< Back to H.R. 905 (109th Congress, 2005–2006)

Text of the Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 2005

This bill was introduced on February 17, 2005, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Feb 17, 2005 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 905 IH

109th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 905

To amend the Mineral Leasing Act to provide for the development of Federal coal resources.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 17, 2005

Mrs. CUBIN introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources


A BILL

To amend the Mineral Leasing Act to provide for the development of Federal coal resources.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 2005'.

SEC. 2. REPEAL OF THE 160-ACRE LIMITATION FOR COAL LEASES.

    Section 3 of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 203) is amended in the first sentence by striking `such lease,' and all that follows through the end of the sentence and inserting `such lease.'.

SEC. 3. MINING PLANS.

    Section 2(d)(2) of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 202a(2)) is amended--

      (1) by inserting `(A)' after `(2)'; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following:

    `(B) The Secretary may establish a period of more than 40 years if the Secretary determines that the longer period--

      `(i) will ensure the maximum economic recovery of a coal deposit; or

      `(ii) the longer period is in the interest of the orderly, efficient, or economic development of a coal resource.'.

SEC. 4. PAYMENT OF ADVANCE ROYALTIES UNDER COAL LEASES.

    (a) In General- Section 7(b) of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (30 U.S.C. 207(b)) is amended to read as follows:

    `(b)(1) Each lease shall be subjected to the condition of diligent development and continued operation of the mine or mines, except where operations under the lease are interrupted by strikes, the elements, or casualties not attributable to the lessee.

    `(2)(A) The Secretary of the Interior, upon determining that the public interest will be served thereby, may suspend the condition of continued operation upon the payment of advance royalties.

    `(B) Such advance royalties shall be computed--

      `(i) based on--

        `(I) the average price in the spot market for sales of coal from the same region during the last month of each applicable continued operation year; or

        `(II) in the absence of a spot market for coal from the same region, by using a comparable method established by the Secretary of the Interior to capture the commercial value of coal; and

      `(ii) based on commercial quantities, as defined by regulation by the Secretary of the Interior.

    `(C) The aggregate number of years during the initial and any extended term of any lease for which advance royalties may be accepted in lieu of the condition of continued operation shall not exceed 20.

    `(3) The amount of any production royalty paid for any year shall be reduced (but not below zero) by the amount of any advance royalties paid under such lease to the extent that such advance royalties have not been used to reduce production royalties for a prior year.

    `(4) This subsection shall be applicable to any lease or logical mining unit in existence on the date of the enactment of this paragraph or issued or approved after such date.

    `(5) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to affect the requirement contained in the second sentence of subsection (a) relating to commencement of production at the end of 10 years.'.

    (b) Authority to Waive, Suspend, or Reduce Advance Royalties- Section 39 of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 209) is amended by striking the last sentence.

SEC. 5. ELIMINATION OF DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF COAL LEASE OPERATION AND RECLAMATION PLAN.

    Section 7(c) of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 207(c)) is amended by striking `and not later than three years after a lease is issued,'.

SEC. 6. AMENDMENT RELATING TO FINANCIAL ASSURANCES WITH RESPECT TO BONUS BIDS.

    Section 2(a) of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 201(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(4)(A) The Secretary shall not require a surety bond or any other financial assurance to guarantee payment of deferred bonus bid installments with respect to any coal lease issued on a cash bonus bid to a lessee or successor in interest having a history of a timely payment of noncontested coal royalties and advanced coal royalties in lieu of production (where applicable) and bonus bid installment payments.

    `(B) The Secretary may waive any requirement that a lessee provide a surety bond or other financial assurance for a coal lease issued before the date of the enactment of the Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 2005 only if the Secretary determines that the lessee has a history of making timely payments referred to in subparagraph (A).

    `(5) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the lessee under a coal lease fails to pay any installment of a deferred cash bonus bid within 10 days after the Secretary provides written notice that payment of the installment is past due--

      `(A) the lease shall automatically terminate; and

      `(B) any bonus payments already made to the United States with respect to the lease shall not be returned to the lessee or credited in any future lease sale.'.

SEC. 7. INVENTORY REQUIREMENT.

    (a) Review of Assessments-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Energy, shall review coal assessments and other available data to identify--

        (A) public lands with coal resources;

        (B) the extent and nature of any restrictions or impediments to the development of coal resources on public lands identified under paragraph (1); and

        (C) with respect to areas of such lands for which sufficient data exists, resources of compliant coal and supercompliant coal.

      (2) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this subsection--

        (A) the term `compliant coal' means coal that contains not less than 1.0 and not more than 1.2 pounds of sulfur dioxide per million Btu; and

        (B) the term `supercompliant coal' means coal that contains less than 1.0 pounds of sulfur dioxide per million Btu.

    (b) Completion and Updating of the Inventory- The Secretary--

      (1) shall complete the inventory under subsection (a) by not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act; and

      (2) shall update the inventory as the availability of data and developments in technology warrant.

    (c) Report- The Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and make publicly available--

      (1) a report containing the inventory under this section, by not later than 2 years after the effective date of this section; and

      (2) each update of such inventory.

SEC. 8. APPLICATION OF AMENDMENTS.

    The amendments made by this Act apply with respect to any coal lease issued before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act.