[USC02] 42 USC CHAPTER 149, SUBCHAPTER III, Part B: Access to Federal Lands
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*Public Laws 116-315 through 117-1 have been enacted but classifications have not yet been finalized. The currency ("laws in effect") date does not reflect acts for which classification has not been finalized.

42 USC CHAPTER 149, SUBCHAPTER III, Part B: Access to Federal Lands
From Title 42—THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARECHAPTER 149—NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY AND PROGRAMSSUBCHAPTER III—OIL AND GAS

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.)