< Back to S. 2239 (109th Congress, 2005–2006)

Text of the Permanent Protection for Florida Act of 2006

This bill was introduced on February 1, 2006, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Feb 1, 2006 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

II

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2239

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 1, 2006

(for himself and Mr. Nelson of Florida) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

A BILL

To prohibit offshore drilling on the outer Continental Shelf off the State of Florida, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Permanent Protection for Florida Act of 2006.

2.

Prohibition on oil and gas production in Florida exclusion zone

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act is amended by inserting after section 8 (43 U.S.C. 1337) the following:

8A.

Prohibition on oil and gas production in Florida exclusion zone

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Florida exclusion zone

The term Florida exclusion zone means the area located—

(A)

east of the red line (as depicted on the Minerals Management Service map entitled Florida Map 1, dated January 23, 2006);

(B)

25 miles west of the Military Mission Line (as depicted on the Minerals Management Service map entitled Florida Map 1, dated January 23, 2006);

(C)

150 miles off the Florida Panhandle, including the area commonly known as the Stovepipe in the 181 Area in the Gulf of Mexico;

(D)

the Straits of Florida planning area; and

(E)

150 miles off the Florida east coast that extends from the Straits of the Florida planning area to the Florida-Georgia border.

(2)

Military Mission Line

The term Military Mission Line means—

(A)

the 86°41′ north-south line of longitude; or

(B)

a line not more than 25 miles west of the line described in subparagraph (1), as determined by the Secretary of Defense during the 5-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this section.

(3)

Non-producing lease

The term non-producing lease means a lease for the production of oil, natural gas, or any other mineral in the Florida exclusion zone that is in existence and in good standing on the date of enactment of this section.

(b)

Exclusion zone

(1)

In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall not issue a lease for the exploration, development, or production of oil, natural gas, or any other mineral in the Florida exclusion zone.

(2)

Great Lakes

It is the sense of Congress that States are encouraged not to issue a permit or lease for new oil and natural gas slant, directional, or offshore drilling in or under any of the Great Lakes (as described in section 386 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15941)).

(3)

Application

This subsection applies to—

(A)

a non-producing lease; and

(B)

a non-producing lease that would otherwise be entered into on or after the date of enactment of this section.

(c)

Withdrawal

The Florida exclusion zone is withdrawn from—

(1)

any outer Continental Shelf protraction diagram prepared by the Minerals Management Service; and

(2)

consideration for inclusion in any 5-year outer Continental Shelf leasing program of the Department of the Interior.

(d)

Relinquishment of certain leases

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraphs (2), (3), and (4), any non-producing or similar lease that is suspended on the date of enactment of this section in the Eastern planning area of the Gulf of Mexico (other than Lease Sale 181, as identified in the final outer Continental Shelf 5-Year Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2002–2007) that is active, non-producing, or in suspension as of the date of enactment of this section is relinquished and abandoned in exchange for royalty forgiveness for revenue streams owed by oil and gas lessees producing on that date in the Central and Western planning areas of the Gulf of Mexico.

(2)

Restoration of leased sea floor

A lessee of a relinquished and abandoned lease shall—

(A)

remove all existing boreholes, wellheads, and ancillary equipment located on the leased sea floor; and

(B)

restore the sea floor as nearly as practicable to pre-lease condition.

(3)

Ineligible lessee

A lessee of a relinquished and abandoned lease is ineligible for royalty forgiveness if the lease involves—

(A)

an outer Continental Shelf tract in the Central or Western planning area of the Gulf of Mexico subject to royalty deferrals or royalty forgiveness pursuant to—

(i)

the notice of proposed rulemaking entitled Relief or Reduction in Royalty Rates—Deep Gas Provisions (68 Fed. Reg. 14868); or

(ii)

any other Federal law (including regulations);

(B)

an outer Continental Shelf tract located within the boundaries of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary; or

(C)

any outer Continental Shelf tract located outside the boundaries of the Florida exclusion zone and within the Eastern planning area of the Gulf of Mexico.

(4)

Waiver of rents and royalties

(A)

In general

The Secretary shall allow an eligible lessee covered by paragraph (1) to withhold from payment any royalty or rent due to the United States under this Act.

(B)

Judicial review

Any disagreement between an eligible lessee and the Secretary regarding the amount of royalty or rent forgiveness described in subparagraph (A) shall be subject to judicial review.

(e)

Administration

(1)

Other sections of Act

Beginning on the date of enactment of this section, other sections of this Act shall not apply to—

(A)

any area in which leasing is prohibited under subsection (b);

(B)

any area that is withdrawn under subsection (c); or

(C)

any area subject to a lease that is relinquished under subsection (d).

(2)

Inventory

The areas described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (1), as well as the areas currently under moratorium in the outer Continental Shelf and the areas protected by the document entitled Memorandum on Withdrawal of Certain Areas of the United States Outer Continental Shelf from Leasing Disposition (34 Weekly Comp. Pres. Doc. 1111, dated June 12, 1998), shall not be subject to an inventory conducted under section 357 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15912).

(3)

National marine sanctuary

Nothing in this section precludes the Secretary of Commerce, acting through the Director of the National Marine Sanctuary Program, from considering any portion of the Florida exclusion zone for designation as a marine sanctuary under the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (33 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.) (commonly known as the Ocean Dumping Act).

(4)

Maintenance and repair of existing pipelines

Nothing in this section precludes—

(A)

the inspection, monitoring, or repair of pre-existing subsea oil and natural gas pipelines under Federal law (including regulations) pertaining to pipeline safety and environmental protection; or

(B)

the replacement in situ of preexisting subsea oil or natural gas pipelines under that Federal law.

(5)

Commercial and sport fishing

Nothing in this section affects any regulation or management of commercial or sport fishing, or routine operation or transit of fishing or recreational vessels, within the Florida exclusion zone.

(6)

Military activities

Nothing in this section limits any military ship, submarine, aircraft, or amphibious vessel activity conducted as part of—

(A)

military exercises;

(B)

routine transit;

(C)

military preparedness; or

(D)

rescue operations.

(f)

Conditions for leasing in other areas

(1)

In general

With respect to Federal leasing on the outer Continental Shelf in the areas described in paragraph (2)—

(A)

each individual lease sale shall be subject to the review process under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), including the completion of an environmental impact statement for the lease sale; and

(B)

all pre-lease and leasing activities shall proceed only if best available and safest technologies, as described in 21(b), are required for all phases of operations.

(2)

Description of areas

The areas referred to in paragraph (1) are areas on the outer Continental Shelf that—

(A)

are not specifically covered by this Act; and

(B)
(i)

are not located within the protected waters of the Florida Exclusion Zone;

(ii)

are not protected by the document entitled Memorandum on Withdrawal of Certain Areas of the United States Outer Continental Shelf from Leasing Disposition (34 Weekly Comp. Pres. Doc. 1111, dated June 12, 1998); or

(iii)

are not located within any other federally protected area.

.

3.

Extension of deferral

Notwithstanding the document entitled Memorandum on Withdrawal of Certain Areas of the United States Outer Continental Shelf from Leasing Disposition (34 Weekly Comp. Pres. Doc. 1111, dated June 12, 1998), the expiration date for the withdrawal of areas of the outer Continental Shelf described in the first paragraph of that Memorandum shall be extended until June 30, 2020.