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116th Congress    }                                     {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                     {     116-224

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



 
          CHACO CULTURAL HERITAGE AREA PROTECTION ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

October 4, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Grijalva, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 2181]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2181) to provide for the withdrawal and 
protection of certain Federal land in the State of New Mexico, 
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. 2181 is to provide for the withdrawal 
and protection of certain Federal land in the state of New 
Mexico.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversees more than 247 
million acres of U.S. land and 700 million acres of subsurface 
mineral estate and is the primary federal agency responsible 
for managing oil and gas resources on public land. Over the 
last decade, oil and gas production in New Mexico has increased 
dramatically as a result of hydraulic fracturing and the 
presence of abundant resources. New Mexico is 35 percent public 
land, and oil and gas production in New Mexico is 
disproportionately produced on these public lands--in 2017, 57 
percent of New Mexico's oil and 65 percent of New Mexico's gas 
was produced from the federal mineral estate. Two of the most 
active plays in the state are the Permian Basin in the 
southeast corner and the San Juan Basin in the northwest 
corner. Under the Trump administration, BLM has sold 217,424 
acres of oil and gas leases and approved over 1,700 oil and gas 
drilling permits, bringing the total number of active wells in 
New Mexico to over 31,000, spread across 3.7 million producing 
acres.\1\
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    \1\See U.S. Dep't of the Interior, Bureau of Land Mgmt., Oil and 
Gas Statistics (last visited Oct. 1, 2019), https://www.blm.gov/
programs/energy-and-minerals/oil-and-gas/oil-and-gas-statistics.
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    Oil and gas resources in the western U.S. frequently 
overlap with and border Native American lands, presenting 
indigenous peoples with opportunities to develop these 
resources but leaving them to cope with the numerous health, 
environmental, and cultural impacts that accompany energy 
development. In northwest New Mexico, the Chaco Culture 
National Historical Park (CHCU or Chaco Canyon) and the greater 
Chaco landscape are a prime example of how sacred sites are 
under threat from encroaching oil and gas development.
    The greater Chaco landscape was home to thousands of 
Ancestral Puebloans between 850 and 1250 AD, and Chaco Canyon 
was a central location for ``ceremon[ies], trade and political 
activity for the prehistoric Four Corners area.''\2\ This area 
includes hundreds of nationally and internationally significant 
cultural resources, including prehistoric roads, communities, 
shrines, and houses. Chaco Canyon consists of approximately 
4,000 archeological sites covering a span of over 10,000 years, 
including a number of Great Houses and masonry structures such 
as Hungo Pavi, Chetro Ketl, and the 600-room Pueblo Bonito.\3\ 
Chaco Canyon was a special gathering place for the Ancestral 
Puebloans, and along with Mesa Verde and Bears Ears, these 
areas are considered the ``footprints of ancestors'' by modern 
Pueblo nations.\4\ Together, the archaeological and natural 
features create a ``cultural landscape'' that binds the Pueblo 
and Navajo people to Chaco Canyon.\5\ To this day, Chaco Canyon 
and the surrounding region is a sacred place for tribes 
throughout the southwest.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Chaco Culture, UNESCO World Heritage Ctr., https://
whc.unesco.org/en/list/353/ (last visited Oct. 1, 2019).
    \3\The Pew Charitable Trs., Chaco Culture National Historical Park 
(2017), https://www.pewtrusts.org/-/media/assets/2017/11/
chacocasestudy_f.pdf.
    \4\All Pueblo Council of Governors, Opinion, We Traveled 2,000 
Miles to Save Chaco Canyon, High Country News, Oct. 4, 2018, https://
www.hcn.org/issues/50.18/opinion-tribal-affairs-we-traveled-2-000-
miles-to-save-chaco-canyon.
    \5\The Trump Administration's Bias Towards the Oil and Gas Industry 
during the Government Shutdown: Democratic Issues Forum Before the H. 
Comm. on Nat. Res., 116th Cong. (2019) (testimony of Kurt Riley, former 
Governor, Pueblo of Acoma, N.M.), https://naturalresources.house.gov/
imo/media/doc/Testimony%20-%20Kurt%20Riley%20Acoma%20 Pueblo.pdf.
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    CHCU was first protected federally in 1907 when President 
Theodore Roosevelt established the Chaco Canyon National 
Monument. In 1980, Congress redesignated the monument Chaco 
Culture National Historical Park and added 13,000 acres to the 
Park.\6\ In 1987, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage 
Site,\7\ and in 2013, it was certified as an International Dark 
Sky Park.\8\ On average, 40,000 people visit CHCU each year, 
and it continues to be studied by archeologists and 
historians.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\U.S. Nat'l Park Serv., A Brief History of Chaco Culture National 
Historical Park (last modified Dec. 13, 2017), https://www.nps.gov/
chcu/learn/upload/Chaco-Brief-History.pdf.
    \7\Id.
    \8\Chaco Night Sky Program, U.S. Nat'l Park Serv., https://
www.nps.gov/chcu/planyourvisit/nightsky.htm (last updated Nov. 4, 
2018).
    \9\Chaco Canyon Cross-Cutting, NASA: Develop Nat'l Program, https:/
/develop.larc.nasa.gov/2016/summer/ChacoCanyonCross.html (last visited 
Oct. 1, 2019).
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    The San Juan Basin in northwest New Mexico has been a very 
active region for oil and gas development for a significant 
period, but activity is declining due to low natural gas 
prices. There are currently tens of thousands of wells in the 
region spread across federal, state, and tribal land, and these 
wells are in close proximity to CHCU and other cultural and 
environmental resources that exist inside and outside the Park 
boundaries. BLM has already leased more than 90 percent of its 
managed landscape in the region for oil and gas development, 
and energy companies continue to have interest in development 
despite low prices. In 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey 
estimated the San Juan Basin holds roughly 19 million barrels 
of undiscovered oil, 50 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered 
gas, and 148 million barrels of undiscovered natural gas 
liquids.\10\
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    \10\U.S. Geological Survey, Total Petroleum Systems and Geologic 
Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources in the San Juan Basin 
Province, Exclusive of Paleozoic Rocks, New Mexico and Colorado 2 
(2013), https://pubs.usgs.gov//dds/dds-069/dds-069-f/REPORTS/DDS-
69F_BOOK_508.pdf.
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    Oil and gas development in the Chaco Canyon region impacts 
tribal communities in multiple ways, including encroachment on 
cultural resources and sacred sites, fragmentation of the 
landscape by thousands of miles of roads, degradation of air 
and water quality, and proliferation of noise and light 
pollution. The National Park Night Sky Team has measured the 
conditions of Chaco and has identified its darkness as ``one of 
the best in the park system.''\11\ The increasing presence of 
oil and gas development north and east of CHCU produces smog 
and natural gas flares that impact the animals, vegetation, and 
people that live nearby, and undermines the Park's pristine 
night skies that help attract thousands of visitors each year. 
Furthermore, noise and air pollution that comes from the heavy 
machinery and equipment that accompanies oil and gas 
development impacts the people and tribal communities that live 
near wells.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\G.B. Cornucopia, Chaco's Dark Skies, in Archaeology Sw., Recent 
Efforts to Research, Preserve, and Protect the Greater Chaco Landscape 
7 (2017), https://www.archaeologysouthwest.org/wp-content/uploads/
Recent-Efforts.pdf.
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    Around 2011, the San Juan Basin became the focus of renewed 
oil and gas development, which resulted in a proliferation of 
new wells and infrastructure in northwest New Mexico and near 
Chaco Canyon. The level of activity and the expansion of 
hydraulic fracturing technology had not been anticipated by BLM 
in their 2003 resource management plan (RMP) for the region, 
and a process to amend the RMP to account for the increased oil 
and gas activity was triggered. While the amendment process was 
underway, the Obama administration made an informal agreement 
not to lease parcels within ten miles of Chaco Canyon. The 
process to amend the RMP is still underway.
    However, under the Trump administration, BLM has proposed 
to sell oil and gas leases for parcels near Chaco Canyon three 
different times. Fortunately, BLM withdrew the parcels in each 
instance. In March 2018, then-Secretary Zinke removed 4,434 
acres of land from a lease sale, stating, ``We're going to 
defer those leases until we do some cultural 
consultation.''\12\ Although there were no further studies or 
tribal consultation, BLM once again planned to sell leases for 
land near CHCU in October 2018. At that time, BLM deferred the 
sale of 1,040 acres of land within the ten-mile proposed 
protection zone but continued the sale of additional parcels 
within the greater Chaco region.\13\ Most recently, in February 
2019, BLM again withdrew from a scheduled lease sale 
approximately 1,500 acres within the proposed protection 
zone.\14\ These acres were removed after concerted push back 
from tribal communities, lawmakers, environmental groups, and 
other groups who utilize and appreciate the greater Chaco 
region. At the end of May 2019, Secretary Bernhardt visited 
Chaco Canyon, and on May 28, 2019, Secretary Bernhardt 
announced that there would be no leasing within the ten-mile 
buffer zone for one year while the RMP amendment process is 
completed with a protective alternative option.\15\ While this 
defers the threat to Chaco Canyon, H.R. 2181 is needed in order 
to provide permanent protection.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\Michael Coleman, Zinke Cancels Chaco Canyon Lease Sale, 
Albuquerque J., Mar. 1, 2018, https://www.abqjournal.com/1140105/zinke-
cancels-chaco-canyon-lease-sale.html.
    \13\Press Release, The Red Nation, Stop the Colonial Land Grab 
Shutdown BLM Leases! (Nov. 29, 2018), https://therednation.org/2018/11/
29/stop-the-colonial-land-grab-shutdown-blm-leases/.
    \14\Press Release, Bureau of Land Mgmt. New Mexico State Office, 
BLM New Mexico Defers Nine Parcels for March Lease Sale (Feb. 8, 2019), 
https://www.blm.gov/press-release/blm-new-mexico-defers-nine-parcels-
march-lease-sale.
    \15\Scott Turner, Secretary Puts Leasing on Hold on Federal Lands 
Near Chaco Canyon, Albuquerque J., May 29, 2019, https://
www.abqjournal.com/1321503/secretary-puts-leasing-on-hold-on-federal-
lands-near-chaco-canyon.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 2181 withdraws the minerals owned by the federal 
government located within the Proposed Chaco Protection Zone 
from future mining and oil and gas development. The Protection 
Zone is a 909,000-acre region that falls within a ten-mile 
radius of Chaco Canyon, of which 316,076 acres is owned by the 
federal government and would be withdrawn. The legislation is 
supported by the entire New Mexico congressional delegation, 
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, the Navajo Nation, 
and the All Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG). Over the course 
of the two hearings to develop the bill, multiple Pueblo and 
Navajo leaders spoke in support of the mineral withdrawal. 
These supporters include the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of 
the APCG, the Governor of the Pueblo of Acoma, the Governor of 
the Pueblo of Santa Ana, the Vice President of the Navajo 
Nation, and the Chairman of the Resources and Development 
Committee for the Navajo Nation Council.
    The APCG, which represents the twenty Pueblo Governors in 
New Mexico and Texas, has repeatedly called on federal and 
state land managers to protect sacred sites in the greater 
Chaco Canyon region. In 2017, for the first time in the 400-
year history of the APCG, the Navajo Nation joined the APCG in 
a ``historic summit'' to focus on ``how all tribal nations in 
the Southwest can work together'' to safeguard the landscape 
from oil and gas development.\16\ APCG and the Navajo held 
their third official summit in March 2019. Pueblos and the 
Navajo Nation have banded together multiple times to protest 
the inclusion of parcels in BLM oil and gas lease sales that 
are within ten miles of CHCU.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\Russell Begaye & Edward Paul Torres, Guest Column, Tribal 
Nations Push Chaco Protection, Albuquerque J., Aug. 14, 2017, https://
www.abqjournal.com/1047471/tribal-nations-push-chaco-protection.html.
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    Opponents of the legislation have falsely suggested that 
H.R. 2181 would infringe on the rights of Navajo allottees to 
develop the oil and gas resources they own beneath their 
property. This is incorrect, as Section 6 of the bill 
explicitly says the withdrawal will not affect the mineral 
rights of an Indian Tribe or a member of an Indian Tribe, 
including Navajo allottees. The bill will only place land owned 
by the federal government off-limits for future development and 
will not affect existing allottee leases or existing oil and 
gas production within the ten-mile buffer.
    For years, tribal leaders, local community members, 
archeological organizations, and a host of other stakeholders 
have called for federal action to protect the land and cultural 
resources surrounding Chaco Canyon from encroaching oil and gas 
development. H.R. 2181 would provide the permanent protection 
that this special place desperately needs.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 2181 was introduced on April 9, 2019 by Representative 
Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM). The bill was referred solely to the 
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands and 
the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. On June 5, 
2019, the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public 
Lands held a hearing on the bill. On July 17, 2019, the Natural 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittees 
were discharged by unanimous consent. Representative Paul Gosar 
(R-AZ) offered an amendment designated Gosar #3. The amendment 
was not agreed to by a roll call vote of 14 yeas and 19 nays, 
as follows:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

    Representative Gosar offered an amendment designated Gosar 
#5. The amendment was not agreed to by a roll call vote of 14 
yeas and 19 nays, as follows:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

    Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO) offered an amendment 
designated Lamborn #2. The amendment was not agreed to by a 
roll call vote of 14 yeas and 19 nays, as follows:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

    The bill was ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by a roll call vote of 19 yeas and 14 nays, as 
follows:

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

                                HEARINGS

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res. 6 of the 
116th Congress--the following hearings were used to develop or 
consider H.R. 2181: oversight hearing titled ``Oil and Gas 
Development: Impacts on Air Pollution and Sacred Sites'' held 
by the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on April 
15, 2019, in Santa Fe, New Mexico and legislative hearing on 
H.R. 1373 and H.R. 2181 held by the Subcommittee on National 
Parks, Forests, and Public Lands on June 5, 2019, in the 
Longworth House Office Building.

            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 AND CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET ACT

    1. Cost of Legislation and the Congressional Budget Act. 
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) and (3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
sections 308(a) and 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, the Committee has received the following estimate for the 
bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 25, 2019.
Hon. Raul M. Grijalva,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 2181, the Chaco 
Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act of 2019.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Janani 
Shankaran.
            Sincerely,
                                         Phillip L. Swagel,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    

    The bill would
           Withdraw federal land within a 10-mile 
        buffer of Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New 
        Mexico from entry under hardrock mining laws and from 
        mineral and geothermal leasing acivities, subject to 
        valid existing rights
           Terminate any existing leasing agreements in 
        the withdrawal area that are not producing by the end 
        of their initial terms
    Estimated budgetary effects would primarily stem from
           Forgone government income resulting from 
        prohibiting new mineral leasing on the affected land.
    Bill summary: H.R. 2181 would withdraw federal lands within 
roughly a 10-mile buffer of Chaco Culture National Historical 
Park in New Mexico from entry under hardrock mining laws and 
from mineral and geothermal leasing activities, subject to 
valid existing rights. That is, the bill would not allow new 
hardrock mining claims or mineral and geothermal leases on land 
adjacent to the park. The bill also would terminate any 
existing leasing agreements on the affected land that have not 
commenced drilling operations or mineral production before the 
end of their initial terms.
    Estimated Federal cost: The estimated budgetary effect of 
H.R. 2181 is shown in Table 1. The costs of the legislation 
fall within budget functions 300 (natural resources and 
environment) and 800 (general government).

                                                 TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED DIRECT SPENDING UNDER H.R. 2181\a\
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                      By Fiscal Year, Millions of Dollars
                                                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   2025   2026   2027   2028   2029  2019-2024  2019-2029
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Estimated Budget Authority...........................      0      0      *      *      *      1      *      *      *      *      *         2          3
Estimated Outlays....................................      0      0      *      *      *      1      *      *      *      *      *         2          3
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Components may not sum to totals because of rounding; * = between zero and $500,000.
aCBO estimates that any administrative costs incurred by the Department of the Interior to implement the withdrawal would not be significant; any such
  spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
legislation will be enacted near the start of 2020.
    Background: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers 
onshore mineral leasing on federal lands. For all leasing 
agreements that are executed, lessees pay the federal 
government a bonus bid (the amount that a company is willing to 
pay for the right to extract mineral resources), annual rent to 
retain the agreement, and royalties based on the value of any 
oil or gas produced. Those payments are recorded in the budget 
as offsetting receipts, or reductions in direct spending. Under 
the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA), states receive 49 percent of all 
royalties, rents, and bonus bids collected. (The federal 
government generally does not collect any bonus bids, 
royalties, or rents from hardrock mining activities on federal 
lands in New Mexico.)
    Direct spending: CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2181 
would increase direct spending by $3 million over the 2020-2029 
period.
    Potential for future leasing under current law: In recent 
years, the Department of the Interior (DOI) has deferred 
mineral lease sales on the affected land. Using information 
from BLM and the Energy Information Administration, CBO expects 
that the land has high potential for oil and gas resources and 
low-to-moderate potential for geothermal and coal resources.
    Based on the number of parcels that have been deferred for 
oil and gas leasing, CBO estimates that roughly 18,000 acres 
will be leased in the near future, under current law. In recent 
years, lessees have paid about $250 per acre in bonus bids to 
lease federal lands in northwest New Mexico. On that basis, CBO 
estimates that the federal government will collect roughly $5 
million in gross bonus bids over the 2020-2029 period to lease 
out the affected land. At $1.50 per acre until production 
commences, annual rental payments will total less than $500,000 
over that same period.
    Using information from DOI on mineral leasing in northwest 
New Mexico, CBO estimates that the agency could execute 20 new 
federal leasing agreements on the affected land in the near 
term. We estimate that each agreement will produce between 
3,000 and 10,000 barrels of oil and between 40,000 and 50,000 
thousand cubic feet of gas annually over the initial years. 
Using projections for oil and gas prices under CBO's May 2019 
baseline, and applying the 12.5 percent royalty rate under the 
MLA, CBO estimates that gross royalties from oil and gas 
production could total $8 million over the 2020-2029 period. In 
addition, CBO estimates that any bonus bids, rents, and 
royalties from coal and geothermal leasing will be 
insignificant over that same period.
    However, CBO has no basis to estimate the specific 
probability of BLM conducting lease sales on the affected land. 
In the absence of specific information, CBO uses a 50 percent 
probability that the land will be leased under current law. On 
that basis, and accounting for payments to states under the MLA 
of 49 percent, we estimate that net federal receipts from 
mineral and geothermal leasing on the affected land will total 
$3 million over the 2020-2029 period. Under the bill, the 
federal government would forgo those receipts. Thus, CBO 
estimates that the withdrawal required under the bill would 
increase net direct spending by $3 million over the 2020-2029 
period.
    Termination of existing agreements: H.R. 2181 would 
terminate any leasing agreements on the affected land that have 
not commenced drilling operations or production before the end 
of their primary term, which is typically 10 years. Current law 
already authorizes DOI to terminate such leases. The bill also 
would prohibit reinstatement of terminated leases.
    According to BLM, there are 32 nonproducing agreements on 
the affected land; roughly one-third will expire if they do not 
commence operations by 2024. CBO expects that under current 
law, a small portion of those agreements will expire and be 
reinstated and will commence production before 2029. Under the 
bill, we expect that some of those agreements would commence 
production earlier than they otherwise would, while others 
would be terminated without reinstatement. CBO estimates that 
the net increase in direct spending (from forgone royalties) 
would be insignificant over the 2020-2029 period.
    Spending subject to appropriation: Based on the costs of 
similar tasks, CBO estimates that any administrative costs 
incurred by DOI to implement the withdrawal would be 
insignificant; any spending would be subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds.
    Uncertainty: The amount the government will collect from 
bonus bids and royalties for mineral leases in the proposed 
withdrawal area is uncertain and could be higher or lower than 
CBO estimates. Specifically, CBO cannot forecast with certainty 
whether or when DOI will hold lease sales, and the amount of 
acreage that companies will lease. CBO also cannot foresee with 
certainty the volume or value of oil and gas production on the 
affected lands.
    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 Table 2.

                                             TABLE 2.--CBO'S ESTIMATE OF PAY-AS-YOU-GO EFFECTS OF H.R. 2181
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                      By Fiscal Year, Millions of Dollars
                                                      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        2019   2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   2025   2026   2027   2028   2029  2019-2024  2019-2029
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Net Increase in the Deficit
 
Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Effect.......................      0      0      0      0      0      1      0      0      0      0      0         2          3
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Increase in long-term deficits: CBO estimates that under 
H.R. 2181 the federal government would forgo royalties from oil 
and gas production after 2029 on the affected land. However, we 
estimate that enacting the bill would not increase on-budget 
deficits by more than $5 billion in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2030.
    Mandates: H.R. 2181 would impose a private-sector mandate 
as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) by 
prohibiting DOI from extending or reinstating oil and gas 
leases that are terminated as a result of the bill. Under 
current law, DOI is authorized to reinstate or extend 
terminated leases in certain circumstances. The cost of the 
mandate would be revenue forgone by leaseholders that would be 
unable to reinstate their terminated leases. CBO estimates 
revenue from potential production of oil and gas from those 
leases would be less than $1 million per year, well below the 
private-sector threshold established in UMRA ($164 million in 
2019, adjusted annually for inflation).
    H.R. 2181 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in UMRA.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Janani Shankaran; 
Mandates: Lilia Ledezma.
    Estimate reviewed by: Kim P. Cawley, Chief, Natural and 
Physical Resources Cost Estimates Unit; H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goals and 
objectives of this bill is to provide for the withdrawal and 
protection of certain Federal land in the state of New Mexico.

                           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.

                 UNFUNDED MANDATES REFORM ACT STATEMENT

    According to the Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 2181 
would impose a private-sector mandate as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) by prohibiting DOI from 
extending or reinstating oil and gas leases that are terminated 
as a result of the bill. Under current law, DOI is authorized 
to reinstate or extend terminated leases in certain 
circumstances. The cost of the mandate would be revenue forgone 
by leaseholders that would be unable to reinstate their 
terminated leases. CBO estimates revenue from potential 
production of oil and gas from those leases would be less than 
$1 million per year, well below the private-sector threshold 
established in UMRA ($164 million in 2019, adjusted annually 
for inflation).
    H.R. 2181 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in UMRA.

                           EXISTING PROGRAMS

    This bill does not establish or reauthorize a program of 
the federal government known to be duplicative of another 
program.

                  APPLICABILITY TO LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

               PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL, OR TRIBAL LAW

    Any preemptive effect of this bill over state, local, or 
tribal law is intended to be consistent with the bill's 
purposes and text and the Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the 
U.S. Constitution.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

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

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    If ideological purity was the test for legislation becoming 
law, H.R. 2181 wins a gold star. The bill fits nicely with the 
Committee Democrats'' pattern of partisan intransigence. Like 
so many of the Majority's bills, H.R. 2181 is going nowhere 
fast.
    The bill would permanently ban federal oil and natural gas 
leasing on roughly 316,000 acres of land in New Mexico. This 
would have a deeply negative long-term economic impacts on the 
State of New Mexico, eliminate key revenue sources for future 
public investments, and undermine a range of economic 
activities associated with responsible energy development. In 
fiscal year 2013 the combined revenues from oil and gas for the 
four counties that are near the proposed moratorium area was 
$198.2 million.\1\
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    \1\New Mexico--Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, 
Oil Conservation Division Oil and Gas Education http://
www.emnrd.state.nm.us/OCD/education.html#OGProd2.
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    This permanent ban would also jeopardize the financial 
future of thousands of Indian allottees by making it virtually 
impossible for them to develop the energy resources they own. 
The bill claims not to affect allottee mineral rights, but the 
reality is that many allottee lands are surrounded by federal 
lands that would be withdrawn by this legislation. This will 
create significant access and extraction complications for the 
Indian allottees along with any companies they partner with and 
will lead to a de facto extraction ban on their lands.\2\
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    \2\Sandoval, Michael Navajo Allottees Frustrated By Interior Delay 
On Leasing Near Chaco Canyon May 30, 2019. http://westernwire.net/
navajo-allottees-frustrated-by-interior-delay-on-leasing-near-chaco-
canyon/.
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    At the June 5, 2019, hearing on H.R. 2181, the Natural 
Resources Committee heard testimony from Debora Hesuse, a 
citizen of the Navajo Nation, Nageezi chapter, and an Indian 
allottee who owns mineral resources in the proposed area. Ms. 
Hesuse testified that H.R. 2181 would ``put many of our mineral 
rights off limits and stop a much-needed source of income to 
feed, shelter, clothe and protect our families.''\3\ Ms. Hesuse 
also submitted for the record a petition signed by 131 Navajo 
allotees opposing this legislation, as well as two resolutions 
from the Huerfano and Nageezi Navajo chapters, which are 
closest to this area, expressing support for the Navajo 
allotment landowners and recognizing their opposition to this 
bill. It is very concerning that the local people that live and 
own allotments in this area are being ignored by the proponents 
of this legislation.
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    \3\Hesuse, Delore, Navajo Nation Citizen, Nageezi Chapter. 
Testimony for Legislative hearing on H.R. 2181. June 5th, 2019.
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    During markup of H.R. 2181, several amendments offered by 
Republicans seeking to address flaws in the bill were rejected 
on largely party line votes. Among these was an amendment 
offered by Congressman Paul Gosar that would have delayed 
implementation of this legislation until the Department of the 
Interior is able to properly confirm that this withdrawal will 
not adversely affect mineral rights held by Native Americans in 
the area. Also offered at the markup was an amendment from 
Congresswoman Liz Cheney that would have simply provided 
recognition for the Indian allottee opposition to the bill by 
adding one line to the bill's findings section. These 
amendments were rejected by Committee Democrats, and the 
legislation advanced without a single Republican vote.

                                   Rob Bishop.
                                   Paul A. Gosar.
                                   Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen.
                                   Jody B. Hice.
                                   Mike Johnson.

                                  [all]