H.R. 4613 (103rd): To protect the ecologically fragile coastal resources of south Florida by prohibiting offshore oil and gas activities ...

...and by cancelling Federal leases in the area of the outer Continental Shelf adjacent to the south Florida coast.

103rd Congress, 1993–1994. Text as of Jun 21, 1994 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

HR 4613 IH

103d CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4613

To protect the ecologically fragile coastal resources of south Florida by prohibiting offshore oil and gas activities and by cancelling Federal leases in the area of the Outer Continental Shelf adjacent to the south Florida coast.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 21, 1994

Mr. JOHNSTON of Florida (for himself and Mr. GOSS) introduced the following bill; which was referred jointly to the Committees on Natural Resources and Merchant Marine and Fisheries


A BILL

To protect the ecologically fragile coastal resources of south Florida by prohibiting offshore oil and gas activities and by cancelling Federal leases in the area of the Outer Continental Shelf adjacent to the south Florida coast.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. PROHIBITION.

    The Secretary shall not conduct any preleasing activities, hold any lease sale, or approve or permit any exploration, production, or drilling activities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.) in the area described in section 2.

SEC. 2. AREA COVERED.

    The area referred to in section 1 is all areas of the Outer Continental Shelf in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Area that are south of 26 degrees north latitude and east of 86 degrees west longitude.

SEC. 3. CANCELLATION OF LEASES.

    (a) CONGRESSIONAL DETERMINATIONS- The Congress determines that--

      (1) the area described in section 2 comprises marine subtidal and nearshore habitats that are unique within the United States continental margin, and that provide refuge to numerous coastal and marine birds, rare and endangered species, extensive live bottom communities, coral reefs, mangroves, and productive sea grasses;

      (2) in 1983 and 1984, Congress and the Department of the Interior provided for a 3-year moratorium on drilling in that area to permit the acquisition of additional environmental information;

      (3) notwithstanding the actions described in paragraph (2), which put the bidding companies on notice that there were environmental concerns, a total of 73 tracts were leased in the area in 1984 and 1985;

      (4) in 1988, and in every year since then, the Congress has renewed the annual moratorium on new leasing and drilling in the area concerned;

      (5) in June 1990, President Bush announced that he was placing a 10-year moratorium on leasing, development, and production in south Florida and directing the Secretary of the Interior to begin a process that may lead to the buyback and cancellation of existing leases in that area;

      (6) exploration, production, or drilling activity on any of the 73 tracts described in paragraph (3) would cause serious harm or damage to the marine, coastal, and human environment in the area and such harm or damage is not subject to an acceptable level of mitigation; and

      (7) oil and gas exploration, production, and drilling activity is incompatible with the ecologically fragile resources found in the south Florida Outer Continental Shelf, and the advantages of canceling outweigh the advantages of continuing such leases and would promote the public interest in the protection of the south Florida coastal area.

    (b) CANCELLATION- Based on the determinations made under subsection (a), all leases under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act in the area described in section 2 are hereby canceled.

SEC. 4. COMPENSATION.

    (a) DETERMINATION- The Attorney General shall determine whether the holder of a lease canceled by section 3(b) is entitled under law to compensation from the United States as a result of such cancellation.

    (b) NEGOTIATION- If the Attorney General determines under subsection (a) that a lease holder is entitled to compensation, the Secretary shall enter into negotiations with such lease holder to establish a written agreement providing for fair and equitable settlement of all claims of such lease holder against the United States for compensation for cancellations under section 3(b).

    (c) AMOUNT AND FORM OF COMPENSATION- Compensation agreed to under subsection (b)--

      (1) may be determined through application of the rules set forth in section 5(a)(2)(C) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1334(a)(2)(C));

      (2) may be made in the form of currency, forgiveness of the lessee’s obligation to pay rents, royalties, or bonus payments which would otherwise be paid to the Federal Government on another lease issued pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, or a combination of currency with such forgiveness; and

      (3) shall not exceed the amount that would be provided for under the rules described in paragraph (1).

    (d) NO STATE REQUIREMENT- The State of Florida shall not be required to provide any compensation for the cancellation of a lease under section 3(b).

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.

    For the purposes of this Act--

      (1) terms defined in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act have the meaning given such terms in that Act;

      (2) references to the Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Area shall be to the area so designated in the Department of the Interior Outer Continental Shelf Natural Gas and Oil Resource Management Comprehensive Program 1992-1997 Proposed Final, dated April 1992; and

      (3) the term ‘preleasing activities’ means activities conducted before a lease sale is held, and includes the scheduling of a lease sale, requests for industry interest, calls for information and nominations, area identifications, publication of draft or final environmental impact statements, notices of sale, and any form of rotary drilling; but such term does not include environmental, geologic, geophysical, economic, engineering, or other scientific analyses, studies, and evaluations.