[USC02] 42 USC CHAPTER 149, SUBCHAPTER III: OIL AND GAS
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42 USC CHAPTER 149, SUBCHAPTER III: OIL AND GAS
From Title 42—THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER 149—NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY AND PROGRAMS

SUBCHAPTER III—OIL AND GAS

Part A—Production Incentives

§15901. Definition of Secretary

In this part, the term "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Interior.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §341, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 697.)

References in Text

This part, referred to in text, was in the original "this subtitle", meaning subtitle E (§§341–357) of title III of Pub. L. 109–58, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 697, which enacted this part, amended sections 6504, 6506a, 6507, and 6508 of this title, sections 184 and 226 of Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining, and section 1337 of Title 43, Public Lands, and enacted provisions set out as a note under section 226 of Title 30. For complete classification of subtitle E to the Code, see Tables.

§15902. Program on oil and gas royalties in-kind

(a) Applicability of section

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this section applies to all royalty in-kind accepted by the Secretary on or after August 8, 2005, under any Federal oil or gas lease or permit under—

(1) section 192 of title 30;

(2) section 1353 of title 43; or

(3) any other Federal law governing leasing of Federal land for oil and gas development.

(b) Terms and conditions

All royalty accruing to the United States shall, on the demand of the Secretary, be paid in-kind. If the Secretary makes such a demand, the following provisions apply to the payment:

(1) Satisfaction of royalty obligation

Delivery by, or on behalf of, the lessee of the royalty amount and quality due under the lease satisfies royalty obligation of the lessee for the amount delivered, except that transportation and processing reimbursements paid to, or deductions claimed by, the lessee shall be subject to review and audit.

(2) Marketable condition

(A) Definition of marketable condition

In this paragraph, the term "in marketable condition" means sufficiently free from impurities and otherwise in a condition that the royalty production will be accepted by a purchaser under a sales contract typical of the field or area in which the royalty production was produced.

(B) Requirement

Royalty production shall be placed in marketable condition by the lessee at no cost to the United States.

(3) Disposition by the Secretary

The Secretary may—

(A) sell or otherwise dispose of any royalty production taken in-kind (other than oil or gas transferred under section 1353(a)(3) of title 43 1 for not less than the market price; and

(B) transport or process (or both) any royalty production taken in-kind.

(4) Retention by the Secretary

The Secretary may, notwithstanding section 3302 of title 31, retain and use a portion of the revenues from the sale of oil and gas taken in-kind that otherwise would be deposited to miscellaneous receipts, without regard to fiscal year limitation, or may use oil or gas received as royalty taken in-kind (referred to in this paragraph as "royalty production") to pay the cost of—

(A) transporting the royalty production;

(B) processing the royalty production;

(C) disposing of the royalty production; or

(D) any combination of transporting, processing, and disposing of the royalty production.

(5) Limitation

(A) In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the Secretary may not use revenues from the sale of oil and gas taken in-kind to pay for personnel, travel, or other administrative costs of the Federal Government.

(B) Exception

Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the Secretary may use a portion of the revenues from royalty in-kind sales, without fiscal year limitation, to pay salaries and other administrative costs directly related to the royalty in-kind program.

(c) Reimbursement of cost

If the lessee, pursuant to an agreement with the United States or as provided in the lease, processes the royalty gas or delivers the royalty oil or gas at a point not on or adjacent to the lease area, the Secretary shall—

(1) reimburse the lessee for the reasonable costs of transportation (not including gathering) from the lease to the point of delivery or for processing costs; or

(2) allow the lessee to deduct the transportation or processing costs in reporting and paying royalties in-value for other Federal oil and gas leases.

(d) Benefit to the United States required

The Secretary may receive oil or gas royalties in-kind only if the Secretary determines that receiving royalties in-kind provides benefits to the United States that are greater than or equal to the benefits that are likely to have been received had royalties been taken in-value.

(e) Deduction of expenses

(1) In general

Before making payments under section 191 of title 30 or section 1337(g) of title 43 of revenues derived from the sale of royalty production taken in-kind from a lease, the Secretary shall deduct amounts paid or deducted under subsections (b)(4) and (c) and deposit the amount of the deductions in the miscellaneous receipts of the Treasury.

(2) Accounting for deductions

When the Secretary allows the lessee to deduct transportation or processing costs under subsection (c), the Secretary may not reduce any payments to recipients of revenues derived from any other Federal oil and gas lease as a consequence of that deduction.

(f) Consultation with States

The Secretary—

(1) shall consult with a State before conducting a royalty in-kind program under this part within the State;

(2) may delegate management of any portion of the Federal royalty in-kind program to the State except as otherwise prohibited by Federal law; and

(3) shall consult annually with any State from which Federal oil or gas royalty is being taken in-kind to ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that the royalty in-kind program provides revenues to the State greater than or equal to the revenues likely to have been received had royalties been taken in-value.

(g) Small refineries

(1) Preference

If the Secretary finds that sufficient supplies of crude oil are not available in the open market to refineries that do not have their own source of supply for crude oil, the Secretary may grant preference to those refineries in the sale of any royalty oil accruing or reserved to the United States under Federal oil and gas leases issued under any mineral leasing law, for processing or use in those refineries at private sale at not less than the market price.

(2) Proration among refineries in production area

In disposing of oil under this subsection, the Secretary may, at the discretion of the Secretary, prorate the oil among refineries described in paragraph (1) in the area in which the oil is produced.

(h) Disposition to Federal agencies

(1) Onshore royalty

Any royalty oil or gas taken by the Secretary in-kind from onshore oil and gas leases may be sold at not less than the market price to any Federal agency.

(2) Offshore royalty

Any royalty oil or gas taken in-kind from a Federal oil or gas lease on the outer Continental Shelf may be disposed of only under section 1353 of title 43.

(i) Federal low-income energy assistance programs

(1) Preference

In disposing of royalty oil or gas taken in-kind under this section, the Secretary may grant a preference to any person, including any Federal or State agency, for the purpose of providing additional resources to any Federal low-income energy assistance program.

(2) Report

Not later than 3 years after August 8, 2005, the Secretary shall submit a report to Congress—

(A) assessing the effectiveness of granting preferences specified in paragraph (1); and

(B) providing a specific recommendation on the continuation of authority to grant preferences.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §342, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 697; Pub. L. 113–188, title XI, §1101, Nov. 26, 2014, 128 Stat. 2023.)

References in Text

This part, referred to in subsec. (f)(1), was in the original "this subtitle", meaning subtitle E (§§341–357) of title III of Pub. L. 109–58, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 697, which enacted this part, amended sections 6504, 6506a, 6507, and 6508 of this title, sections 184 and 226 of Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining, and section 1337 of Title 43, Public Lands, and enacted provisions set out as a note under section 226 of Title 30. For complete classification of subtitle E to the Code, see Tables.

Amendments

2014—Subsecs. (e) to (j). Pub. L. 113–188 redesignated subsecs. (f) to (j) as (e) to (i), respectively, and struck out former subsec. (e) which required various reports on oil and gas royalties in-kind.

1 So in original. Probably should be followed by a closing parenthesis.

§15903. Marginal property production incentives

(a) Definition of marginal property

Until such time as the Secretary issues regulations under subsection (e) that prescribe a different definition, in this section, the term "marginal property" means an onshore unit, communitization agreement, or lease not within a unit or communitization agreement, that produces on average the combined equivalent of less than 15 barrels of oil per well per day or 90,000,000 British thermal units of gas per well per day calculated based on the average over the 3 most recent production months, including only wells that produce on more than half of the days during those 3 production months.

(b) Conditions for reduction of royalty rate

Until such time as the Secretary issues regulations under subsection (e) that prescribe different standards or requirements, the Secretary shall reduce the royalty rate on—

(1) oil production from marginal properties as prescribed in subsection (c) if the spot price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil at Cushing, Oklahoma, is, on average, less than $15 per barrel (adjusted in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for all-urban consumers, United States city average, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) for 90 consecutive trading days; and

(2) gas production from marginal properties as prescribed in subsection (c) if the spot price of natural gas delivered at Henry Hub, Louisiana, is, on average, less than $2.00 per million British thermal units (adjusted in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for all-urban consumers, United States city average, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) for 90 consecutive trading days.

(c) Reduced royalty rate

(1) In general

When a marginal property meets the conditions specified in subsection (b), the royalty rate shall be the lesser of—

(A) 5 percent; or

(B) the applicable rate under any other statutory or regulatory royalty relief provision that applies to the affected production.

(2) Period of effectiveness

The reduced royalty rate under this subsection shall be effective beginning on the first day of the production month following the date on which the applicable condition specified in subsection (b) is met.

(d) Termination of reduced royalty rate

A royalty rate prescribed in subsection (c)(1) shall terminate—

(1) with respect to oil production from a marginal property, on the first day of the production month following the date on which—

(A) the spot price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil at Cushing, Oklahoma, on average, exceeds $15 per barrel (adjusted in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for all-urban consumers, United States city average, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) for 90 consecutive trading days; or

(B) the property no longer qualifies as a marginal property; and


(2) with respect to gas production from a marginal property, on the first day of the production month following the date on which—

(A) the spot price of natural gas delivered at Henry Hub, Louisiana, on average, exceeds $2.00 per million British thermal units (adjusted in accordance with the Consumer Price Index for all-urban consumers, United States city average, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) for 90 consecutive trading days; or

(B) the property no longer qualifies as a marginal property.

(e) Regulations prescribing different relief

(1) Discretionary regulations

The Secretary may by regulation prescribe different parameters, standards, and requirements for, and a different degree or extent of, royalty relief for marginal properties in lieu of those prescribed in subsections (a) through (d).

(2) Mandatory regulations

Unless a determination is made under paragraph (3), not later than 18 months after August 8, 2005, the Secretary shall by regulation—

(A) prescribe standards and requirements for, and the extent of royalty relief for, marginal properties for oil and gas leases on the outer Continental Shelf; and

(B) define what constitutes a marginal property on the outer Continental Shelf for purposes of this section.

(3) Report

To the extent the Secretary determines that it is not practicable to issue the regulations referred to in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall provide a report to Congress explaining such determination by not later than 18 months after August 8, 2005.

(4) Considerations

In issuing regulations under this subsection, the Secretary may consider—

(A) oil and gas prices and market trends;

(B) production costs;

(C) abandonment costs;

(D) Federal and State tax provisions and the effects of those provisions on production economics;

(E) other royalty relief programs;

(F) regional differences in average wellhead prices;

(G) national energy security issues; and

(H) other relevant matters, as determined by the Secretary.

(f) Savings provision

Nothing in this section prevents a lessee from receiving royalty relief or a royalty reduction pursuant to any other law (including a regulation) that provides more relief than the amounts provided by this section.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §343, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 700.)

§15904. Incentives for natural gas production from deep wells in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico

(a) Royalty incentive regulations for ultra deep gas wells

(1) In general

Not later than 180 days after August 8, 2005, in addition to any other regulations that may provide royalty incentives for natural gas produced from deep wells on oil and gas leases issued pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.), the Secretary shall issue regulations granting royalty relief suspension volumes of not less than 35 billion cubic feet with respect to the production of natural gas from ultra deep wells on leases issued in shallow waters less than 400 meters deep located in the Gulf of Mexico wholly west of 87 degrees, 30 minutes west longitude. Regulations issued under this subsection shall be retroactive to the date that the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register.

(2) Suspension volumes

The Secretary may grant suspension volumes of not less than 35 billion cubic feet in any case in which—

(A) the ultra deep well is a sidetrack; or

(B) the lease has previously produced from wells with a perforated interval the top of which is at least 15,000 feet true vertical depth below the datum at mean sea level.

(3) Definitions

In this subsection:

(A) Ultra deep well

The term "ultra deep well" means a well drilled with a perforated interval, the top of which is at least 20,000 true vertical depth below the datum at mean sea level.

(B) Sidetrack

(i) In general

The term "sidetrack" means a well resulting from drilling an additional hole to a new objective bottom-hole location by leaving a previously drilled hole.

(ii) Inclusion

The term "sidetrack" includes—

(I) drilling a well from a platform slot reclaimed from a previously drilled well;

(II) re-entering and deepening a previously drilled well; and

(III) a bypass from a sidetrack, including drilling around material blocking a hole or drilling to straighten a crooked hole.

(b) Royalty incentive regulations for deep gas wells

Not later than 180 days after August 8, 2005, in addition to any other regulations that may provide royalty incentives for natural gas produced from deep wells on oil and gas leases issued pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.), the Secretary shall issue regulations granting royalty relief suspension volumes with respect to production of natural gas from deep wells on leases issued in waters more than 200 meters but less than 400 meters deep located in the Gulf of Mexico wholly west of 87 degrees, 30 minutes west longitude. The suspension volumes for deep wells within 200 to 400 meters of water depth shall be calculated using the same methodology used to calculate the suspension volumes for deep wells in the shallower waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and in no case shall the suspension volumes for deep wells within 200 to 400 meters of water depth be lower than those for deep wells in shallower waters. Regulations issued under this subsection shall be retroactive to the date that the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register.

(c) Limitations

The Secretary may place limitations on the royalty relief granted under this section based on market price. The royalty relief granted under this section shall not apply to a lease for which deep water royalty relief is available.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §344, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 702.)

References in Text

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, referred to in subsecs. (a)(1) and (b), is act Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 345, 67 Stat. 462, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter III (§1331 et seq.) of chapter 29 of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1301 of Title 43 and Tables.

§15905. Royalty relief for deep water production

(a) In general

Subject to subsections (b) and (c), for each tract located in water depths of greater than 400 meters in the Western and Central Planning Area of the Gulf of Mexico (including the portion of the Eastern Planning Area of the Gulf of Mexico encompassing whole lease blocks lying west of 87 degrees, 30 minutes West longitude), any oil or gas lease sale under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.) occurring during the 5-year period beginning on August 8, 2005, shall use the bidding system authorized under section 8(a)(1)(H) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337(a)(1)(H)).

(b) Suspension of royalties

The suspension of royalties under subsection (a) shall be established at a volume of not less than—

(1) 5,000,000 barrels of oil equivalent for each lease in water depths of 400 to 800 meters;

(2) 9,000,000 barrels of oil equivalent for each lease in water depths of 800 to 1,600 meters;

(3) 12,000,000 barrels of oil equivalent for each lease in water depths of 1,600 to 2,000 meters; and

(4) 16,000,000 barrels of oil equivalent for each lease in water depths greater than 2,000 meters.

(c) Limitation

The Secretary may place limitations on royalty relief granted under this section based on market price.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §345, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 703.)

References in Text

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, referred to in subsec. (a), is act Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 345, 67 Stat. 462, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter III (§1331 et seq.) of chapter 29 of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1301 of Title 43 and Tables.

§15906. North Slope Science Initiative

(a) Establishment

(1) In general

The Secretary of the Interior shall establish a long-term initiative to be known as the "North Slope Science Initiative" (referred to in this section as the "Initiative").

(2) Purpose

The purpose of the Initiative shall be to implement efforts to coordinate collection of scientific data that will provide a better understanding of the terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems of the North Slope of Alaska.

(b) Objectives

To ensure that the Initiative is conducted through a comprehensive science strategy and implementation plan, the Initiative shall, at a minimum—

(1) identify and prioritize information needs for inventory, monitoring, and research activities to address the individual and cumulative effects of past, ongoing, and anticipated development activities and environmental change on the North Slope;

(2) develop an understanding of information needs for regulatory and land management agencies, local governments, and the public;

(3) focus on prioritization of pressing natural resource management and ecosystem information needs, coordination, and cooperation among agencies and organizations;

(4) coordinate ongoing and future inventory, monitoring, and research activities to minimize duplication of effort, share financial resources and expertise, and assure the collection of quality information;

(5) identify priority needs not addressed by agency science programs in effect on August 8, 2005, and develop a funding strategy to meet those needs;

(6) provide a consistent approach to high caliber science, including inventory, monitoring, and research;

(7) maintain and improve public and agency access to—

(A) accumulated and ongoing research; and

(B) contemporary and traditional local knowledge; and


(8) ensure through appropriate peer review that the science conducted by participating agencies and organizations is of the highest technical quality.

(c) Membership

(1) In general

To ensure comprehensive collection of scientific data, in carrying out the Initiative, the Secretary shall consult and coordinate with Federal, State, and local agencies that have responsibilities for land and resource management across the North Slope.

(2) Cooperative agreements

The Secretary shall enter into cooperative agreements with the State of Alaska, the North Slope Borough, the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, and other Federal agencies as appropriate to coordinate efforts, share resources, and fund projects under this section.

(d) Science technical advisory panel

(1) In general

The Initiative shall include a panel to provide advice on proposed inventory, monitoring, and research functions.

(2) Membership

The panel described in paragraph (1) shall consist of a representative group of not more than 15 scientists and technical experts from diverse professions and interests, including the oil and gas industry, subsistence users, Native Alaskan entities, conservation organizations, wildlife management organizations, and academia, as determined by the Secretary.

(e) Reports

Not later than 3 years after August 8, 2005, and each year thereafter, the Secretary shall publish a report that describes the studies and findings of the Initiative.

(f) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this section.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §348, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 708.)

§15907. Orphaned, abandoned, or idled wells on Federal land

(a) In general

The Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall establish a program not later than 1 year after August 8, 2005, to remediate, reclaim, and close orphaned, abandoned, or idled oil and gas wells located on land administered by the land management agencies within the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture.

(b) Activities

The program under subsection (a) shall—

(1) include a means of ranking orphaned, abandoned, or idled wells sites for priority in remediation, reclamation, and closure, based on public health and safety, potential environmental harm, and other land use priorities;

(2) provide for identification and recovery of the costs of remediation, reclamation, and closure from persons or other entities currently providing a bond or other financial assurance required under State or Federal law for an oil or gas well that is orphaned, abandoned, or idled; and

(3) provide for recovery from the persons or entities identified under paragraph (2), or their sureties or guarantors, of the costs of remediation, reclamation, and closure of such wells.

(c) Cooperation and consultations

In carrying out the program under subsection (a), the Secretary shall—

(1) work cooperatively with the Secretary of Agriculture and the States within which Federal land is located; and

(2) consult with the Secretary of Energy and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.

(d) Plan

Not later than 1 year after August 8, 2005, the Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall submit to Congress a plan for carrying out the program under subsection (a).

(e) Idled well

For the purposes of this section, a well is idled if—

(1) the well has been nonoperational for at least 7 years; and

(2) there is no anticipated beneficial use for the well.

(f) Federal reimbursement for orphaned well reclamation pilot program

(1) Reimbursement for remediating, reclaiming, and closing wells on land subject to a new lease

The Secretary shall carry out a pilot program under which, in issuing a new oil and gas lease on federally owned land on which 1 or more orphaned wells are located, the Secretary—

(A) may require, other than as a condition of the lease, that the lessee remediate, reclaim, and close in accordance with standards established by the Secretary, all orphaned wells on the land leased; and

(B) shall develop a program to reimburse a lessee, through a royalty credit against the Federal share of royalties owed or other means, for the reasonable actual costs of remediating, reclaiming, and closing the orphaned wells pursuant to that requirement.

(2) Reimbursement for reclaiming orphaned wells on other land

In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary—

(A) may authorize any lessee under an oil and gas lease on federally owned land to reclaim in accordance with the Secretary's standards—

(i) an orphaned well on unleased federally owned land; or

(ii) an orphaned well located on an existing lease on federally owned land for the reclamation of which the lessee is not legally responsible; and


(B) shall develop a program to provide reimbursement of 100 percent of the reasonable actual costs of remediating, reclaiming, and closing the orphaned well, through credits against the Federal share of royalties or other means.

(3) Regulations

The Secretary may issue such regulations as are appropriate to carry out this subsection.

(g) Technical assistance program for non-Federal land

(1) In general

The Secretary of Energy shall establish a program to provide technical and financial assistance to oil and gas producing States to facilitate State efforts over a 10-year period to ensure a practical and economical remedy for environmental problems caused by orphaned or abandoned oil and gas exploration or production well sites on State or private land.

(2) Assistance

The Secretary of Energy shall work with the States, through the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, to assist the States in quantifying and mitigating environmental risks of onshore orphaned or abandoned oil or gas wells on State and private land.

(3) Activities

The program under paragraph (1) shall include—

(A) mechanisms to facilitate identification, if feasible, of the persons currently providing a bond or other form of financial assurance required under State or Federal law for an oil or gas well that is orphaned or abandoned;

(B) criteria for ranking orphaned or abandoned well sites based on factors such as public health and safety, potential environmental harm, and other land use priorities;

(C) information and training programs on best practices for remediation of different types of sites; and

(D) funding of State mitigation efforts on a cost-shared basis.

(h) Authorization of appropriations

(1) In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010.

(2) Use

Of the amounts authorized under paragraph (1), $5,000,000 are authorized for each fiscal year for activities under subsection (f).

(i) Federally drilled wells

Out of any amounts in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2014, $36,000,000 for fiscal year 2015, and $4,000,000 for fiscal year 2019 shall be made available to the Secretary, without further appropriation and to remain available until expended, to remediate, reclaim, and close abandoned oil and gas wells on current or former National Petroleum Reserve land.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §349, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 709; Pub. L. 113–40, §10(b), Oct. 2, 2013, 127 Stat. 545.)

Amendments

2013—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 113–40 added subsec. (i).

§15908. Preservation of geological and geophysical data

(a) Short title

This section may be cited as the "National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program Act of 2005".

(b) Program

The Secretary shall carry out a National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program in accordance with this section—

(1) to archive geologic, geophysical, and engineering data, maps, well logs, and samples;

(2) to provide a national catalog of such archival material; and

(3) to provide technical and financial assistance related to the archival material.

(c) Plan

Not later than 1 year after August 8, 2005, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a plan for the implementation of the Program.

(d) Data archive system

(1) Establishment

The Secretary shall establish, as a component of the Program, a data archive system to provide for the storage, preservation, and archiving of subsurface, surface, geological, geophysical, and engineering data and samples. The Secretary, in consultation with the Advisory Committee, shall develop guidelines relating to the data archive system, including the types of data and samples to be preserved.

(2) System components

The system shall be comprised of State agencies that elect to be part of the system and agencies within the Department of the Interior that maintain geological and geophysical data and samples that are designated by the Secretary in accordance with this subsection. The Program shall provide for the storage of data and samples through data repositories operated by such agencies.

(3) Limitation of designation

The Secretary may not designate a State agency as a component of the data archive system unless that agency is the agency that acts as the geological survey in the State.

(4) Data from Federal land

The data archive system shall provide for the archiving of relevant subsurface data and samples obtained from Federal land—

(A) in the most appropriate repository designated under paragraph (2), with preference being given to archiving data in the State in which the data were collected; and

(B) consistent with all applicable law and requirements relating to confidentiality and proprietary data.

(e) National catalog

(1) In general

As soon as practicable after August 8, 2005, the Secretary shall develop and maintain, as a component of the Program, a national catalog that identifies—

(A) data and samples available in the data archive system established under subsection (d);

(B) the repository for particular material in the system; and

(C) the means of accessing the material.

(2) Availability

The Secretary shall make the national catalog accessible to the public on the site of the Survey on the Internet, consistent with all applicable requirements related to confidentiality and proprietary data.

(f) Advisory Committee

(1) In general

The Advisory Committee shall advise the Secretary on planning and implementation of the Program.

(2) New duties

In addition to its duties under the National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992 (43 U.S.C. 31a et seq.), the Advisory Committee shall perform the following duties:

(A) Advise the Secretary on developing guidelines and procedures for providing assistance for facilities under subsection (g)(1).

(B) Review and critique the draft implementation plan prepared by the Secretary under subsection (c).

(C) Identify useful studies of data archived under the Program that will advance understanding of the Nation's energy and mineral resources, geologic hazards, and engineering geology.

(D) Review the progress of the Program in archiving significant data and preventing the loss of such data, and the scientific progress of the studies funded under the Program.

(E) Include in the annual report to the Secretary required under section 5(b)(3) 1 of the National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992 (43 U.S.C. 31d(b)(3)) an evaluation of the progress of the Program toward fulfilling the purposes of the Program under subsection (b).

(g) Financial assistance

(1) Archive facilities

Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary shall provide financial assistance to a State agency that is designated under subsection (d)(2) for providing facilities to archive energy material.

(2) Studies

Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary shall provide financial assistance to any State agency designated under subsection (d)(2) for studies and technical assistance activities that enhance understanding, interpretation, and use of materials archived in the data archive system established under subsection (d).

(3) Federal share

The Federal share of the cost of an activity carried out with assistance under this subsection shall be not more than 50 percent of the total cost of the activity.

(4) Private contributions

The Secretary shall apply to the non-Federal share of the cost of an activity carried out with assistance under this subsection the value of private contributions of property and services used for that activity.

(h) Report

The Secretary shall include in each report under section 8 of the National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992 (43 U.S.C. 31g)—

(1) a description of the status of the Program;

(2) an evaluation of the progress achieved in developing the Program during the period covered by the report; and

(3) any recommendations for legislative or other action the Secretary considers necessary and appropriate to fulfill the purposes of the Program under subsection (b).

(i) Maintenance of State effort

It is the intent of Congress that the States not use this section as an opportunity to reduce State resources applied to the activities that are the subject of the Program.

(j) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Advisory Committee

The term "Advisory Committee" means the advisory committee established under section 5 of the National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992 (43 U.S.C. 31d).

(2) Program

The term "Program" means the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program carried out under this section.

(3) Secretary

The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the United States Geological Survey.

(4) Survey

The term "Survey" means the United States Geological Survey.

(k) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $30,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §351, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 711.)

References in Text

The National Geologic Mapping Act of 1992, referred to in subsec. (f)(2), is Pub. L. 102–285, May 18, 1992, 106 Stat. 166, which is classified principally to sections 31a to 31h of Title 43, Public Lands. Par. (3) of section 5(b) of the Act was redesignated par. (4) by Pub. L. 111–11, title XI, §11001(f)(2)(B), Mar. 30, 2009, 123 Stat. 1415, and is now classified to section 31d(b)(4) of Title 43. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 31a of Title 43 and Tables.

1 See References in Text note below.

§15909. Gas hydrate production incentive

(a) Purpose

The purpose of this section is to promote natural gas production from the natural gas hydrate resources on the outer Continental Shelf and Federal lands in Alaska by providing royalty incentives.

(b) Suspension of royalties

(1) In general

The Secretary may grant royalty relief in accordance with this section for natural gas produced from gas hydrate resources under an eligible lease.

(2) Eligible leases

A lease shall be an eligible lease for purposes of this section if—

(A) it is issued under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.), or is an oil and gas lease issued for onshore Federal lands in Alaska;

(B) it is issued prior to January 1, 2016; and

(C) production under the lease of natural gas from gas hydrate resources commences prior to January 1, 2018.

(3) Amount of relief

The Secretary shall conduct a rulemaking and grant royalty relief under this section as a suspension volume if the Secretary determines that such royalty relief would encourage production of natural gas from gas hydrate resources from an eligible lease. The maximum suspension volume shall be 30 billion cubic feet of natural gas per lease. Such relief shall be in addition to any other royalty relief under any other provision applicable to the lease that does not specifically grant a gas hydrate production incentive. Such royalty suspension volume shall be applied to any eligible production occurring on or after the date of publication of the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking.

(4) Limitation

The Secretary may place limitations on royalty relief granted under this section based on market price.

(c) Application

This section shall apply to any eligible lease issued before, on, or after August 8, 2005.

(d) Rulemakings

(1) Requirement

The Secretary shall publish the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking within 180 days after August 8, 2005, and complete the rulemaking implementing this section within 365 days after August 8, 2005.

(2) Gas hydrate resources defined

Such regulations shall define the term "gas hydrate resources" to include both the natural gas content of gas hydrates within the hydrate stability zone and free natural gas trapped by and beneath the hydrate stability zone.

(e) Review

Not later than 365 days after August 8, 2005, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, shall carry out a review of, and submit to Congress a report on, further opportunities to enhance production of natural gas from gas hydrate resources on the outer Continental Shelf and on Federal lands in Alaska through the provision of other production incentives or through technical or financial assistance.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §353, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 714.)

References in Text

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(2)(A), is act Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 345, 67 Stat. 462, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter III (§1331 et seq.) of chapter 29 of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1301 of Title 43 and Tables.

§15910. Enhanced oil and natural gas production through carbon dioxide injection

(a) Production incentive

(1) Findings

Congress finds the following:

(A) Approximately two-thirds of the original oil in place in the United States remains unproduced.

(B) Enhanced oil and natural gas production from the sequestering of carbon dioxide and other appropriate gases has the potential to increase oil and natural gas production.

(C) Capturing and productively using carbon dioxide would help reduce the carbon intensity of the economy.

(2) Purpose

The purpose of this section is—

(A) to promote the capturing, transportation, and injection of produced carbon dioxide, natural carbon dioxide, and other appropriate gases or other matter for sequestration into oil and gas fields; and

(B) to promote oil and natural gas production from the outer Continental Shelf and onshore Federal lands under lease by providing royalty incentives to use enhanced recovery techniques using injection of the substances referred to in subparagraph (A).

(b) Suspension of royalties

(1) In general

If the Secretary determines that reduction of the royalty under a Federal oil and gas lease that is an eligible lease is in the public interest and promotes the purposes of this section, the Secretary shall undertake a rulemaking to provide for such reduction for an eligible lease.

(2) Rulemakings

The Secretary shall publish the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking within 180 days after August 8, 2005, and complete the rulemaking implementing this section within 365 days after August 8, 2005.

(3) Eligible leases

A lease shall be an eligible lease for purposes of this section if—

(A) it is a lease for production of oil and gas from the outer Continental Shelf or Federal onshore lands;

(B) the injection of the substances referred to in subsection (a)(2)(A) will be used as an enhanced recovery technique on such lease; and

(C) the Secretary determines that the lease contains oil or gas that would not likely be produced without the royalty reduction provided under this section.

(4) Amount of relief

The rulemaking shall provide for a suspension volume, which shall not exceed 5,000,000 barrels of oil equivalent for each eligible lease. Such suspension volume shall be applied to any production from an eligible lease occurring on or after the date of publication of any advanced notice of proposed rulemaking under this subsection.

(5) Limitation

The Secretary may place limitations on the royalty reduction granted under this section based on market price.

(6) Application

This section shall apply to any eligible lease issued before, on, or after August 8, 2005.

(c) Demonstration program

(1) Establishment

(A) In general

The Secretary of Energy shall establish a competitive grant program to provide grants to producers of oil and gas to carry out projects to inject carbon dioxide for the purpose of enhancing recovery of oil or natural gas while increasing the sequestration of carbon dioxide.

(B) Projects

The demonstration program shall provide for—

(i) not more than 10 projects in the Willistin Basin in North Dakota and Montana; and

(ii) 1 project in the Cook Inlet Basin in Alaska.

(2) Requirements

(A) In general

The Secretary of Energy shall issue requirements relating to applications for grants under paragraph (1).

(B) Rulemaking

The issuance of requirements under subparagraph (A) shall not require a rulemaking.

(C) Minimum requirements

At a minimum, the Secretary shall require under subparagraph (A) that an application for a grant include—

(i) a description of the project proposed in the application;

(ii) an estimate of the production increase and the duration of the production increase from the project, as compared to conventional recovery techniques, including water flooding;

(iii) an estimate of the carbon dioxide sequestered by project, over the life of the project;

(iv) a plan to collect and disseminate data relating to each project to be funded by the grant;

(v) a description of the means by which the project will be sustainable without Federal assistance after the completion of the term of the grant;

(vi) a complete description of the costs of the project, including acquisition, construction, operation, and maintenance costs over the expected life of the project;

(vii) a description of which costs of the project will be supported by Federal assistance under this section; and

(viii) a description of any secondary or tertiary recovery efforts in the field and the efficacy of water flood recovery techniques used.

(3) Partners

An applicant for a grant under paragraph (1) may carry out a project under a pilot program in partnership with 1 or more other public or private entities.

(4) Selection criteria

In evaluating applications under this subsection, the Secretary of Energy shall—

(A) consider the previous experience with similar projects of each applicant; and

(B) give priority consideration to applications that—

(i) are most likely to maximize production of oil and gas in a cost-effective manner;

(ii) sequester significant quantities of carbon dioxide from anthropogenic sources;

(iii) demonstrate the greatest commitment on the part of the applicant to ensure funding for the proposed project and the greatest likelihood that the project will be maintained or expanded after Federal assistance under this section is completed; and

(iv) minimize any adverse environmental effects from the project.

(5) Demonstration program requirements

(A) Maximum amount

The Secretary of Energy shall not provide more than $3,000,000 in Federal assistance under this subsection to any applicant.

(B) Cost sharing

The Secretary of Energy shall require cost-sharing under this subsection in accordance with section 16352 of this title.

(C) Period of grants

(i) In general

A project funded by a grant under this subsection shall begin construction not later than 2 years after the date of provision of the grant, but in any case not later than December 31, 2010.

(ii) Term

The Secretary shall not provide grant funds to any applicant under this subsection for a period of more than 5 years.

(6) Transfer of information and knowledge

The Secretary of Energy shall establish mechanisms to ensure that the information and knowledge gained by participants in the program under this subsection are transferred among other participants and interested persons, including other applicants that submitted applications for a grant under this subsection.

(7) Schedule

(A) Publication

Not later than 180 days after August 8, 2005, the Secretary of Energy shall publish in the Federal Register, and elsewhere, as appropriate, a request for applications to carry out projects under this subsection.

(B) Date for applications

An application for a grant under this subsection shall be submitted not later than 180 days after the date of publication of the request under subparagraph (A).

(C) Selection

After the date by which applications for grants are required to be submitted under subparagraph (B), the Secretary of Energy, in a timely manner, shall select, after peer review and based on the criteria under paragraph (4), those projects to be awarded a grant under this subsection.

(d) Records and inventory

The Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Land Management, shall maintain records on, and an inventory of, the quantity of carbon dioxide stored within Federal mineral leaseholds.

(e) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this section.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §354, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 715; Pub. L. 110–140, title VII, §713, Dec. 19, 2007, 121 Stat. 1715.)

Amendments

2007—Subsecs. (d), (e). Pub. L. 110–140 added subsec. (d) and redesignated former subsec. (d) as (e).

Effective Date of 2007 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 110–140 effective on the date that is 1 day after Dec. 19, 2007, see section 1601 of Pub. L. 110–140, set out as an Effective Date note under section 1824 of Title 2, The Congress.

§15911. Denali Commission

(a) Definition of Commission

In this section, the term "Commission" means the Denali Commission established by the Denali Commission Act of 1998 (42 U.S.C. 3121 note; Public Law 105–277).

(b) Energy programs

The Commission shall use amounts made available under subsection (d) to carry out energy programs, including—

(1) energy generation and development, including—

(A) fuel cells, hydroelectric, solar, wind, wave, and tidal energy; and

(B) alternative energy sources;


(2) the construction of energy transmission, including interties;

(3) the replacement and cleanup of fuel tanks;

(4) the construction of fuel transportation networks and related facilities;

(5) power cost equalization programs; and

(6) projects using coal as a fuel, including coal gasification projects.

(c) Open meetings

(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), a meeting of the Commission shall be open to the public if—

(A) the Commission members take action on behalf of the Commission; or

(B) the deliberations of the Commission determine, or result in the joint conduct or disposition of, official Commission business.

(2) Exceptions

Paragraph (1) shall not apply to any portion of a Commission meeting for which the Commission, in public session, votes to close the meeting for the reasons described in paragraph (2), (4), (5), or (6) of subsection (c) of section 552b of title 5.

(3) Public notice

(A) In general

At least 1 week before a meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall make a public announcement of the meeting that describes—

(i) the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting;

(ii) whether the meeting is to be open or closed to the public; and

(iii) the name and telephone number of an appropriate person to respond to requests for information about the meeting.

(B) Additional notice

The Commission shall make a public announcement of any change to the information made available under subparagraph (A) at the earliest practicable time.

(4) Minutes

The Commission shall keep, and make available to the public, a transcript, electronic recording, or minutes from each Commission meeting, except for portions of the meeting closed under paragraph (2).

(d) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Commission not more than $55,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2015 to carry out subsection (b).

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §356, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 719.)

References in Text

The Denali Commission Act of 1998, referred to in subsec. (a), is title III of Pub. L. 105–277, div. C, Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–637, which is set out as a note under section 3121 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.

§15912. Comprehensive inventory of OCS oil and natural gas resources

(a) In general

The Secretary shall conduct an inventory and analysis of oil and natural gas resources beneath all of the waters of the United States Outer Continental Shelf ("OCS"). The inventory and analysis shall—

(1) use available data on oil and gas resources in areas offshore of Mexico and Canada that will provide information on trends of oil and gas accumulation in areas of the OCS;

(2) use any available technology, except drilling, but including 3–D seismic technology to obtain accurate resource estimates;

(3) analyze how resource estimates in OCS areas have changed over time in regards to gathering geological and geophysical data, initial exploration, or full field development, including areas such as the deepwater and subsalt areas in the Gulf of Mexico;

(4) estimate the effect that understated oil and gas resource inventories have on domestic energy investments; and

(5) identify and explain how legislative, regulatory, and administrative programs or processes restrict or impede the development of identified resources and the extent that they affect domestic supply, such as moratoria, lease terms and conditions, operational stipulations and requirements, approval delays by the Federal Government and coastal States, and local zoning restrictions for onshore processing facilities and pipeline landings.

(b) Reports

The Secretary shall submit a report to Congress on the inventory of estimates and the analysis of restrictions or impediments, together with any recommendations, within 6 months of August 8, 2005. The report shall be publicly available and updated at least every 5 years.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §357, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 720.)

Part B—Access to Federal Lands

§15921. Management of Federal oil and gas leasing programs

(a) Timely action on leases and permits

(1) Secretary of the Interior

To ensure timely action on oil and gas leases and applications for permits to drill on land otherwise available for leasing, the Secretary of the Interior (referred to in this section as the "Secretary") shall—

(A) ensure expeditious compliance with section 4332(2)(C) of this title and any other applicable environmental and cultural resources laws;

(B) improve consultation and coordination with the States and the public; and

(C) improve the collection, storage, and retrieval of information relating to the oil and gas leasing activities.

(2) Secretary of Agriculture

To ensure timely action on oil and gas lease applications for permits to drill on land otherwise available for leasing, the Secretary of Agriculture shall—

(A) ensure expeditious compliance with all applicable environmental and cultural resources laws; and

(B) improve the collection, storage, and retrieval of information relating to the oil and gas leasing activities.

(b) Best management practices

(1) In general

Not later than 18 months after August 8, 2005, the Secretary shall develop and implement best management practices to—

(A) improve the administration of the onshore oil and gas leasing program under the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.); and

(B) ensure timely action on oil and gas leases and applications for permits to drill on land otherwise available for leasing.

(2) Considerations

In developing the best management practices under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall consider any recommendations from the review under section 361.1

(3) Regulations

Not later than 180 days after the development of the best management practices under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall publish, for public comment, proposed regulations that set forth specific timeframes for processing leases and applications in accordance with the best management practices, including deadlines for—

(A) approving or disapproving—

(i) resource management plans and related documents;

(ii) lease applications;

(iii) applications for permits to drill; and

(iv) surface use plans; and


(B) related administrative appeals.

(c) Improved enforcement

The Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture shall improve inspection and enforcement of oil and gas activities, including enforcement of terms and conditions in permits to drill on land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture, respectively.

(d) Authorization of appropriations

In addition to amounts made available to carry out activities relating to oil and gas leasing on public land administered by the Secretary and National Forest System land administered by the Secretary of Agriculture, there are authorized to be appropriated for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010—

(1) to the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Bureau of Land Management—

(A) $40,000,000 to carry out subsections (a)(1) and (b); and

(B) $20,000,000 to carry out subsection (c);


(2) to the Secretary, acting through the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, $5,000,000 to carry out subsection (a)(1); and

(3) to the Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Chief of the Forest Service, $5,000,000 to carry out subsections (a)(2) and (c).

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §362, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 721.)

References in Text

The Mineral Leasing Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(1)(A), is act Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, 41 Stat. 437, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 3A (§181 et seq.) of Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 181 of Title 30 and Tables.

Section 361, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), is section 361 of Pub. L. 109–58, title III, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 720, which is not classified to the Code.

1 See References in Text note below.

§15922. Consultation regarding oil and gas leasing on public land

(a) In general

Not later than 180 days after August 8, 2005, the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture shall enter into a memorandum of understanding regarding oil and gas leasing on—

(1) public land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior; and

(2) National Forest System land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture.

(b) Contents

The memorandum of understanding shall include provisions that—

(1) establish administrative procedures and lines of authority that ensure timely processing of—

(A) oil and gas lease applications;

(B) surface use plans of operation, including steps for processing surface use plans; and

(C) applications for permits to drill consistent with applicable timelines;


(2) eliminate duplication of effort by providing for coordination of planning and environmental compliance efforts;

(3) ensure that lease stipulations are—

(A) applied consistently;

(B) coordinated between agencies; and

(C) only as restrictive as necessary to protect the resource for which the stipulations are applied;


(4) establish a joint data retrieval system that is capable of—

(A) tracking applications and formal requests made in accordance with procedures of the Federal onshore oil and gas leasing program; and

(B) providing information regarding the status of the applications and requests within the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture; and


(5) establish a joint geographic information system mapping system for use in—

(A) tracking surface resource values to aid in resource management; and

(B) processing surface use plans of operation and applications for permits to drill.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §363, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 722.)

§15923. Methodology

The Secretary of the Interior shall use the same assessment methodology across all geological provinces, areas, and regions in preparing and issuing national geological assessments to ensure accurate comparisons of geological resources.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §364(b), Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 723.)

§15924. Project to improve Federal 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").

(b) Memorandum of understanding

(1) In general

Not later than 90 days after August 8, 2005, 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 Engineers.

(2) State participation

The Secretary may request that the Governors of the States in which Project offices are located be signatories 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 field offices identified in subsection (d) 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 1536 of title 16;

(B) permits under section 1344 of title 33;

(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 jurisdiction of the home office or agency of the employee; and

(C) participate as part of the team of personnel working on proposed energy projects, planning, and environmental analyses.

(d) Project offices

The following Bureau of Land Management Offices shall serve as the Project offices:

(1) Rawlins Field Office, Wyoming.

(2) High Plains District Office, Wyoming.

(3) Montana/Dakotas State Office, Montana.

(4) Farmington Field Office, New Mexico.

(5) Carlsbad Field Office, New Mexico.

(6) Grand Junction/Glenwood Springs Field Office, Colorado.

(7) Vernal Field Office, Utah.

(8) Any other State, district, or field office of the Bureau of Land Management determined by the Secretary.

(e) Report to Congress

Not later than February 1 of the first fiscal year beginning after the date of enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 and each February 1 thereafter, the Secretary shall report to the Chairman and ranking minority Member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives, which shall include—

(1) the allocation of funds to each Project office for the previous fiscal year; and

(2) the accomplishments of each Project office relating to the coordination and processing of oil and gas use authorizations during that fiscal year.

(f) Additional personnel

The Secretary shall assign to each field office identified in subsection (d) any additional personnel that are necessary to ensure the effective implementation of—

(1) the Project; and

(2) other programs administered by the 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.).

(g) Omitted

(h) Transfer of funds

For the purposes of coordination and processing of oil and gas use authorizations on Federal land under the administration of the Project offices identified in subsection (d), the Secretary may authorize the expenditure or transfer of such funds as are necessary to—

(1) the United States Fish and Wildlife Service;

(2) the Bureau of Indian Affairs;

(3) the Forest Service;

(4) the Environmental Protection Agency;

(5) the Corps of Engineers; and

(6) the States in which Project offices are located.

(i) 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.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §365, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 723; Pub. L. 113–69, §1, Dec. 26, 2013, 127 Stat. 1207; Pub. L. 113–291, div. B, title XXX, §3021(a), Dec. 19, 2014, 128 Stat. 3759.)

References in Text

The Clean Air Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(1)(C), is act July 14, 1955, ch. 360, 69 Stat. 322, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 85 (§7401 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 7401 of this title and Tables.

The National Forest Management Act of 1976, referred to in subsec. (c)(1)(D), is Pub. L. 94–588, Oct. 22, 1976, 90 Stat. 2949, as amended, which enacted sections 472a, 521b, 1600, and 1611 to 1614 of Title 16, Conservation, amended sections 500, 515, 516, 518, 576b, and 1601 to 1610 of Title 16, repealed sections 476, 513, and 514 of Title 16, and enacted provisions set out as notes under sections 476, 513, 528, 594–2, and 1600 of Title 16. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1976 Amendment note set out under section 1600 of Title 16 and Tables.

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, referred to in subsec. (c)(1)(E), is Pub. L. 91–190, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 852, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 55 (§4321 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 4321 of this title and Tables.

The date of enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, referred to in subsec. (e), probably means the date of enactment of the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, Pub. L. 113–291, which was approved Dec. 19, 2014.

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, referred to in subsec. (f)(2), is Pub. L. 94–579, Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2743, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 35 (§1701 et seq.) of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1701 of Title 43 and Tables.

Codification

Section is comprised of section 365 of Pub. L. 109–58. Subsec. (g) of section 365 of Pub. L. 109–58 amended section 191 of Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining.

Amendments

2014Pub. L. 113–291, §3021(a)(1), struck out "Pilot" before "Project" in section catchline.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 113–291, §3021(a)(2), substituted "Project" for "Pilot Project" in two places.

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 113–291, §3021(a)(3), substituted "the States in which Project offices are located" for "Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 113–291, §3021(a)(4)(A), struck out "Pilot" before "Project" in heading.

Pub. L. 113–291, §3021(a)(2), substituted "Project" for "Pilot Project" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (d)(8). Pub. L. 113–291, §3021(a)(4)(B), added par. (8).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 113–291, §3021(a)(5), added subsec. (e) and struck out former subsec. (e) which required the Secretary to submit to Congress a report about the Pilot Project not later than 3 years after Aug. 8, 2005.

Subsecs. (e)(1), (2), (f)(1), (h). Pub. L. 113–291, §3021(a)(2), substituted "Project" for "Pilot Project".

Subsec. (h)(6). Pub. L. 113–291, §3021(a)(6), added par. (6) and struck out former par. (6) which read as follows: "the States of Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico."

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 113–291, §3021(a)(7), (8), redesignated subsec. (j) as (i) and struck out former subsec. (i). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "During the period in which the Project is authorized, the Secretary shall not implement a rulemaking that would enable an increase in fees to recover additional costs related to processing drilling-related permit applications and use authorizations."

Pub. L. 113–291, §3021(a)(2), substituted "Project" for "Pilot Project".

Subsec. (j)(2). Pub. L. 113–291, §3021(a)(2), substituted "Project" for "Pilot Project".

2013—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 113–69 added subsec. (d) and struck out former subsec. (d). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The following Bureau of Land Management Field Offices shall serve as the Pilot Project offices:

"(1) Rawlins, Wyoming.

"(2) Buffalo, Wyoming.

"(3) Miles City, Montana.

"(4) Farmington, New Mexico.

"(5) Carlsbad, New Mexico.

"(6) Grand Junction/Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

"(7) Vernal, Utah."

§15925. Fair market value determinations for linear rights-of-way across public lands and national forests

(a) Update of fee schedule

Not later than 1 year after August 8, 2005—

(1) the Secretary of the Interior shall update section 2806.20 of title 43, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on August 8, 2005, to revise the per acre rental fee zone value schedule by State, county, and type of linear right-of-way use to reflect current values of land in each zone; and

(2) the Secretary of Agriculture shall make the same revision for linear rights-of-way granted, issued, or renewed under title V of the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1761 et seq.) on National Forest System land.

(b) Fair market value rental determination for linear rights-of-way

The fair market value rent of a linear right-of-way across public lands or National Forest System lands issued under section 504 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1764) or section 185 of title 30 shall be determined in accordance with subpart 2806 of title 43, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on August 8, 2005 (including the annual or periodic updates specified in the regulations), and as updated in accordance with subsection (a).

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §367, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 726.)

References in Text

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, referred to in subsec. (a)(2), is Pub. L. 94–579, Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2743, as amended. Title V of the Act is classified generally to subchapter V (§1761 et seq.) of chapter 35 of Title 43, Public Lands. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1701 of Title 43 and Tables.

§15926. Energy right-of-way corridors on Federal land

(a) Western States

Not later than 2 years after August 8, 2005, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Energy, and the Secretary of the Interior (in this section referred to collectively as "the Secretaries"), in consultation with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, States, tribal or local units of governments as appropriate, affected utility industries, and other interested persons, shall consult with each other and shall—

(1) designate, under their respective authorities, corridors for oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines and electricity transmission and distribution facilities on Federal land in the eleven contiguous Western States (as defined in section 1702(o) of title 431

(2) perform any environmental reviews that may be required to complete the designation of such corridors; and

(3) incorporate the designated corridors into the relevant agency land use and resource management plans or equivalent plans.

(b) Other States

Not later than 4 years after August 8, 2005, the Secretaries, in consultation with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, affected utility industries, and other interested persons, shall jointly—

(1) identify corridors for oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines and electricity transmission and distribution facilities on Federal land in States other than those described in subsection (a); and

(2) schedule prompt action to identify, designate, and incorporate the corridors into the applicable land use plans.

(c) Ongoing responsibilities

The Secretaries, in consultation with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, affected utility industries, and other interested parties, shall establish procedures under their respective authorities that—

(1) ensure that additional corridors for oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines and electricity transmission and distribution facilities on Federal land are promptly identified and designated as necessary; and

(2) expedite applications to construct or modify oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines and electricity transmission and distribution facilities within such corridors, taking into account prior analyses and environmental reviews undertaken during the designation of such corridors.

(d) Considerations

In carrying out this section, the Secretaries shall take into account the need for upgraded and new electricity transmission and distribution facilities to—

(1) improve reliability;

(2) relieve congestion; and

(3) enhance the capability of the national grid to deliver electricity.

(e) Specifications of corridor

A corridor designated under this section shall, at a minimum, specify the centerline, width, and compatible uses of the corridor.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §368, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 727.)

Transforming Our Nation's Electric Grid Through Improved Siting, Permitting, and Review

Memorandum of President of the United States, June 7, 2013, 78 F.R. 35539, provided:

Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies

Our Nation's electric transmission grid is the backbone of our economy, a key factor in future economic growth, and a critical component of our energy security. Countries that harness the power of clean, renewable energy will be best positioned to thrive in the global economy while protecting the environment and increasing prosperity. In order to ensure the growth of America's clean energy economy and improve energy security, we must modernize and expand our electric transmission grid. Modernizing our grid will improve energy reliability and resiliency, allowing us to minimize power outages and manage cyber-security threats. By diversifying power sources and reducing congestion, a modernized grid will also create cost savings for consumers and spur economic growth.

Modernizing our Nation's electric transmission grid requires improvements in how transmission lines are sited, permitted, and reviewed. As part of our efforts to improve the performance of Federal siting, permitting, and review processes for infrastructure development, my Administration created a Rapid Response Team for Transmission (RRTT), a collaborative effort involving nine different executive departments and agencies (agencies), which is working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of transmission siting, permitting, and review, increase interagency coordination and transparency, and increase the predictability of the siting, permitting, and review processes. In furtherance of Executive Order 13604 of March 22, 2012 (Improving Performance of Federal Permitting and Review of Infrastructure Projects), this memorandum builds upon the work of the RRTT to improve the Federal siting, permitting, and review processes for transmission projects. Because a single project may cross multiple governmental jurisdictions over hundreds of miles, robust collaboration among Federal, State, local, and tribal governments must be a critical component of this effort.

An important avenue to improve these processes is the designation of energy right-of-way corridors (energy corridors) on Federal lands. Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (the "Act") (42 U.S.C. 15926), requires the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, and the Interior (Secretaries) to undertake a continued effort to identify and designate such energy corridors. Energy corridors include areas on Federal lands that are most suitable for siting transmission projects because the chosen areas minimize regulatory conflicts and impacts on environmental and cultural resources, and also address concerns of local communities. Designated energy corridors provide an opportunity to co-locate projects and share environmental and cultural resource impact data to reduce overall impacts on environmental and cultural resources and reduce the need for land use plan amendments in support of the authorization of transmission rights-of-way. The designation of energy corridors can help expedite the siting, permitting, and review processes for projects within such corridors, as well as improve the predictability and transparency of these processes. Pursuant to the Act, in 2009, the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture each designated energy corridors for the 11 contiguous Western States, as defined in section 368 of the Act. Energy corridors have not yet been designated in States other than those identified as Western States. It is important that agencies build on their existing efforts in a coordinated manner.

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:

Section 1. Principles for Establishing Energy Corridors. (a) In carrying out the requirements of this memorandum regarding energy corridors, the Secretaries shall:

(i) collaborate with Member Agencies of the Steering Committee on Federal Infrastructure Permitting and Review Process Improvement (Steering Committee), established by Executive Order 13604, which shall provide prompt and adequate information to ensure that additional corridor designations and revisions are consistent with the statutory responsibilities and activities of the Member Agencies and enable timely actions by the Secretaries;

(ii) focus on facilitating renewable energy resources and improving grid resiliency and comply with the requirements in section 368 of the Act, by ensuring that energy corridors address the need for upgraded and new electric transmission and distribution facilities to improve reliability, relieve congestion, and enhance the capability of the national grid to deliver electricity;

(iii) use integrated project planning and consult with other Federal agencies, State, local, and tribal governments, non-governmental organizations, and the public early in the process of designating the energy corridors, so as to avoid resource conflicts to the extent practicable and make strategic decisions to balance policy priorities;

(iv) collaborate with State, local, and tribal governments to ensure, to the extent practicable, that energy corridors can connect effectively between Federal lands;

(v) minimize the proliferation of dispersed and duplicative rights-of-way crossing Federal lands while acting consistent with subsection (a)(ii) of this section;

(vi) design energy corridors to minimize impacts on environmental and cultural resources to the extent practicable, including impacts that may occur outside the boundaries of Federal lands, and minimize impacts on the Nation's aviation system and the mission of the Armed Forces; and

(vii) develop interagency mitigation plans, where appropriate, for environmental and cultural resources potentially impacted by projects sited in the energy corridors to provide project developers predictability on how to seek first to avoid, then attempt to minimize any negative effects from, and lastly to mitigate such impacts, where otherwise unavoidable. Mitigation plans shall:

(A) be developed at the landscape or watershed scale with interagency collaboration, be based on conservation and resource management plans and regional environmental and cultural resource analyses, and identify priority areas for compensatory mitigation where appropriate;

(B) be developed in consultation with other Federal agencies, State, local, and tribal governments, non-governmental organizations, and the public;

(C) include clear and measurable mitigation goals, apply adaptive management methods, and use performance measures to evaluate outcomes and ensure accountability and the long-term effectiveness of mitigation activities;

(D) include useful mechanisms, such as mitigation banks and in lieu fee programs, where appropriate for achieving statutory and regulatory goals; and

(E) be considered in the energy corridor designation process.

(b) The Secretary of Energy shall assess and synthesize current research related to the requirements set forth in subsection (a)(ii) of this section, such as transmission planning authority studies, congestion studies, and renewable energy assessments. Based on that analysis, the Secretary of Energy shall provide to the Steering Committee a Transmission Corridor Assessment Report (Report) that provides recommendations on how to best achieve the requirements set forth in subsection (a)(ii) of this section. Where research is available, the Report shall include an assessment of whether investment in co-locating with or upgrading existing transmission facilities, distributed generation, improved energy efficiency, or demand response may play a role in meeting these requirements. In preparing the Report, the Secretary of Energy shall consult with Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, affected industries, environmental and community representatives, transmission planning authorities, and other interested parties. The Report shall be provided in two parts. The first part, which shall provide recommendations with respect to the Western States, shall be provided by December 1, 2013, and the second part, which shall provide recommendations with respect to States other than the Western States, shall be provided by April 1, 2014.

Sec. 2. Energy Corridors for the Western States. (a) The Secretaries shall strongly encourage the use of designated energy corridors on Federal land in the Western States where the energy corridors are consistent with the requirements in this memorandum and other applicable requirements, unless it can be demonstrated that a project cannot be constructed within a designated corridor due to resource constraints on Federal lands. Additionally, the Secretaries, pursuant to section 368 of the Act, shall continue to evaluate designated energy corridors to determine the necessity for revisions, deletions, or additions to those energy corridors. Also, the Secretaries, coordinated by the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture, shall:

(i) by July 12, 2013, provide to the Steering Committee a plan for producing the Western corridor study and regional corridor assessments (as specified in subsection (a)(ii) and (a)(iii) of this section), which shall include descriptions of timelines and milestones, existing resources to be utilized, plans for collaborating with Member Agencies, and plans for consulting with other Federal agencies, State, local, and tribal governments, affected industries, environmental and community representatives, and other interested parties;

(ii) within 12 months of completion of the plan pursuant to subsection (a)(i) of this section, provide to the Steering Committee a Western corridor study, which shall assess the utility of the existing designated energy corridors;

(iii) provide to the Steering Committee regional corridor assessments, which shall examine the need for additions, deletions, and revisions to the existing energy corridors for the Western States by region. The regional corridor assessments shall evaluate energy corridors based on the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of section 1, the Report issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 1, and the Western corridor study. The regional corridor assessments shall be completed promptly, depending on resource availability, with at least the first assessment completed within 12 months of completion of the plan pursuant to subsection (a)(i) of this section;

(iv) by November 12, 2014, provide to the Steering Committee and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) an implementation plan for achieving the requirements set forth in subsections (a)(v) and (a)(vi) of this section based on the regional corridor assessments. The implementation plan shall include timelines and milestones that prioritize coordinated agency actions and a detailed budget;

(v) promptly after the completion of the regional corridor assessments and prioritized based on the availability of resources, undertake coordinated land use planning and environmental and cultural resource review processes to consider additions, deletions, or revisions to the current Western energy corridors, consistent with the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of section 1, the Report required issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 1, and the Western corridor study; and

(vi) as appropriate, after completing the required environmental and cultural resource analyses, promptly incorporate the designated Western corridor additions, deletions, or revisions and any mitigation plans developed pursuant to subsection (a)(vii) of section 1 into relevant agency land use and resource management plans or equivalent plans prioritized based on the availability of resources.

(b) The Member Agencies, where authorized, shall complete any required land use planning, internal policy, and interagency agreements to formalize the designation of energy corridors implemented pursuant to subsection (a)(vi) of this section. The Secretaries and Member Agencies shall also develop and implement a process for expediting applications for applicants whose projects are sited primarily within the designated energy corridors in the Western States, and who have committed to implement the necessary mitigation activities, including those required by the interagency mitigation plans required by subsection (a)(vii) of section 1.

Sec. 3. Energy Corridors for the Non-Western States. The Secretaries, in collaboration with the Member Agencies, shall continue to analyze where energy corridors on Federal land in States other than those identified as Western States may be necessary to address the recommendations in the Report issued pursuant to subsection (b) of section 1 and the requirements set forth in subsection (a) of section 1, and to expedite the siting, permitting, and review of electric transmission projects on Federal lands in those States. By September 1, 2014, the Secretaries shall provide the Steering Committee with updated recommendations regarding designating energy corridors in those States.

Sec. 4. Improved Transmission Siting, Permitting, and Review Processes. (a) Member Agencies shall develop an integrated, interagency pre-application process for significant onshore electric transmission projects requiring Federal approval. The process shall be designed to: promote predictability in the Federal siting, permitting, and review processes; encourage early engagement, coordination, and collaboration of Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, non-governmental organizations, and the public; increase the use of integrated project planning early in the siting, permitting, and review processes; facilitate early identification of issues that could diminish the likelihood that projects will ultimately be permitted; promote early planning for integrated and strategic mitigation plans; expedite siting, permitting, and review processes through a mutual understanding of the needs of all affected Federal agencies and State, local, and tribal governments; and improve environmental and cultural outcomes.

By September 30, 2013, Member Agencies shall provide to the Chief Performance Officer (CPO) and the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality a plan, including timelines and milestones, for implementing this process.

(b) In implementing Executive Order 13604, Member Agencies shall:

(i) improve siting, permitting, and review processes for all electric transmission projects, both onshore and offshore, requiring Federal approval. Such improvements shall include: increasing efficiency and interagency coordination; increasing accountability; ensuring an efficient decision-making process within each agency; to the extent possible, unifying and harmonizing processes among agencies; improving consistency and transparency within each agency and among all agencies; improving environmental and cultural outcomes; providing mechanisms for early and frequent public and local community outreach; and enabling innovative mechanisms for mitigation and mitigation at the landscape or watershed scale; and

(ii) facilitate coordination, integration, and harmonization of the siting, permitting, and review processes of Federal, State, local, and tribal governments for transmission projects to reduce the overall regulatory burden while improving environmental and cultural outcomes.

Sec. 5. General Provisions. (a) The Secretaries and the Member Agencies shall coordinate the activities required by this memorandum with the Steering Committee and shall report to the Steering Committee their progress on meeting the milestones identified pursuant to this memorandum, consistent with the plans developed pursuant to sections 2 and 4 of this memorandum. The CPO shall report on the implementation of this memorandum in the report to the President submitted pursuant to section 2(e) of Executive Order 13604.

(b) In carrying out their responsibilities under this memorandum, Member Agencies shall consult relevant independent agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

(c) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(d) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent with Executive Order 13175 of November 6, 2000 (Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments) and my memorandum of November 5, 2009 (Tribal Consultation).

(e) Nothing in this memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(f) This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

(g) The Director of OMB is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

Barack Obama.      

1 So in original. A closing parenthesis probably should follow "title 43".

§15927. Oil shale, tar sands, and other strategic unconventional fuels

(a) Short title

This section may be cited as the "Oil Shale, Tar Sands, and Other Strategic Unconventional Fuels Act of 2005".

(b) Declaration of policy

Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States that—

(1) United States oil shale, tar sands, and other unconventional fuels are strategically important domestic resources that should be developed to reduce the growing dependence of the United States on politically and economically unstable sources of foreign oil imports;

(2) the development of oil shale, tar sands, and other strategic unconventional fuels, for research and commercial development, should be conducted in an environmentally sound manner, using practices that minimize impacts; and

(3) development of those strategic unconventional fuels should occur, with an emphasis on sustainability, to benefit the United States while taking into account affected States and communities.

(c) Leasing program for research and development of oil shale and tar sands

In accordance with section 241 of title 30 and any other applicable law, except as provided in this section, not later than 180 days after August 8, 2005, from land otherwise available for leasing, the Secretary of the Interior (referred to in this section as the "Secretary") shall make available for leasing such land as the Secretary considers to be necessary to conduct research and development activities with respect to technologies for the recovery of liquid fuels from oil shale and tar sands resources on public lands. Prospective public lands within each of the States of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming shall be made available for such research and development leasing.

(d) Programmatic environmental impact statement and commercial leasing program for oil shale and tar sands

(1) Programmatic environmental impact statement

Not later than 18 months after August 8, 2005, in accordance with section 4332(2)(C) of this title, the Secretary shall complete a programmatic environmental impact statement for a commercial leasing program for oil shale and tar sands resources on public lands, with an emphasis on the most geologically prospective lands within each of the States of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

(2) Final regulation

Not later than 6 months after the completion of the programmatic environmental impact statement under this subsection, the Secretary shall publish a final regulation establishing such program.

(e) Commencement of commercial leasing of oil shale and tar sands

Not later than 180 days after publication of the final regulation required by subsection (d), the Secretary shall consult with the Governors of States with significant oil shale and tar sands resources on public lands, representatives of local governments in such States, interested Indian tribes, and other interested persons, to determine the level of support and interest in the States in the development of tar sands and oil shale resources. If the Secretary finds sufficient support and interest exists in a State, the Secretary may conduct a lease sale in that State under the commercial leasing program regulations. Evidence of interest in a lease sale under this subsection shall include, but not be limited to, appropriate areas nominated for leasing by potential lessees and other interested parties.

(f) Diligent development requirements

The Secretary shall, by regulation, designate work requirements and milestones to ensure the diligent development of the lease.

(g) Initial report by the Secretary of the Interior

Within 90 days after August 8, 2005, the Secretary of the Interior shall report to the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate on—

(1) the interim actions necessary to—

(A) develop the program, complete the programmatic environmental impact statement, and promulgate the final regulation as required by subsection (d); and

(B) conduct the first lease sales under the program as required by subsection (e); and


(2) a schedule to complete such actions within the time limits mandated by this section.

(h) Task Force

(1) Establishment

The Secretary of Energy, in cooperation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Defense, shall establish a task force to develop a program to coordinate and accelerate the commercial development of strategic unconventional fuels, including but not limited to oil shale and tar sands resources within the United States, in an integrated manner.

(2) Composition

The Task Force shall be composed of—

(A) the Secretary of Energy (or the designee of the Secretary);

(B) the Secretary of the Interior (or the designee of the Secretary of the Interior);

(C) the Secretary of Defense (or the designee of the Secretary of Defense);

(D) the Governors of affected States; and

(E) representatives of local governments in affected areas.

(3) Recommendations

The Task Force shall make such recommendations regarding promoting the development of the strategic unconventional fuels resources within the United States as it may deem appropriate.

(4) Partnerships

The Task Force shall make recommendations with respect to initiating a partnership with the Province of Alberta, Canada, for purposes of sharing information relating to the development and production of oil from tar sands, and similar partnerships with other nations that contain significant oil shale resources.

(5) Reports

(A) Initial report

Not later than 180 days after August 8, 2005, the Task Force shall submit to the President and Congress a report that describes the analysis and recommendations of the Task Force.

(B) Subsequent reports

The Secretary shall provide an annual report describing the progress in developing the strategic unconventional fuels resources within the United States for each of the 5 years following submission of the report provided for in subparagraph (A).

(i) Office of Petroleum Reserves

(1) In general

The Office of Petroleum Reserves of the Department of Energy shall—

(A) coordinate the creation and implementation of a commercial strategic fuel development program for the United States;

(B) evaluate the strategic importance of unconventional sources of strategic fuels to the security of the United States;

(C) promote and coordinate Federal Government actions that facilitate the development of strategic fuels in order to effectively address the energy supply needs of the United States;

(D) identify, assess, and recommend appropriate actions of the Federal Government required to assist in the development and manufacturing of strategic fuels; and

(E) coordinate and facilitate appropriate relationships between private industry and the Federal Government to promote sufficient and timely private investment to commercialize strategic fuels for domestic and military use.

(2) Consultation and coordination

The Office of Petroleum Reserves shall work closely with the Task Force and coordinate its staff support.

(j) Omitted

(k) Interagency coordination and expeditious review of permitting process

(1) Department of the Interior as lead agency

Upon written request of a prospective applicant for Federal authorization to develop a proposed oil shale or tar sands project, the Department of the Interior shall act as the lead Federal agency for the purposes of coordinating all applicable Federal authorizations and environmental reviews. To the maximum extent practicable under applicable Federal law, the Secretary shall coordinate this Federal authorization and review process with any Indian tribes and State and local agencies responsible for conducting any separate permitting and environmental reviews.

(2) Implementing regulations

Not later than 6 months after August 8, 2005, the Secretary shall issue any regulations necessary to implement this subsection.

(l) Cost-shared demonstration technologies

(1) Identification

The Secretary of Energy shall identify technologies for the development of oil shale and tar sands that—

(A) are ready for demonstration at a commercially-representative scale; and

(B) have a high probability of leading to commercial production.

(2) Assistance

For each technology identified under paragraph (1), the Secretary of Energy may provide—

(A) technical assistance;

(B) assistance in meeting environmental and regulatory requirements; and

(C) cost-sharing assistance.

(m) National oil shale and tar sands assessment

(1) Assessment

(A) In general

The Secretary shall carry out a national assessment of oil shale and tar sands resources for the purposes of evaluating and mapping oil shale and tar sands deposits, in the geographic areas described in subparagraph (B). In conducting such an assessment, the Secretary shall make use of the extensive geological assessment work for oil shale and tar sands already conducted by the United States Geological Survey.

(B) Geographic areas

The geographic areas referred to in subparagraph (A), listed in the order in which the Secretary shall assign priority, are—

(i) the Green River Region of the States of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming;

(ii) the Devonian oil shales and other hydrocarbon-bearing rocks having the nomenclature of "shale" located east of the Mississippi River; and

(iii) any remaining area in the central and western United States (including the State of Alaska) that contains oil shale and tar sands, as determined by the Secretary.

(2) Use of State surveys and universities

In carrying out the assessment under paragraph (1), the Secretary may request assistance from any State-administered geological survey or university.

(n) Land exchanges

(1) In general

To facilitate the recovery of oil shale and tar sands, especially in areas where Federal, State, and private lands are intermingled, the Secretary shall consider the use of land exchanges where appropriate and feasible to consolidate land ownership and mineral interests into manageable areas.

(2) Identification and priority of public lands

The Secretary shall identify public lands containing deposits of oil shale or tar sands within the Green River, Piceance Creek, Uintah, and Washakie geologic basins, and shall give priority to implementing land exchanges within those basins. The Secretary shall consider the geology of the respective basin in determining the optimum size of the lands to be consolidated.

(3) Compliance with section 1716 of title 43

A land exchange undertaken in furtherance of this subsection shall be implemented in accordance with section 1716 of title 43.

(o) Royalty rates for leases

The Secretary shall establish royalties, fees, rentals, bonus, or other payments for leases under this section that shall—

(1) encourage development of the oil shale and tar sands resource; and

(2) ensure a fair return to the United States.

(p) Heavy oil technical and economic assessment

The Secretary of Energy shall update the 1987 technical and economic assessment of domestic heavy oil resources that was prepared by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. Such an update should include all of North America and cover all unconventional oil, including heavy oil, tar sands (oil sands), and oil shale.

(q) Omitted

(r) State water rights

Nothing in this section preempts or affects any State water law or interstate compact relating to water.

(s) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this section.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §369, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 728; Pub. L. 113–188, title VI, §601(b), Nov. 26, 2014, 128 Stat. 2019.)

Codification

Section is comprised of section 369 of Pub. L. 109–58. Subsecs. (j) and (q) of section 369 of Pub. L. 109–58 enacted section 2398a of Title 10, Armed Forces, and amended the table of sections for chapter 141 of Title 10 and sections 226 and 241 of Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining.

Amendments

2014—Subsec. (i)(3). Pub. L. 113–188 struck out par. (3). Text read as follows: "Not later than 180 days after August 8, 2005, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report that describes the activities of the Office of Petroleum Reserves carried out under this subsection."

Change of Name

Committee on Resources of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Natural Resources of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 6, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Jan. 5, 2007.

§15928. Consultation regarding energy rights-of-way on public land

(a) Memorandum of understanding

(1) In general

Not later than 6 months after August 8, 2005, the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Defense with respect to lands under their respective jurisdictions, shall enter into a memorandum of understanding to coordinate all applicable Federal authorizations and environmental reviews relating to a proposed or existing utility facility. To the maximum extent practicable under applicable law, the Secretary of Energy shall, to ensure timely review and permit decisions, coordinate such authorizations and reviews with any Indian tribes, multi-State entities, and State agencies that are responsible for conducting any separate permitting and environmental reviews of the affected utility facility.

(2) Contents

The memorandum of understanding shall include provisions that—

(A) establish—

(i) a unified right-of-way application form; and

(ii) an administrative procedure for processing right-of-way applications, including lines of authority, steps in application processing, and timeframes for application processing;


(B) provide for coordination of planning relating to the granting of the rights-of-way;

(C) provide for an agreement among the affected Federal agencies to prepare a single environmental review document to be used as the basis for all Federal authorization decisions; and

(D) provide for coordination of use of right-of-way stipulations to achieve consistency.

(b) Natural gas pipelines

(1) In general

With respect to permitting activities for interstate natural gas pipelines, the May 2002 document entitled "Interagency Agreement On Early Coordination Of Required Environmental And Historic Preservation Reviews Conducted In Conjunction With The Issuance Of Authorizations To Construct And Operate Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines Certificated By The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission" shall constitute compliance with subsection (a).

(2) Report

(A) In general

Not later than 1 year after August 8, 2005, and every 2 years thereafter, agencies that are signatories to the document referred to in paragraph (1) shall transmit to Congress a report on how the agencies under the jurisdiction of the Secretaries are incorporating and implementing the provisions of the document referred to in paragraph (1).

(B) Contents

The report shall address—

(i) efforts to implement the provisions of the document referred to in paragraph (1);

(ii) whether the efforts have had a streamlining effect;

(iii) further improvements to the permitting process of the agency; and

(iv) recommendations for inclusion of State and tribal governments in a coordinated permitting process.

(c) Definition of utility facility

In this section, the term "utility facility" means any privately, publicly, or cooperatively owned line, facility, or system—

(1) for the transportation of—

(A) oil, natural gas, synthetic liquid fuel, or gaseous fuel;

(B) any refined product produced from oil, natural gas, synthetic liquid fuel, or gaseous fuel; or

(C) products in support of the production of material referred to in subparagraph (A) or (B);


(2) for storage and terminal facilities in connection with the production of material referred to in paragraph (1); or

(3) for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric energy.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §372, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 734.)

Part C—Miscellaneous

§15941. Great Lakes oil and gas drilling ban

No Federal or State permit or lease shall be issued for new oil and gas slant, directional, or offshore drilling in or under one or more of the Great Lakes.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §386, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 744.)

§15942. NEPA review

(a) NEPA review

Action by the Secretary of the Interior in managing the public lands, or the Secretary of Agriculture in managing National Forest System Lands, with respect to any of the activities described in subsection (b) shall be subject to a rebuttable presumption that the use of a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 [42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.] (NEPA) would apply if the activity is conducted pursuant to the Mineral Leasing Act [30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.] for the purpose of exploration or development of oil or gas.

(b) Activities described

The activities referred to in subsection (a) are the following:

(1) Individual surface disturbances of less than 5 acres so long as the total surface disturbance on the lease is not greater than 150 acres and site-specific analysis in a document prepared pursuant to NEPA has been previously completed.

(2) Drilling an oil or gas well at a location or well pad site at which drilling has occurred previously within 5 years prior to the date of spudding the well.

(3) Drilling an oil or gas well within a developed field for which an approved land use plan or any environmental document prepared pursuant to NEPA analyzed such drilling as a reasonably foreseeable activity, so long as such plan or document was approved within 5 years prior to the date of spudding the well.

(4) Placement of a pipeline in an approved right-of-way corridor, so long as the corridor was approved within 5 years prior to the date of placement of the pipeline.

(5) Maintenance of a minor activity, other than any construction or major renovation or a building or facility.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §390, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 747.)

References in Text

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, referred to in subsec. (a), is Pub. L. 91–190, Jan. 1, 1970, 83 Stat. 852, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 55 (§4321 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 4321 of this title and Tables.

The Mineral Leasing Act, referred to in subsec. (a), is act Feb. 25, 1920, ch. 85, 41 Stat. 437, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 3A (§181 et seq.) of Title 30, Mineral Lands and Mining. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 181 of Title 30 and Tables.

Part D—Refinery Revitalization

§15951. Findings and definitions

(a) Findings

Congress finds that—

(1) it serves the national interest to increase petroleum refining capacity for gasoline, heating oil, diesel fuel, jet fuel, kerosene, and petrochemical feedstocks wherever located within the United States, to bring more supply to the markets for the use of the American people;

(2) United States demand for refined petroleum products currently exceeds the country's petroleum refining capacity to produce such products;

(3) this excess demand has been met with increased imports;

(4) due to lack of capacity, refined petroleum product imports are expected to grow from 7.9 percent to 10.7 percent of total refined product by 2025;

(5) refiners are still subject to significant environmental and other regulations and face several new requirements under the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) over the next decade; and

(6) better coordination of Federal and State regulatory reviews may help facilitate siting and construction of new refineries to meet the demand in the United States for refined products.

(b) Definitions

In this part:

(1) Administrator

The term "Administrator" means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

(2) State

The term "State" means—

(A) a State;

(B) the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico; and

(C) any other territory or possession of the United States.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §391, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 748.)

References in Text

The Clean Air Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(5), is act July 14, 1955, ch. 360, 69 Stat. 322, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 85 (§7401 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 7401 of this title and Tables.

§15952. Federal-State regulatory coordination and assistance

(a) In general

At the request of the Governor of a State, the Administrator may enter into a refinery permitting cooperative agreement with the State, under which each party to the agreement identifies steps, including timelines, that it will take to streamline the consideration of Federal and State environmental permits for a new refinery.

(b) Authority under agreement

The Administrator shall be authorized to—

(1) accept from a refiner a consolidated application for all permits required from the Environmental Protection Agency, to the extent consistent with other applicable law;

(2) enter into memoranda of agreement with other Federal agencies to coordinate consideration of refinery applications and permits among Federal agencies; and

(3) enter into memoranda of agreement with a State, under which Federal and State review of refinery permit applications will be coordinated and concurrently considered, to the extent practicable.

(c) State assistance

The Administrator is authorized to provide financial assistance to State governments to facilitate the hiring of additional personnel with expertise in fields relevant to consideration of refinery permits.

(d) Other assistance

The Administrator is authorized to provide technical, legal, or other assistance to State governments to facilitate their review of applications to build new refineries.

(Pub. L. 109–58, title III, §392, Aug. 8, 2005, 119 Stat. 749.)