          (2) no less than 25 percent shall be available, subject to 
        appropriation, for Bureau of Land Management solar and wind 
        permit approval activities; and
          (3) no less than 25 percent shall be available, subject to 
        appropriation, to the Secretary of the Interior for department-
        wide solar and wind permitting activities.
  (b) Limitation.--The amount used under subsection (a) each fiscal 
year shall not exceed $10,000,000.

        Subtitle B--Administrative Protest Documentation Reform

SEC. 121. ADMINISTRATIVE PROTEST DOCUMENTATION REFORM.

  Section 17(p) of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 226(p)) is 
further amended by adding at the end the following:
          ``(4) Protest fee.--
                  ``(A) In general.--The Secretary shall collect a 
                $5,000 documentation fee to accompany each protest for 
                a lease, right of way, or application for permit to 
                drill.
                  ``(B) Treatment of fees.--Of all fees collected under 
                this paragraph, 50 percent shall remain in the field 
                office where they are collected and used to process 
                protests subject to appropriation.''.

                    Subtitle C--Permit Streamlining

SEC. 131. IMPROVE FEDERAL ENERGY PERMIT COORDINATION.

  (a) Establishment.--The Secretary of the Interior (referred to in 
this section as the ``Secretary'') shall establish a Federal Permit 
Streamlining Project (referred to in this section as the ``Project'') 
in every Bureau of Land Management field office with responsibility for 
permitting energy projects on Federal land.
  (b) Memorandum of Understanding.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall enter into a 
        memorandum of understanding for purposes of this section with--
                  (A) the Secretary of Agriculture;
                  (B) the Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
                Agency; and
                  (C) the Chief of the Army Corps of Engineers.
          (2) State participation.--The Secretary may request that the 
        Governor of any State with energy projects on Federal lands to 
        be a signatory to the memorandum of understanding.
  (c) Designation of Qualified Staff.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than 30 days after the date of the 
        signing of the memorandum of understanding under subsection 
        (b), all Federal signatory parties shall, if appropriate, 
        assign to each of the Bureau of Land Management field offices 
        an employee who has expertise in the regulatory issues relating 
        to the office in which the employee is employed, including, as 
        applicable, particular expertise in--
                  (A) the consultations and the preparation of 
                biological opinions under section 7 of the Endangered 
                Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1536);
                  (B) permits under section 404 of Federal Water 
                Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1344);
                  (C) regulatory matters under the Clean Air Act (42 
                U.S.C. 7401 et seq.);
                  (D) planning under the National Forest Management Act 
                of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 472a et seq.); and
                  (E) the preparation of analyses under the National 
                Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
                seq.).
          (2) Duties.--Each employee assigned under paragraph (1) 
        shall--
                  (A) not later than 90 days after the date of 
                assignment, report to the Bureau of Land Management 
                Field Managers in the office to which the employee is 
                assigned;
                  (B) be responsible for all issues relating to the 
                energy projects that arise under the authorities of the 
                employee's home agency; and
                  (C) participate as part of the team of personnel 
                working on proposed energy projects, planning, and 
                environmental analyses on Federal lands.
  (d) Additional Personnel.--The Secretary shall assign to each Bureau 
of Land Management field office identified in subsection (a) any 
additional personnel that are necessary to ensure the effective 
approval and implementation of energy projects administered by the 
Bureau of Land Management field offices, including inspection and 
enforcement relating to energy development on Federal land, in 
accordance with the multiple use mandate of the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.).
  (e) Funding.--Funding for the additional personnel shall come from 
the Department of the Interior reforms identified in sections 101, 102, 
and 201.
  (f) Savings Provision.--Nothing in this section affects--
          (1) the operation of any Federal or State law; or
          (2) any delegation of authority made by the head of a Federal 
        agency whose employees are participating in the Project.
  (g) Definition.--For purposes of this section the term ``energy 
projects'' includes oil, natural gas, coal, and other energy projects 
as defined by the Secretary.

SEC. 132. ADMINISTRATION OF CURRENT LAW.

  Notwithstanding any other law, the Secretary of the Interior shall 
not require a finding of extraordinary circumstances in administering 
section 390 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15942).

                      Subtitle D--Judicial Review

SEC. 141. DEFINITIONS.

  In this subtitle--
          (1) the term ``covered civil action'' means a civil action 
        containing a claim under section 702 of title 5, United States 
        Code, regarding agency action (as defined for the purposes of 
        that section) affecting a covered energy project on Federal 
        lands of the United States; and
          (2) the term ``covered energy project'' means the leasing of 
        Federal lands of the United States for the exploration, 
        development, production, processing, or transmission of oil, 
        natural gas, wind, or any other source of energy, and any 
        action under such a lease, except that the term does not 
        include any disputes between the parties to a lease regarding 
        the obligations under such lease, including regarding any 
        alleged breach of the lease.

SEC. 142. EXCLUSIVE VENUE FOR CERTAIN CIVIL ACTIONS RELATING TO COVERED 
                    ENERGY PROJECTS.

  Venue for any covered civil action shall lie in the district court 
where the project or leases exist or are proposed.

SEC. 143. TIMELY FILING.

  To ensure timely redress by the courts, a covered civil action must 
be filed no later than the end of the 90-day period beginning on the 
date of the final Federal agency action to which it relates.

SEC. 144. EXPEDITION IN HEARING AND DETERMINING THE ACTION.

  The court shall endeavor to hear and determine any covered civil 
action as expeditiously as possible.

SEC. 145. STANDARD OF REVIEW.

  In any judicial review of a covered civil action, administrative 
findings and conclusions relating to the challenged Federal action or 
decision shall be presumed to be correct, and the presumption may be 
rebutted only by the preponderance of the evidence contained in the 
administrative record.

SEC. 146. LIMITATION ON INJUNCTION AND PROSPECTIVE RELIEF.

  In a covered civil action, the court shall not grant or approve any 
prospective relief unless the court finds that such relief is narrowly 
drawn, extends no further than necessary to correct the violation of a 
legal requirement, and is the least intrusive means necessary to 
correct that violation. In addition, courts shall limit the duration of 
preliminary injunctions to halt covered energy projects to no more than 
60 days, unless the court finds clear reasons to extend the injunction. 
In such cases of extensions, such extensions shall only be in 30-day 
increments and shall require action by the court to renew the 
injunction.

SEC. 147. LIMITATION ON ATTORNEYS' FEES.

  Sections 504 of title 5, United States Code, and 2412 of title 28, 
United States Code, (together commonly called the Equal Access to 
Justice Act) do not apply to a covered civil action, nor shall any 
party in such a covered civil action receive payment from the Federal 
Government for their attorneys' fees, expenses, and other court costs.

SEC. 148. LEGAL STANDING.

  Challengers filing appeals with the Department of the Interior Board 
of Land Appeals shall meet the same standing requirements as 
challengers before a United States district court.

          Subtitle E--Knowing America's Oil and Gas Resources

SEC. 151. FUNDING OIL AND GAS RESOURCE ASSESSMENTS.

  (a) In General.--The Secretary of the Interior shall provide matching 
funding for joint projects with States to conduct oil and gas resource 
assessments on Federal lands with significant oil and gas potential.
  (b) Cost Sharing.--The Federal share of the cost of activities under 
this section shall not exceed 50 percent.
  (c) Resource Assessment.--Any resource assessment under this section 
shall be conducted by a State, in consultation with the United States 
Geological Survey.
  (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section a total of 
$50,000,000 for fiscal years 2014 through 2017.

                TITLE II--OIL AND GAS LEASING CERTAINTY

SEC. 201. SHORT TITLE.

  This title may be cited as the ``Providing Leasing Certainty for 
American Energy Act of 2013''.

SEC. 202. MINIMUM ACREAGE REQUIREMENT FOR ONSHORE LEASE SALES.

  In conducting lease sales as required by section 17(a) of the Mineral 
Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 226(a)), each year the Secretary of the Interior 
shall perform the following:
          (1) The Secretary shall offer for sale no less than 25 
        percent of the annual nominated acreage not previously made 
        available for lease. Acreage offered for lease pursuant to this 
        paragraph shall not be subject to protest and shall be eligible 
        for categorical exclusions under section 390 of the Energy 
        Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15942), except that it shall not 
        be subject to the test of extraordinary circumstances.
          (2) In administering this section, the Secretary shall only 
        consider leasing of Federal lands that are available for 
        leasing at the time the lease sale occurs.

SEC. 203. LEASING CERTAINTY.

  Section 17(a) of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 226(a)) is 
amended by inserting ``(1)'' before ``All lands'', and by adding at the 
end the following:
  ``(2)(A) The Secretary shall not withdraw any covered energy project 
issued under this Act without finding a violation of the terms of the 
lease by the lessee.
  ``(B) The Secretary shall not infringe upon lease rights under leases 
issued under this Act by indefinitely delaying issuance of project 
approvals, drilling and seismic permits, and rights of way for 
activities under such a lease.
  ``(C) No later than 18 months after an area is designated as open 
under the current land use plan the Secretary shall make available 
nominated areas for lease under the criteria in section 2.
  ``(D) Notwithstanding any other law, the Secretary shall issue all 
leases sold no later than 60 days after the last payment is made.
  ``(E) The Secretary shall not cancel or withdraw any lease parcel 
after a competitive lease sale has occurred and a winning bidder has 
submitted the last payment for the parcel.
  ``(F) Not later than 60 days after a lease sale held under this Act, 
the Secretary shall adjudicate any lease protests filed following a 
lease sale. If after 60 days any protest is left unsettled, said 
protest is automatically denied and appeal rights of the protestor 
begin.
  ``(G) No additional lease stipulations may be added after the parcel 
is sold without consultation and agreement of the lessee, unless the 
Secretary deems such stipulations as emergency actions to conserve the 
resources of the United States.''.

SEC. 204. LEASING CONSISTENCY.

  Federal land managers must follow existing resource management plans 
and continue to actively lease in areas designated as open when 
resource management plans are being amended or revised, until such time 
as a new record of decision is signed.

SEC. 205. REDUCE REDUNDANT POLICIES.

  Bureau of Land Management Instruction Memorandum 2010-117 shall have 
no force or effect.

SEC. 206. STREAMLINED CONGRESSIONAL NOTIFICATION.

  Section 31(e) of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 188(e)) is 
amended in the matter following paragraph (4) by striking ``at least 
thirty days in advance of the reinstatement'' and inserting ``in an 
annual report''.

                          TITLE III--OIL SHALE

SEC. 301. SHORT TITLE.

  This title may be cited as the ``Protecting Investment in Oil Shale 
the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security 
Act'' or the ``PIONEERS Act''.

SEC. 302. EFFECTIVENESS OF OIL SHALE REGULATIONS, AMENDMENTS TO 
                    RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLANS, AND RECORD OF DECISION.

  (a) Regulations.--Notwithstanding any other law or regulation to the 
contrary, the final regulations regarding oil shale management 
published by the Bureau of Land Management on November 18, 2008 (73 
Fed. Reg. 69,414) are deemed to satisfy all legal and procedural 
requirements under any law, including the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and the National Environmental 
Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and the Secretary of the 
Interior shall implement those regulations, including the oil shale 
leasing program authorized by the regulations, without any other 
administrative action necessary.
  (b) Amendments to Resource Management Plans and Record of Decision.--
Notwithstanding any other law or regulation to the contrary, the 
November 17, 2008 U.S. Bureau of Land Management Approved Resource 
Management Plan Amendments/Record of Decision for Oil Shale and Tar 
Sands Resources to Address Land Use Allocations in Colorado, Utah, and 
Wyoming and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement are 
deemed to satisfy all legal and procedural requirements under any law, 
including the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 
1701 et seq.), the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et 
seq.), and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
4321 et seq.), and the Secretary of the Interior shall implement the 
oil shale leasing program authorized by the regulations referred to in 
subsection (a) in those areas covered by the resource management plans 
amended by such amendments, and covered by such record of decision, 
without any other administrative action necessary.

SEC. 303. OIL SHALE LEASING.

  (a) Additional Research and Development Lease Sales.--The Secretary 
of the Interior shall hold a lease sale within 180 days after the date 
of enactment of this Act offering an additional 10 parcels for lease 
for research, development, and demonstration of oil shale resources, 
under the terms offered in the solicitation of bids for such leases 
published on January 15, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 10).
  (b) Commercial Lease Sales.--No later than January 1, 2016, the 
Secretary of the Interior shall hold no less than 5 separate commercial 
lease sales in areas considered to have the most potential for oil 
shale development, as determined by the Secretary, in areas nominated 
through public comment. Each lease sale shall be for an area of not 
less than 25,000 acres, and in multiple lease blocs.

                  TITLE IV--MISCELLANEOUIS PROVISIONS

SEC. 401. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

  Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize the issuance of a 
lease under the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.) to any 
person designated for the imposition of sanctions pursuant to--
          (1) the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 (50 U.S.C. 1701 note), the 
        Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestiture 
        Act of 2010 (22 U.S.C. 8501 et seq.), the Iran Threat Reduction 
        and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (22 U.S.C. 8701 et seq.), 
        section 1245 of the National Defense Authorization Act for 
        Fiscal Year 2012 (22 U.S.C. 8513a), or the Iran Freedom and 
        Counter-Proliferation Act of 2012 (22 U.S.C. 8801 et seq.);
          (2) Executive Order 13622 (July 30, 2012), Executive Order 
        13628 (October 9, 2012), or Executive Order 13645 (June 3, 
        2013);
          (3) Executive Order 13224 (September 23, 2001) or Executive 
        Order 13338 (May 11, 2004); or
          (4) the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty 
        Restoration Act of 2003 (22 U.S.C. 2151 note).

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 1965 is to streamline and ensure 
onshore energy permitting on federal lands, provide for onshore 
leasing certainty, and give certainty to oil shale development 
for American energy security, economic development, and job 
creation.

                  Background and Need for Legislation


            TITLE I--ONSHORE OIL AND GAS PERMIT STEAMLINING

    Since taking office, the Obama Administration has made 
energy and minerals development on federal lands so burdensome 
and undesirable that companies consistently seek out state and 
private lands for development rather than deal with the lengthy 
and uncertain federal regulatory process. The Administration 
has historically taken steps to delay and halt production on 
federal lands, such as delaying the issuing of a permit by 
months or even years, removing swaths of land from previously 
announced lease sales and restricting areas prospective for 
solar and wind energy development.
    Delays and permitting backlogs plague the Department of the 
Interior and the U.S. Forest Service, with the Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM) field offices suffering particularly lengthy 
permitting backlogs. Since 2008, the yearly appropriations bill 
has levied a fee on oil and natural gas companies for 
submitting and processing Applications for Permit to Drill 
(APD). This fee has increased every and the current cost per 
APD is $6,500. The companies are then left waiting months, 
sometimes years, to have their permit(s) approved. The federal 
government waiting times are significantly longer than state 
waiting times. The federal government often takes over 200 days 
to process a permit, whereas the average state processing time 
is 45 days. Companies pay the $6,500 APD when they file an APD 
regardless of how long it takes the application to be reviewed. 
This fee is entirely directed to the general treasury of the 
United States; the BLM field offices with the greatest APD 
workloads receive no additional funding to expedite the 
processing of permits.
    In addition to bureaucratic delays, energy projects, 
whether conventional or renewable, are challenged at nearly 
every step of the development process by lengthy, burdensome 
lawsuits that can go so far as to completely halt the project's 
development. Most recently, an environmental group sued the 
U.S. Forest Service claiming that a proper Environmental Impact 
Statement was not done and that a planned wind project in the 
Green Mountain National Forest will lead to the death of bats. 
Additionally, an environmental lawsuit was filed against BLM 
and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service claiming that the 4,000-
acre Calico Solar project in California would pose a threat to 
endangered species.
    Aside from halting energy production and job creation, 
these lawsuits are essentially funded by taxpayer dollars. 
Often, environmental groups are able to obtain reimbursement 
for all or part of their legal costs, while the companies and 
federal government must bear the cost of defending itself. 
Lawsuits stagnate in the court system for years, which ties up 
companies' capital investments and ties up taxpayer dollars in 
the court system.

                Title II--Oil and Gas Leasing Certainty

    The Department of the Interior is required by law under the 
Mineral Leasing Act to hold competitive auctions for oil and 
natural gas companies to acquire federal land for development.
    Each year, millions of acres throughout the nation are 
nominated by industry where there is interest in oil and 
natural gas development to give BLM a general idea of where to 
hold lease sales. While many states depend on the energy 
industry as a chief driver of their economies, statistics show 
the percentage of land leased by the BLM versus the number of 
acres nominated have drastically decreased over the course of 
the Obama Administration. In some states the BLM has not leased 
a single acre for energy development, despite abundant interest 
from industry.
    For example, in Utah, in 2012, interest was expressed in 
1,086,705 acres for development. However, BLM chose to only 
lease 48,807 acres. In New Mexico, 15,582 acres out of 118,781 
nominated were leased. In addition, in Arizona the 
Administration has not held a single lease sale since coming 
into office, despite interest in nearly 50,000 acres for 
development.
    A variety of other bureaucratic actions have delayed energy 
development and made leasing uncertain for developers who no 
longer have assurance that they will be able to develop on the 
land they lease. Since coming into office, President Obama's 
Department of the Interior has withdrawn leases that were paid 
for after selling them at public auction, deferred lease 
nominations indefinitely, added unexpected and additional lease 
terms and stipulations following lease sales, and taken years 
to issue leases despite language in the Mineral Leasing Act 
that specifies that the federal government shall issue leases 
sixty days after accepting payment. In 2009, the Department 
went so far as to completely withdraw 77 oil and gas leases in 
Utah after the lease parcels had been sold and final payment 
received. In September 2010, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled 
that Interior Secretary Salazar exceeded his authority by 
withdrawing these leases.
    In 2012, Secretary Salazar issued BLM Instruction 
Memorandum 2010-117. This Master Leasing Plan (MLP) policy 
required a new layer of environmental analysis for certain 
areas, despite the fact that the analysis is redundant with 
analysis already required in the Resource Management Plans 
(RMP). The intent of the MLPs was to re-do RMPs completed since 
2005 by requiring RMP amendments. These amendments routinely 
take several years to complete. The MLP seems to simply 
identify new restrictions on lands available for oil and 
natural gas development beyond those in the previously existing 
analysis.
    While the Administration has recently attempted to take 
credit for our Nation's increased production in oil and gas, 
the reality is that production on federal lands has, in fact, 
decreased under the Obama Administration, while production on 
state and private lands has increased significantly. North 
Dakota is a prime example. According to a study recently 
released by the American Petroleum Institute, ``. . . at no 
time in the last 25 years has the number of new onshore federal 
oil and gas leases been lower than the number of new leases 
issued in 2009 and 2011,'' with new leases averaging 44% fewer 
in 2009 and 2010 when compared to their 2007 and 2008 levels.
    The policies of this Administration have made it more 
difficult, time consuming and expensive to bring a lease 
through to production--and in some cases have even cast doubt 
on whether the lease, once paid for, will ever be able to be 
developed. This legislation seeks to provide certainty and 
efficiency to the BLM leasing process which has fallen into 
disrepair. In doing so, we can foster increased energy 
development on federal lands.

                          TITLE III--OIL SHALE

    Nearly 75% of the world's recoverable oil shale resources 
lie within the lower 48 United States. U.S. oil shale holds 
tremendous potential for domestic energy production, the 
creation of American jobs, and decreasing our dependence on 
foreign oil. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the 
Western United States may hold more than 1.5 trillion barrels 
of oil--six times Saudi Arabia's proven resources--enough to 
provide the United States with energy for the next 200 years. 
Furthermore, an estimated 350,000 jobs could be created by the 
development of oil shale resources. The largest known deposits 
of oil shale are located in a 16,000-square mile area in the 
Green River formation in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
    Beginning in 1912, when the Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale 
Reserves Program was established, oil shale development in the 
United States has traditionally been subject to a ``boom and 
bust'' cycle of development. This has been due to inconsistent 
U.S. resources directed towards oil shale due to the 
fluctuating global price of traditional crude with which it 
competes. However, due to increasing costs of traditional 
crude, decreasing global supply, increasing energy demand, and 
the need for domestic energy production to ensure our energy 
security, oil shale development is once again becoming a focal 
point of an ever expanding U.S. energy portfolio.
    Inconsistent and combative federal policies regarding 
leasing and land development have also hindered the commercial 
development of oil shale. The Department of the Interior owns 
and manages about 73 percent of the lands that contain 
significant oil shale deposits in the West. Federal lands 
contain about 80 percent of the known recoverable resource in 
Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.
    Despite these available resources, an Executive Order 
signed by President Hoover prohibits the leasing of federal oil 
shale lands. The ban can only be lifted by the Secretary of the 
Interior. This has occurred only twice since 1930--once in the 
early 1970s when the Federal Prototype Oil Shale leasing 
Program was established and once after the Energy Policy Act of 
2005 (EPACT05) required leasing of oil shale lands for 
experimental purposes. Accordingly, in 2007 six 160 acre tracts 
were leased to three companies. Each developer has ten years to 
successfully verify that its technology is technically viable, 
environmentally acceptable and sustainable before expanding 
each lease to as much as 5,120 acres for commercial production. 
In 2008, BLM published a Final Programmatic Environmental 
Impact Statement that expanded the acreage potentially 
available for commercial tar-sands leasing and amended eight 
resource management plans in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming to 
make approximately 1.9 million acres of public lands 
potentially available for commercial oil shale development.
    Under the Obama Administration, the U.S. Department of the 
Interior has essentially withdrawn its support of the 
provisions in EPACT 05 that supported the commercial leasing of 
oil shale and has made little progress on the industry's 
advancement. While in 2009 BLM solicited a second round of 160-
acre oil shale leases, the lease terms were less than favorable 
for oil shale production. The initial potential for 5,120 acres 
of commercial development pending a successful project was 
decreased to 480 acres. Because of this, there was a lack of 
interest in the second round of BLM leases as many firms 
believed a commercial project could not be established on small 
lots and only two proposals were submitted.
    In March 2013, the Administration released new proposed oil 
shale regulations. The rule proposed several options for oil 
shale royalty rates and makes available only 800,000 acres for 
oil shale development. This additional revision of the 
regulations inserts additional regulatory uncertainty and 
instability in the oil shale development industry.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 1965 was introduced on May 14, 2013, by Congressman 
Doug Lamborn (R-CO). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on Energy and Mineral Resources. In addition, the bill was 
referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. On May 22, 2013, 
the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing 
on the bill. On July 24, 2013, the Natural Resources Committee 
met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee on Energy and 
Mineral Resources was discharged by unanimous consent. 
Congressman Lamborn offered an Amendment in the Nature of a 
Substitute (ANS) to the bill. Congresswoman Grace Napolitano 
(D-CA) offered an amendment designated .001 to the ANS; the 
amendment to the ANS was not adopted by a roll call vote of 16 
to 25, as follows:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

    Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA) offered an amendment 
designated .003 to the ANS; the amendment to the ANS was not 
adopted by a bipartisan roll call vote of 14 to 27, as follows:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

    The Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by 
Congressman Lamborn was adopted by voice vote. No further 
amendments were offered, and the bill, as amended, was then 
adopted and ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by a bipartisan roll call vote of 27 to 14, as 
follows:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 1965--Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act

    Summary: H.R. 1965 would require the Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM) to establish certain fees for activities 
related to the development of oil and gas on federal lands. A 
portion of those amounts along with a portion of fees from 
renewable energy projects on federal lands would be available 
to the agency, subject to appropriation, to cover the costs of 
activities aimed at increasing energy development on federal 
lands. The bill also would exempt lawsuits related to energy 
production on federal lands from the Equal Access to Justice 
Act (EAJA). In addition, the legislation would require BLM to 
offer for sale at least 25 percent of onshore federal lands 
nominated by firms for oil and gas leasing. Finally, the bill 
would establish a commercial leasing program for oil shale 
resources (a type of rock that can be heated to extract an 
organic compound used to produce synthetic crude oil) on 
federal lands.
    Based on information provided by BLM, the Department of 
Justice (DOJ), the Department of the Treasury, and certain 
environmental groups, CBO estimates that enacting the 
legislation would increase offsetting receipts, which are 
treated as reductions in direct spending, by $325 million over 
the 2014-2023 period; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures 
apply. In addition, CBO estimates that implementing the 
legislation would cost $186 million over the 2014-2018 period 
and $329 million over the 2014-2023 period, assuming 
appropriation of the authorized and necessary amounts. Enacting 
the bill would not affect revenues.
    H.R. 1965 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1965 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     2014    2015    2016    2017    2018    2019    2020    2021    2022    2023   2014-2018  2014-2023
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               CHANGES IN DIRECT SPENDING
 
Application for Permit to Drill Fee:a
    Estimated Budget Authority....................       0     -33     -33     -33     -33     -33     -33     -33     -33     -33      -130       -293
    Estimated Outlays.............................       0     -33     -33     -33     -33     -33     -33     -33     -33     -33      -130       -293
Protest Fees:
    Estimated Budget Authority....................      -3      -3      -3      -3      -3      -3      -3      -3      -3      -3       -15        -30
    Estimated Outlays.............................      -3      -3      -3      -3      -3      -3      -3      -3      -3      -3       -15        -30
Accelerated Leasing:
    Estimated Budget Authority....................       *       *       *       *       *       0       0       0       0       0        -2         -2
    Estimated Outlays.............................       *       *       *       *       *       0       0       0       0       0        -2         -2
Oil Shale Leasing Program:
    Estimated Budget Authority....................       *       *      -5       *       *       *       *       *       *       5        -5          *
    Estimated Outlays.............................       *       *      -5       *       *       *       *       *       *       5        -5          *
    Total Changes, Direct Spending:
        Estimated Budget Authority................      -3     -36     -41     -36     -36     -36     -36     -36     -36     -31      -152       -325
        Estimated Outlays.........................      -3     -36     -41     -36     -36     -36     -36     -36     -36     -31      -152       -325
 
                                                      CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION
 
Energy Permit Approval Activities:b
    Estimated Authorization Level.................      27      28      28      28      28      28      28      28      28      28       139        279
    Estimated Outlays.............................      27      28      28      28      28      28      28      28      28      28       139        279
Oil and Gas Assessments:
    Estimated Authorization Level.................      13      13      13      13       0       0       0       0       0       0        50         50
    Estimated Outlays.............................       9      12      13      13       2       1       0       0       0       0        47         50
    Total Changes, Discretionary Spending:
        Estimated Authorization Level.............      40      41      41      41      28      28      28      28      28      28       189        329
        Estimated Outlays.........................      35      40      41      41      30      29      28      28      28      28       186        329
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes: Components may not sum to totals because of rounding; * = between -$500,000 and $0.
aAuthority to collect this fee in 2014 was enacted in Public Law 113-46, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014.
bPublic Law 113-46 appropriated funds to carry out activities related to approving energy permits in 2014; however, CBO estimates that additional
  amounts of appropriated funds would be necessary in 2014 to hire new personnel to expedite those activities as required under H.R. 1965.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
1965 will be enacted near the beginning of 2014 and that the 
authorized and necessary amounts will be appropriated for each 
fiscal year.

Direct spending

    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1965 would reduce net 
direct spending by $325 million over the 2014-2023 period. We 
estimate that new fees established under the bill would 
increase offsetting receipts by $323 million and that leasing 
activities related to energy development would increase 
offsetting receipts by $2 million over that period.
    Application for Permit to Drill (APD) Fees. Title I would 
require firms to pay a $6,500 fee each time they apply for a 
permit to drill on federal oil and gas leases. In 2013, when 
BLM was authorized to assess a similar fee, the agency 
processed about 4,800 permits and collected $31 million. Over 
the past five years, the agency has issued an average of 5,000 
permits each year. Based on information provided by BLM, CBO 
expects that the agency will process 5,000 APDs a year over the 
2015-2023 period.\1\ Thus, CBO estimates that enacting this 
provision would increase offsetting receipts by $293 million 
over that period.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Public Law 113-46, the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014, 
which expires on January 15, 2014, authorized BLM to collect this fee 
in 2014. Because CBO estimates the budgetary effects of continuing 
resolutions on an annualized basis, we estimate that enacting H.R. 1965 
would not change the amount of receipts collected by BLM for APD fees 
in 2014 relative to the annualized level of an estimated $33 million.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Protest Fees. Title I also would require any entity that 
files a protest (a formal objection to a BLM decision) against 
a lease, right of way, or APD, to pay a $5,000 fee. A protest 
may result in BLM reversing or delaying a decision. Under 
current law, any entity can file a protest without paying a 
fee. Based on information provided by BLM regarding the number 
of protests filed in each of the past five years, CBO expects 
that, under current law, about 1,200 protests would be filed 
each year. We expect that the fee required under the bill would 
deter about half of those protests. Thus, CBO estimates that 
enacting this provision would increase offsetting receipts by 
$3 million a year over the 2014-2023 period.
    Accelerated Leasing. Title II would require the Secretary 
of the Interior to offer for sale at least 25 percent of any 
onshore federal lands that have been nominated by firms for oil 
and gas leasing. Information provided by BLM about the amount 
of nominated lands that are leased annually indicates that the 
agency already offers for sale more than 25 percent of the 
acreage nominated; therefore, CBO estimates that implementing 
this provision would not affect the federal budget.
    Title II also would prohibit the Secretary from deferring 
lease sales in areas where BLM is revising existing land-use 
plans. Because leasing is deferred for up to five years in 
areas undergoing land-use planning, CBO expects that certain 
areas would be leased sooner under the bill than under current 
law. Based on information provided by BLM, CBO expects that 
leasing activities are deferred on about 150,000 acres per 
year. Based on information regarding the number of acres leased 
annually relative to the number available for lease, CBO 
estimates that accelerating leasing would increase offsetting 
receipts from bonus bids by $2 million over the 2014-2018 
period.
    Oil Shale Leasing. Title III would direct the Secretary of 
the Interior to implement a commercial leasing program for oil 
shale on certain federal lands by 2016. The bill also would 
require the Secretary to offer 10 leases on federal lands in 
2014 for the purpose of conducting research and demonstration 
projects for oil shale development. Based on information 
provided by the Department of the Interior (DOI) and 
individuals working in the oil shale industry, CBO estimates 
that enacting those provisions would increase net offsetting 
receipts by $5 million in 2016 because the bill would require 
DOI to offer leases for the commercial development of oil shale 
sooner than we expect it would have under current law. That 
increase would be offset by a reduction in net offsetting 
receipts of $5 million in 2023 because we expect that lands 
offered for lease in 2016 under the bill would have been 
offered for lease by 2023 under current law.
    Limitation on Attorneys' Fees. Title I would exempt 
lawsuits related to energy production on federal lands from 
EAJA, which requires the federal government to pay attorneys' 
fees for certain plaintiffs that prevail in lawsuits against 
the United States. Based on information from GAO, CBO estimates 
that over the next 10 years, the U.S. Treasury will make 
payments totaling less than $50,000 a year on behalf of the 
Department of the Interior and the Forest Service as a result 
of such lawsuits. Thus, we estimate that enacting this 
provision would result in an insignificant decrease in direct 
spending from reducing mandatory payments to attorneys over the 
2014-2023 period.

Spending subject to appropriation

    H.R. 1965 would authorize the appropriation of certain 
receipts to carry out activities to expedite the approval of 
new energy projects (including oil and gas drilling and 
renewable energy development). One-half of all proceeds from 
new fees established under the bill and 75 percent of receipts 
from renewable energy development on federal lands would be 
available, subject to appropriation, to carry out those 
activities. Most of those funds would be used to hire 
additional employees to guide new energy projects through the 
federal approval process. In total, CBO estimates that 
implementing those provisions would cost $139 million over the 
2014-2018 period.
    The bill also would authorize the appropriation of $50 
million over the 2014-2017 period to help conduct oil and gas 
resource assessments. Under the bill, states would be required 
to pay 50 percent of the cost of conducting such assessments on 
federal lands within their jurisdiction. Assuming the 
appropriation of the authorized amounts is evenly spread over 
the 2014-2017 period, CBO estimates that implementing this 
provision would cost $47 million over the 2014-2018 period.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget-reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending or 
revenues. The net changes in outlays that are subject to those 
pay-as-you-go procedures are shown in the following table.

                                                  CBO ESTIMATE OF PAY-AS-YOU-GO EFFECTS FOR H.R. 1965 AS ORDERED REPORTED BY THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES ON JULY 24, 2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                   By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           2014         2015         2016         2017         2018         2019         2020         2021         2022         2023      2014-2018       2014-2023
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                               NET INCREASE OR DECREASE (-) IN THE DEFICIT
 
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Impact.......................           -3          -36          -41          -36          -36          -36          -36          -36          -36          -31         -152               -325
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1965 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Jeff LaFave; Impact on 
state, local, and tribal governments: Melissa Merrell; Impact 
of private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimated approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase 
or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures. Based on 
information provided by the Bureau of Land Management, the 
Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury, and 
certain environmental groups, CBO estimates that enacting the 
legislation would increase offsetting receipts, which are 
treated as reductions in direct spending, by $325 million over 
the 2014-2023 period; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures 
apply. In addition, CBO estimates that implementing the 
legislation would cost $186 million over the 2014-2018 period 
and $329 million over the 2014-2023 period, assuming 
appropriation of the authorized and necessary amounts. Enacting 
the bill would not affect revenues.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to streamline and ensure onshore 
energy permitting, provide for onshore leasing certainty, and 
give certainty to oil shale development for American energy 
security, economic development, and job creation.

                           Earmark Statement

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       Compliance With H. Res. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does establish 
a program of the federal government known to be duplicative of 
another federal program. Such program was identified in the 
most recent report from the Government Accountability Office to 
Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139. More 
specifically, in the 2013 report on Actions Needed to Reduce 
Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication and Achieve Other 
Financial Benefits, the Government Accountability Office 
identified Renewable Energy Initiatives, including Federal Wind 
Energy Initiatives, as an area with overlapping and duplicative 
programs. Subtitle C of Title I of H.R. 1965 provides a new 
federal permit streamlining initiative to counter this overlap 
and duplication as it affects the U.S. Forest Service, the 
Bureau of Land Management, and the Environmental Protection 
Agency, all agencies with programs identified in the report. In 
addition, this bill does establish a program of the federal 
government known to be duplicative of another federal program 
as identified by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
published pursuant to the Federal Program Information Act 
(Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 98-169) as 
relating to other programs. Subtitle E of Title I directs the 
Secretary of the Interior to provide matching funds to states 
to conduct oil and gas resource assessments on federal lands 
with significant oil and gas potential. This program would be 
related to the U.S. Geological Survey's Research and Data 
Collection program; however, that program provides cooperative 
agreements to a wider variety of applicants and covers a wider 
variety of assessments and data collection. The Subtitle E 
program targets prospective oil and gas resources and will help 
identify and quantify future resources for development in a 
cost-effective manner. It also requires dollar for dollar 
matching funds from the state.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

MINERAL LEASING ACT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


  Sec. 17. (a)(1) All lands subject to disposition under this 
Act which are known or believed to contain oil or gas deposits 
may be leased by the Secretary.
  (2)(A) The Secretary shall not withdraw any covered energy 
project issued under this Act without finding a violation of 
the terms of the lease by the lessee.
  (B) The Secretary shall not infringe upon lease rights under 
leases issued under this Act by indefinitely delaying issuance 
of project approvals, drilling and seismic permits, and rights 
of way for activities under such a lease.
  (C) No later than 18 months after an area is designated as 
open under the current land use plan the Secretary shall make 
available nominated areas for lease under the criteria in 
section 2.
  (D) Notwithstanding any other law, the Secretary shall issue 
all leases sold no later than 60 days after the last payment is 
made.
  (E) The Secretary shall not cancel or withdraw any lease 
parcel after a competitive lease sale has occurred and a 
winning bidder has submitted the last payment for the parcel.
  (F) Not later than 60 days after a lease sale held under this 
Act, the Secretary shall adjudicate any lease protests filed 
following a lease sale. If after 60 days any protest is left 
unsettled, said protest is automatically denied and appeal 
rights of the protestor begin.
  (G) No additional lease stipulations may be added after the 
parcel is sold without consultation and agreement of the 
lessee, unless the Secretary deems such stipulations as 
emergency actions to conserve the resources of the United 
States.
  (b)(1)(A) All lands to be leased which are not subject to 
leasing under paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection shall 
be leased as provided in this paragraph to the highest 
responsible qualified bidder by competitive bidding under 
general regulations in units of not more than 2,560 acres, 
except in Alaska, where units shall be not more than 5,760 
acres. Such units shall be as nearly compact as possible. Lease 
sales shall be conducted by oral bidding. Lease sales shall be 
held for each State where eligible lands are available at least 
quarterly and more frequently if the Secretary of the Interior 
determines such sales are necessary. A lease shall be 
conditioned upon the payment of a royalty at a rate of not less 
than 12.5 percent in amount or value of the production removed 
or sold from the lease. The Secretary shall accept the highest 
bid from a responsible qualified bidder which is equal to or 
greater than the national minimum acceptable bid, without 
evaluation of the value of the lands proposed for lease. Leases 
shall be issued within 60 days following payment by the 
successful bidder of the remainder of the bonus bid, if any, 
and the annual rental for the first lease year. All bids for 
less than the national minimum acceptable bid shall be 
rejected. Lands for which no bids are received or for which the 
highest bid is less than the national minimum acceptable bid 
shall be offered promptly within 30 days for leasing under 
subsection (c) of this section and shall remain available for 
leasing for a period of 2 years after the competitive lease 
sale.
  (B) The national minimum acceptable bid shall be $2 per acre 
for a period of 2 years from the date of enactment of the 
Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act of 1987. 
Thereafter, the Secretary, subject to paragraph (2)(B), may 
establish by regulation a higher national minimum acceptable 
bid for all leases based upon a finding that such action is 
necessary: (i) to enhance financial returns to the United 
States; and (ii) to promote more efficient management of oil 
and gas resources on Federal lands. Ninety days before the 
Secretary makes any change in the national minimum acceptable 
bid, the Secretary shall notify the Committee on Natural 
Resources of the United States House of Representatives and the 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the United States 
Senate. The proposal or promulgation of any regulation to 
establish a national minimum acceptable bid shall not be 
considered a major Federal action subject to the requirements 
of section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act 
of 1969.
  (2)(A)(i) If the lands to be leased are within a special tar 
sand area, they shall be leased to the highest responsible 
qualified bidder by competitive bidding under general 
regulations in units of not more than 5,760 acres, which shall 
be as nearly compact as possible, upon the payment by the 
lessee of such bonus as may be accepted by the Secretary.
  (ii) Royalty shall be 12\1/2\ per centum in amount of value 
of production removed or sold from the lease subject to section 
17(k)(1)(c).
  (iii) The Secretary may lease such additional lands in 
special tar sand areas as may be required in support of any 
operations necessary for the recovery of tar sands.
          (iv) No lease issued under this paragraph shall be 
        included in any chargeability limitation associated 
        with oil and gas leases.
  (B) For any area that contains any combination of tar sand 
and oil or gas (or both), the Secretary may issue under this 
Act, separately--
          (i) a lease for exploration for and extraction of tar 
        sand; and
          (ii) a lease for exploration for and development of 
        oil and gas.
  (C) A lease issued for tar sand shall be issued using the 
same bidding process, annual rental, and posting period as a 
lease issued for oil and gas, except that the minimum 
acceptable bid required for a lease issued for tar sand shall 
be $2 per acre.
  (D) The Secretary may waive, suspend, or alter any 
requirement under section 26 that a permittee under a permit 
authorizing prospecting for tar sand must exercise due 
diligence, to promote any resource covered by a combined 
hydrocarbon lease.
  (3)(A) If the United States held a vested future interest in 
a mineral estate that, immediately prior to becoming a vested 
present interest, was subject to a lease under which oil or gas 
was being produced, or had a well capable of producing, in 
paying quantities at an annual average production volume per 
well per day of either not more than 15 barrels per day of oil 
or condensate, or not more than 60,000 cubic feet of gas, the 
holder of the lease may elect to continue the lease as a 
noncompetitive lease under subsection (c)(1).
  (B) An election under this paragraph is effective--
          (i) in the case of an interest which vested after 
        January 1, 1990, and on or before the date of enactment 
        of this paragraph, if the election is made before the 
        date that is 1 year after the date of enactment of this 
        paragraph;
          (ii) in the case of an interest which vests within 1 
        year after the date of enactment of this paragraph, if 
        the election is made before the date that is 2 years 
        after the date of enactment of this paragraph; and
          (iii) in any case other than those described in 
        clause (i) or (ii), if the election is made prior to 
        the interest becoming a vested present interest.
  (C) Notwithstanding the consent requirement referenced in 
section 3 of the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands (30 
U.S.C. 352), the Secretary shall issue a noncompetitive lease 
under subsection (c)(1) to a holder who makes an election under 
subparagraph (A) and who is qualified to hold a lease under 
this Act. Such lease shall be subject to all terms and 
conditions under this Act that are applicable to leases issued 
under subsection (c)(1).
  (D) A lease issued pursuant to this paragraph shall continue 
so long as oil or gas continues to be produced in paying 
quantities.
  (E) This paragraph shall apply only to those lands under the 
administration of the Secretary of Agriculture where the United 
States acquired an interest in such lands pursuant to the Act 
of March 1, 1911 (36 Stat. 961 and following).
  (c)(1) If the lands to be leased are not leased under 
subsection (b)(1) of this section or are not subject to 
competitive leasing under subsection (b)(2) of this section, 
the person first making application for the lease who is 
qualified to hold a lease under this Act shall be entitled to a 
lease of such lands without competitive bidding, upon payment 
of a non-refundable application fee of at least $75. A lease 
under this subsection shall be conditioned upon the payment of 
a royalty at a rate of 12.5 percent in amount or value of the 
production removed or sold from the lease. Leases shall be 
issued within 60 days of the date on which the Secretary 
identifies the first responsible qualified applicant.
  (2)(A) Lands (i) which were posted for sale under subsection 
(b)(1) of this section but for which no bids were received or 
for which the highest bid was less than the national minimum 
acceptable bid and (ii) for which, at the end of the period 
referred to in subsection (b)(1) of this section no lease has 
been issued and no lease application is pending under paragraph 
(1) of this subsection, shall again be available for leasing 
only in accordance with subsection (b)(1) of this section.
  (B) The land in any lease which is issued under paragraph (1) 
of this subsection or under subsection (b)(1) of this section 
which lease terminates, expires, is cancelled or is 
relinquished shall again be available for leasing only in 
accordance with subsection (b)(1) of this section.
  (d) All leases issued under this section, as amended by the 
Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act of 1987, shall 
be conditioned upon payment by the lessee of a rental of not 
less than $1.50 per acre per year for the first through fifth 
years of the lease and not less than $2 per acre per year for 
each year thereafter. A minimum royalty in lieu of rental of 
not less than the rental which otherwise would be required for 
that lease year shall be payable at the expiration of each 
lease year beginning on or after a discovery of oil or gas in 
paying quantities on the lands leased.
  (e) Competitive and noncompetitive leases issued under this 
section shall be for a primary term of 10 years: Provided, 
however, That competitive leases issued in special tar sand 
areas shall also be for a primary term of ten years. Each such 
lease shall continue so long after its primary term as oil or 
gas is produced in paying quantities. Any lease issued under 
this section for land on which, or for which under an approved 
cooperative or unit plan of development or operation, actual 
drilling operations were commenced prior to the end of its 
primary term and are being diligently prosecuted at that time 
shall be extended for two years and so long thereafter as oil 
or gas is produced in paying quantities.
  (f) At least 45 days before offering lands for lease under 
this section, and at least 30 days before approving 
applications for permits to drill under the provisions of a 
lease or substantially modifying the terms of any lease issued 
under this section, the Secretary shall provide notice of the 
proposed action. Such notice shall be posted in the appropriate 
local office of the leasing and land management agencies. Such 
notice shall include the terms or modified lease terms and maps 
or a narrative description of the affected lands. Where the 
inclusion of maps in such notice is not practicable, maps of 
the affected lands shall be made available to the public for 
review. Such maps shall show the location of all tracts to be 
leased, and of all leases already issued in the general area. 
The requirements of this subsection are in addition to any 
public notice required by other law.
  (g) The Secretary of the Interior, or for National Forest 
lands, the Secretary of Agriculture, shall regulate all 
surface-disturbing activities conducted pursuant to any lease 
issued under this Act, and shall determine reclamation and 
other actions as required in the interest of conservation of 
surface resources. No permit to drill on an oil and gas lease 
issued under this Act may be granted without the analysis and 
approval by the Secretary concerned of a plan of operations 
covering proposed surface-disturbing activities within the 
lease area. The Secretary concerned shall, by rule or 
regulation, establish such standards as may be necessary to 
ensure that an adequate bond, surety, or other financial 
arrangement will be established prior to the commencement of 
surface-disturbing activities on any lease, to ensure the 
complete and timely reclamation of the lease tract, and the 
restoration of any lands or surface waters adversely affected 
by lease operations after the abandonment or cessation of oil 
and gas operations on the lease. The Secretary shall not issue 
a lease or leases or approve the assignment of any lease or 
leases under the terms of this section to any person, 
association, corporation, or any subsidiary, affiliate, or 
person controlled by or under common control with such person, 
association, or corporation, during any period in which, as 
determined by the Secretary of the Interior or Secretary of 
Agriculture, such entity has failed or refused to comply in any 
material respect with the reclamation requirements and other 
standards established under this section for any prior lease to 
which such requirements and standards applied. Prior to making 
such determination with respect to any such entity the 
concerned Secretary shall provide such entity with adequate 
notification and an opportunity to comply with such reclamation 
requirements and other standards and shall consider whether any 
administrative or judicial appeal is pending. Once the entity 
has complied with the reclamation requirement or other standard 
concerned an oil or gas lease may be issued to such entity 
under this Act.
  (h) The Secretary of the Interior may not issue any lease on 
National Forest System Lands reserved from the public domain 
over the objection of the Secretary of Agriculture.
  (i) No lease issued under this section which is subject to 
termination because of cessation of production shall be 
terminated for this cause so long as reworking or drilling 
operations which were commenced on the land prior to or within 
sixty days after cessation of production are conducted thereon 
with reasonable diligence, or so long as oil or gas is produced 
in paying quantities as a result of such operations. No lease 
issued under this section shall expire because operations or 
production is suspended under any order, or with the consent, 
of the Secretary. No lease issued under this section covering 
lands on which there is a well capable of producing oil or gas 
in paying quantities shall expire because the lessee fails to 
produce the same unless the lessee is allowed a reasonable 
time, which shall be not less than sixty days after notice by 
registered or certified mail, within which to place such well 
in producing status or unless, after such status is 
established, production is discontinued on the leased premises 
without permission granted by the Secretary under the 
provisions of this Act.
  (j) Whenever it appears to the Secretary that lands owned by 
the United States are being drained of oil or gas by wells 
drilled on adjacent lands, he may negotiate agreements whereby 
the United States, or the United States and its lessees, shall 
be compensated for such drainage. Such agreements shall be made 
with the consent of the lessees, if any, affected thereby. If 
such agreement is entered into, the primary term of any lease 
for which compensatory royalty is being paid, or any extension 
of such primary term, shall be extended for the period during 
which such compensatory royalty is paid and for a period of one 
year from discontinuance of such payment and so long thereafter 
as oil or gas is produced in paying quantities.
  (k) If, during the primary term or any extended term of any 
lease issued under this section, a verified statement is filed 
by any mining claimant pursuant to subsection (c) of section 7 
of the Multiple Mineral Development Act of August 13, 1954 (68 
Stat. 708), as amended (30 U.S.C. 527), whether such filing 
occur prior to enactment of the Mineral Leasing Act Revision of 
1960 or thereafter, asserting the existence of a conflicting 
unpatented mining claim or claims upon which diligent work is 
being prosecuted as to any lands covered by the lease, the 
running of time under such lease shall be suspended as to the 
lands involved from the first day of the month following the 
filing of such verified statement until a final decision is 
rendered in the matter.
  (l) The Secretary of the Interior shall, upon timely 
application therefor, issue a new lease in exchange for any 
lease issued for a term of twenty years, or any renewal 
thereof, or any lease issued prior to August 8, 1946, in 
exchange for a twenty-year lease, such new lease to be for a 
primary term of five years and so long thereafter as oil or gas 
is produced in paying quantities and at a royalty rate of not 
less than 12\1/2\ per centum in amount of value of the 
production removed or sold from such leases, except that the 
royalty rate shall be 12\1/2\ per centum in amount or value of 
the production removed or sold from said leases as to (1) such 
leases, or such parts of the lands subject thereto and the 
deposits underlying the same, as are not believed to be within 
the productive limits of any producing oil or gas deposit, as 
such productive limits are found by the Secretary to have 
existed on August 8, 1946; and (2) any production on a lease 
from an oil or gas deposit which was discovered after May 27, 
1941, by a well or wells drilled within the boundaries of the 
lease, and which is determined by the Secretary to be a new 
deposit; and (3) any production on or allocated to a lease 
pursuant to an approved cooperative or unit plan of development 
or operation from an oil or gas deposit which was discovered 
after May 27, 1941, on land committed to such plan, and which 
is determined by the Secretary to be a new deposit, where such 
lease, or a lease for which it is exchanged, was included in 
such plan at the time of discovery or was included in a duly 
executed and filed application for the approval of such plan at 
the time of discovery.
  (m) For the purpose of more properly conserving the natural 
resources of any oil or gas pool, field, or like area, or any 
part thereof (whether or not any part of said oil or gas pool, 
field, or like area, is then subject to any cooperative or unit 
plan of development or operation), lessees thereof and their 
representatives may unite with each other, or jointly or 
separately with others, in collective adopting and operating 
under a cooperative or unit plan of development or operation of 
such pool, field, or like area, or any part thereof, whenever 
determined and certified by the Secretary of the Interior to be 
necessary or advisable in the public interest. The Secretary is 
thereunto authorized, in his discretion, with the consent of 
the holders of leases involved, to establish, alter, change, or 
revoke drilling, producing, rental, minimum royalty, and 
royalty requirements of such leases and to make such 
regulations with reference to such leases, with like consent on 
the part of the lessees, in connection with the institution and 
operation of any such cooperative or unit plan as he may deem 
necessary or proper to secure the proper protection of the 
public interest. The Secretary may provide that oil and gas 
leases hereafter issued under this Act shall contain a 
provision requiring the lessee to operate under such a 
reasonable cooperative or unit plan, and he may prescribe such 
a plan under which such lessee shall operate, which shall 
adequately protect the rights of all parties in interest, 
including the United States.
  Any plan authorized by the preceding paragraph which includes 
lands owned by the United States may, in the discretion of the 
Secretary, contain a provision whereby authority is vested in 
the Secretary of the Interior, or any such person, committee, 
or State or Federal officer or agency as may be designated in 
the plan, to alter or modify from time to time the rate of 
prospecting and development and the quantity and rate of 
production under such plan. All leases operated under any such 
plan approved or prescribed by the Secretary shall be excepted 
in determining holdings or control under the provisions of any 
section of this Act.
  When separate tracts cannot be independently developed and 
operated in conformity with an established well-spacing or 
development program, any lease, or a portion thereof, may be 
pooled with other lands, whether or not owned by the United 
States, under a communitization or drilling agreement providing 
for an apportionment of production or royalties among the 
separate tracts of land comprising the drilling or spacing unit 
when determined by the Secretary of the Interior to be in the 
public interest, and operations or production pursuant to such 
an agreement shall be deemed to be operations or production as 
to each such lease committed thereto.
  Any lease issued for a term of twenty years, or any renewal 
thereof, or any portion of such lease that has become the 
subject of a cooperative or unit plan of development or 
operation of a pool, field, or like area, which plan has the 
approval of the Secretary of the Interior, shall continue in 
force until the termination of such plan. Any other lease 
issued under any section of this Act which has heretofore or 
may hereafter be committed to any such plan that contains a 
general provision for allocation of oil or gas shall continue 
in force and effect as to the land committed so long as the 
lease remains subject to the plan: Provided, That production is 
had in paying quantities under the plan prior to the expiration 
date of the term of such lease. Any lease heretofore or 
hereafter committed to any such plan embracing lands that are 
in part within and in part outside of the area covered by any 
such plan shall be segregated into separate leases as to the 
lands committed and the lands not committed as of the effective 
date of unitization: Provided, however, That any such lease as 
to the nonunitized portion shall continue in force and effect 
for the term thereof but for not less than two years from the 
date of such segregation and so long thereafter as oil or gas 
is produced in paying quantities. The minimum royalty or 
discovery rental under any lease that has become subject to any 
cooperative or unit plan of development or operation, or other 
plan that contains a general provision for allocation of oil or 
gas, shall be payable only with respect to the lands subject to 
such lease to which oil or gas shall be allocated under such 
plan. Any lease which shall be eliminated from any such 
approved or prescribed plan, or from any communitization or 
drilling agreement authorized by this section, and any lease 
which shall be in effect at the termination of any such 
approved or prescribed plan, or at the termination of any such 
communitization or drilling agreement, unless relinquished, 
shall continue in effect for the original term thereof, but for 
not less than two years, and so long thereafter as oil or gas 
is produced in paying quantities.
  The Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized, on such 
conditions as he may prescribe, to approve operating, drilling, 
or development contracts made by one or more lessees of oil or 
gas leases, with one or more persons, associations, or 
corporations whenever, in his discretion, the conservation of 
natural products or the public convenience or necessity may 
require it or the interests of the United States may be best 
subserved thereby. All leases operated under such approved 
operating, drilling, or development contracts, and interests 
thereunder, shall be excepted in determining holdings or 
control under the provisions of this Act.
  The Secretary of the Interior, to avoid waste or to promote 
conservation of natural resources, may authorize the subsurface 
storage of oil or gas, whether or not produced from federally 
owned lands, in lands leased or subject to lease under this 
Act. Such authorization may provide for the payment of a 
storage fee or rental on such stored oil or gas or, in lieu of 
such fee or rental, for a royalty other than that prescribed in 
the lease when such stored oil or gas is produced in 
conjunction with oil or gas not previously produced. Any lease 
on which storage is so authorized shall be extended at least 
for the period of storage and so long thereafter as oil or gas 
not previously produced is produced in paying quantities.
  (n)(1)(A) The owner of (1) an oil and gas lease issued prior 
to the date of enactment of the Combined Hydrocarbon Leasing 
Act of 1981 or (2) a valid claim to any hydrocarbon resources 
leasable under this section based on a mineral location made 
prior to January 21, 1926, and located within a special tar 
sand area shall be entitled to convert such lease or claim to a 
combined hydrocarbon lease for a primary term of ten years upon 
the filing of an application within two years from the date of 
enactment of that Act containing an acceptable plan of 
operations which assures reasonable protection of the 
environment and diligent development of those resources 
requiring enhanced recovery methods of development or mining. 
For purposes of conversion, no claim shall be deemed invalid 
solely because it was located as a placer location rather than 
a lode location or vice versa, notwithstanding any previous 
adjudication on that issue.
  (B) The Secretary shall issue final regulations to implement 
this section within six months of the effective date of this 
Act. If any oil and gas lease eligible for conversion under 
this section would otherwise expire after the date of this Act 
and before six months following the issuance of implementing 
regulations, the lessee may preserve his conversion right under 
such lease for a period ending six months after the issuance of 
implementing regulations by filing with the Secretary, before 
the expiration of the lease, a notice of intent to file an 
application for conversion. Upon submission of a complete plan 
of operations in substantial compliance with the regulations 
promulgated by the Secretary for the filing of such plans, the 
Secretary shall suspend the running of the term of any oil and 
gas lease proposed for conversion until the plan is finally 
approved or disapproved. The Secretary shall act upon a 
proposed plan of operations within fifteen months of its 
submittal.
  (C) When an existing oil and gas lease is converted to a 
combined hydrocarbon lease, the royalty shall be that provided 
for in the original oil and gas lease and for a converted 
mining claim, 12\1/2\ per centum in amount or value of 
production removed or sold from the lease.
  (2) Except as provided in this section, nothing in the 
Combined Hydrocarbon Leasing Act of 1981 shall be construed to 
diminish or increase the rights of any lessee under any oil and 
gas lease issued prior to the enactment of such Act.
  (o) Certain Outstanding Oil and Gas.--(1) Prior to the 
commencement of surface-disturbing activities relating to the 
development of oil and gas deposits on lands described under 
paragraph (5), the Secretary of Agriculture shall require, 
pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Secretary, that such 
activities be subject to terms and conditions as provided under 
paragraph (2).
  (2) The terms and conditions referred to in paragraph (1) 
shall require that reasonable advance notice be furnished to 
the Secretary of Agriculture at least 60 days prior to the 
commencement of surface disturbing activities.
  (3) Advance notice under paragraph (2) shall include each of 
the following items of information:
          (A) A designated field representative.
          (B) A map showing the location and dimensions of all 
        improvements, including but not limited to, well sites 
        and road and pipeline accesses.
          (C) A plan of operations, of an interim character if 
        necessary, setting forth a schedule for construction 
        and drilling.
          (D) A plan of erosion and sedimentation control.
          (E) Proof of ownership of mineral title.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to affect any 
authority of the State in which the lands concerned are located 
to impose any requirements with respect to such oil and gas 
operations.
  (4) The person proposing to develop oil and gas deposits on 
lands described under paragraph (5) shall either--
          (A) permit the Secretary to market merchantable 
        timber owned by the United States on lands subject to 
        such activities; or
          (B) arrange to purchase merchantable timber on lands 
        subject to such surface disturbing activities from the 
        Secretary of Agriculture, or otherwise arrange for the 
        disposition of such merchantable timber, upon such 
        terms and upon such advance notice of the items 
        referred to in subparagraphs (A) through (E) of 
        paragraph (3) as the Secretary may accept.
  (5)(A) The lands referred to in this subsection are those 
lands referenced in subparagraph (B) which are under the 
administration of the Secretary of Agriculture where the United 
States acquired an interest in such lands pursuant to the Act 
of March 1, 1911 (36 Stat. 961 and following), but does not 
have an interest in oil and gas deposits that may be present 
under such lands. This subsection does not apply to any such 
lands where, under the provisions of its acquisition of an 
interest in the lands, the United States is to acquire any oil 
and gas deposits that may be present under such lands in the 
future but such interest has not yet vested with the United 
States.
  (B) This subsection shall only apply in the Allegheny 
National Forest.
  (p) Deadlines for Consideration of Applications for 
Permits.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than 10 days after the 
        date on which the Secretary receives an application for 
        any permit to drill, the Secretary shall--
                  (A) notify the applicant that the application 
                is complete; or
                  (B) notify the applicant that information is 
                missing and specify any information that is 
                required to be submitted for the application to 
                be complete.
          [(2) Issuance or deferral.--Not later than 30 days 
        after the applicant for a permit has submitted a 
        complete application, the Secretary shall--
                  [(A) issue the permit, if the requirements 
                under the National Environmental Policy Act of 
                1969 and other applicable law have been 
                completed within such timeframe; or
                  [(B) defer the decision on the permit and 
                provide to the applicant a notice--
                          [(i) that specifies any steps that 
                        the applicant could take for the permit 
                        to be issued; and
                          [(ii) a list of actions that need to 
                        be taken by the agency to complete 
                        compliance with applicable law together 
                        with timelines and deadlines for 
                        completing such actions.]
          (2) Applications for permits to drill reform and 
        process.--
                  (A) Timeline.--The Secretary shall decide 
                whether to issue a permit to drill within 30 
                days after receiving an application for the 
                permit. The Secretary may extend such period 
                for up to 2 periods of 15 days each, if the 
                Secretary has given written notice of the delay 
                to the applicant. The notice shall be in the 
                form of a letter from the Secretary or a 
                designee of the Secretary, and shall include 
                the names and titles of the persons processing 
                the application, the specific reasons for the 
                delay, and a specific date a final decision on 
                the application is expected.
                  (B) Notice of reasons for denial.--If the 
                application is denied, the Secretary shall 
                provide the applicant--
                          (i) in writing, clear and 
                        comprehensive reasons why the 
                        application was not accepted and 
                        detailed information concerning any 
                        deficiencies; and
                          (ii) an opportunity to remedy any 
                        deficiencies.
                  (C) Application deemed approved.--If the 
                Secretary has not made a decision on the 
                application by the end of the 60-day period 
                beginning on the date the application is 
                received by the Secretary, the application is 
                deemed approved, except in cases in which 
                existing reviews under the National 
                Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
                4321 et seq.) or Endangered Species Act of 1973 
                (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) are incomplete.
                  (D) Denial of permit.--If the Secretary 
                decides not to issue a permit to drill in 
                accordance with subparagraph (A), the Secretary 
                shall--
                          (i) provide to the applicant a 
                        description of the reasons for the 
                        denial of the permit;
                          (ii) allow the applicant to resubmit 
                        an application for a permit to drill 
                        during the 10-day period beginning on 
                        the date the applicant receives the 
                        description of the denial from the 
                        Secretary; and
                          (iii) issue or deny any resubmitted 
                        application not later than 10 days 
                        after the date the application is 
                        submitted to the Secretary.
                  (E) Fee.--
                          (i) In general.--Notwithstanding any 
                        other law, the Secretary shall collect 
                        a single $6,500 permit processing fee 
                        per application from each applicant at 
                        the time the final decision is made 
                        whether to issue a permit under 
                        subparagraph (A). This fee shall not 
                        apply to any resubmitted application.
                          (ii) Treatment of permit processing 
                        fee.--Of all fees collected under this 
                        paragraph, 50 percent shall be 
                        transferred to the field office where 
                        they are collected and used to process 
                        protests, leases, and permits under 
                        this Act subject to appropriation.
          (3) Requirements for deferred applications.--
                  (A) In general.--If the Secretary provides 
                notice under paragraph (2)(B), the applicant 
                shall have a period of 2 years from the date of 
                receipt of the notice in which to complete all 
                requirements specified by the Secretary, 
                including providing information needed for 
                compliance with the National Environmental 
                Policy Act of 1969.
                  (B) Issuance of decision on permit.--If the 
                applicant completes the requirements within the 
                period specified in subparagraph (A), the 
                Secretary shall issue a decision on the permit 
                not later than 10 days after the date of 
                completion of the requirements described in 
                subparagraph (A), unless compliance with the 
                National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and 
                other applicable law has not been completed 
                within such timeframe.
                  (C) Denial of permit.--If the applicant does 
                not complete the requirements within the period 
                specified in subparagraph (A) or if the 
                applicant does not comply with applicable law, 
                the Secretary shall deny the permit.
          (4) Protest fee.--
                  (A) In general.-- The Secretary shall collect 
                a $5,000 documentation fee to accompany each 
                protest for a lease, right of way, or 
                application for permit to drill.
                  (B) Treatment of fees.-- Of all fees 
                collected under this paragraph, 50 percent 
                shall remain in the field office where they are 
                collected and used to process protests subject 
                to appropriation.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    Domestic crude oil production has reached its highest level 
in 25 years; our dependence on foreign oil has dropped to 35 
percent, its lowest level since 1986; and natural gas 
production and petroleum product exports have hit all-time 
highs. The United States is currently undergoing an energy boom 
that is on track to make the United States the number one 
producer of liquid fuels in the world.
    Still, the Republicans continue to wheel out the same 
tired, out-of-date talking points about President Obama, 
environmentalists, and concerned local citizens ``locking up'' 
America's energy resources. They claim that this energy boom is 
happening in spite of the Administration's policies, and only 
on private land. They are flat-out wrong. Oil production from 
onshore federal lands is at the highest level in over ten 
years, up nearly 18 percent from when President Obama took 
office. Permit applications and approvals are both going up. 
And the number of drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico is at the 
highest level in nearly five years.
    This bill is not simply anachronistic; it is dangerous. It 
would harm the environment, short-circuit critical reviews, and 
establish barriers to people wishing to challenge decisions on 
oil and gas development in their backyards.
    This bill would impose a ``shot clock'' on the Interior 
Department's review of drilling permits. After sixty days, 
drilling permits would be automatically ``deemed approved,'' 
regardless of whether safety and environmental reviews, 
cultural surveys, tribal consultation, or other legally 
mandated reviews had been completed. It turns over control of 
the onshore leasing system to the oil and gas industry by 
mandating that leasing occur on twenty five percent of whatever 
public lands the oil and gas industry nominates every year, 
regardless of whether or not drilling would be appropriate in 
those areas, and bars public protests on those leases. The bill 
further attempts to eliminate public participation by 
establishing a $5,000 fee for filing a protest, which flies in 
the face of Americans' First Amendment right to petition the 
government for a redress of grievances.
    President Obama recognized that a huge percentage of oil 
and gas lease parcels were being protested in the Bush 
Administration. But instead of attempting to address that by 
erecting barriers to community input and participation, as this 
bill does, the Department of the Interior enacted leasing 
reforms that made the leasing process smarter and more 
environmentally sound.
    As a result, lease protests have declined from 43% in 2009 
to 16% in 2012. Rather than recognizing this impressive 
accomplishment, H.R. 1965 repeals those leasing reforms.
    During consideration of H.R. 1965, the Majority rejected an 
amendment from Ms. Napolitano that would study the impacts of 
oil shale development on water, and an amendment from Mr. 
Huffman that would have eliminated the discriminatory $5,000 
protest fee.
    H.R. 1965 is a thoroughly counterproductive and unnecessary 
bill that would negatively affect the environment, eliminate 
thoughtful leasing reforms, and restrict the ability of the 
public to petition for a redress of grievances. We join the 
Obama Administration in strongly opposing this legislation.

                                   Peter DeFazio.
                                   Rush Holt.
                                   Jared Huffman.
                                   Raul M. Grijalva.
                                   Madeleine Z. Bordallo.
                                   Niki Tsongas.
                                   Carol Shea-Porter.
                                   Matthew A. Cartwright.
                                   Alan Lowenthal.

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