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113th Congress   }                                         {     Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session      }                                         {    113-704

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



 
          EXCHANGE OF COAL PREFERENCE RIGHT LEASE APPLICATIONS

                                _______
                                

 December 22, 2014.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 5176]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 5176) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior 
to retire coal preference right lease applications for which 
the Secretary has made an affirmative commercial quantities 
determination, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend 
that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 5176 is to authorize the Secretary of 
the Interior to retire coal preference right lease applications 
for which the Secretary has made an affirmative commercial 
quantities determination.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    H.R. 5176 helps resolve a decades-old Department of the 
Interior ``statutory obligation'' to the Navajo Nation stemming 
from provisions of the Navajo Hopi Settlement Act of 1974. This 
Act brought resolution to a boundary dispute between the Navajo 
Nation and the Hopi Tribe. In the settlement, the Navajo lost 
acreage from their reservation to the Hopi and many Navajo 
citizens were relocated. In return, the Navajo Nation was 
allowed to select comparable acreage on federal lands to be 
taken into trust for the Navajo.
    By the early 1980s, the Navajo selected the federal lands 
they wanted to be taken into trust for them; however, some of 
the parcels selected were encumbered by ``preference rights 
lease applications'' (PRLAs). Until the PRLAs are addressed, 
the selected parcels of federal land cannot be taken into trust 
for the Navajo.
    Further complicating the transfer of the selected parcels 
with PRLAs are subsequent conservation designations that 
prohibit development. These are the Fossil Forest and the Ah-
shi-sle-pah Wilderness Study Area.
    H.R. 5176 provides a general mechanism for the Secretary of 
the Interior to retire the PRLAs, provide the mineral owner a 
credit to be used in leasing minerals in another state, and 
make ``state share'' payments to the state where the new leases 
are issued. Preference right lease applications were included 
in the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920. The provision allowed 
mining companies to apply for an exclusive prospecting permit 
in areas not known to contain commercial quantities of coal. If 
commercial quantities of coal were found, the company had the 
right to obtain a ``non-competitive'' preference right lease. 
The Federal Coal Leasing Act Amendments of 1976 (FCLAA) 
eliminated those leasing mechanisms; PRLAs that were issued 
prior to the passage of the FCLAA continue to be processed.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 5176 was introduced on July 23, 2014, by Congressman 
Ben Ray Lujaan (D-NM). The bill was referred to the Committee 
on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. On September 17, 
2014, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On November 
19, 2014, the Natural Resources Committee met to consider the 
bill. The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources was 
discharged by unanimous consent. No amendments were offered, 
and the bill, as amended, was adopted and ordered favorably 
reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

            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 
requested but not received a cost estimate for this bill from 
the Director of the Congressional Budget Office. The Committee 
believes that enactment of this bill may not have an effect on 
the federal budget.
    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.
    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 authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to retire coal preference right lease applications for 
which the Secretary has made an affirmative commercial 
quantities determination.

                           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 not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent 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.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

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

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.

                                  [all]