H.R. 6251 (110th): Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act

110th Congress, 2007–2009. Text as of Jun 12, 2008 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6251

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 12, 2008

(for himself, Mr. Markey, Mr. Hinchey, Mr. Emanuel, Mrs. Capps, Mr. DeFazio, Mr. Yarmuth, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Larson of Connecticut, Mr. George Miller of California, and Mr. Hall of New York) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources

A BILL

To prohibit the Secretary of the Interior from issuing new Federal oil and gas leases to holders of existing leases who do not diligently develop the lands subject to such existing leases or relinquish such leases, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act.

2.

Issuance of new leases

(a)

In general

The Secretary of the Interior shall not issue any new lease that authorizes the exploration for or production of oil or natural gas, under section 17 of the Mineral Leasing Act (33 U.S.C. 226), the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands Act (30 U.S.C. 351 et seq.), or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.), to a person unless the person—

(1)

certifies for each existing lease under such Acts for the production of oil or gas with respect to which the person is a lessee, that the person has diligently developed the Federal lands that are subject to the lease in order to produce oil or natural gas or is producing oil or natural gas from such lands; or

(2)

has relinquished all Federal oil and gas leases under which oil and gas is not being diligently developed.

(b)

Diligent development

The Secretary shall issue regulations within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act that define diligently developed for purposes of subsection (a). Such regulations shall—

(1)

include benchmarks for oil and gas development that will ensure that leaseholders produce oil and gas from each lease within the 5-year original term of the lease; and

(2)

require each leaseholder to submit to the Secretary a diligent development plan showing how the lessee will meet the benchmarks.

(c)

Failure To comply with requirements

Any person who fails to comply with the requirements of this section or any regulation or order issued to implement this section shall be liable for a civil penalty under section 109 of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 (30 U.S.C. 1719).

(d)

Lessee defined

In this section the term lessee includes any person or other entity that controls, is controlled by, or is in or under common control with, a lessee.

3.

Lease Terms

(a)

Leases for offshore lands

Section 8(b)(2) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337(b)(2)) is amended to read as follows:

(2)
(A)

be for an initial period of 5 years, and may be renewed for additional 1-year periods, subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C);

(B)

not be renewed for an additional period, unless the Secretary determines that as of the date of the expiration of the preceding period—

(i)

production of oil or gas is occurring under the lease; or

(ii)

the lessee is making good-faith progress towards such production and additional time is required to initiate such production; and

(C)

be subject to a rental for each such additional period that is not less than double the rental rate that applied for the last year of the initial period;

.

(b)

Leases for onshore lands

(1)

Leases under Mineral Leasing Act

Section 17(e) of the Mineral Leasing Act (33 U.S.C. 226(e)) is amended to read as follows:

(e)

Leases issued under this section shall—

(1)

be for an initial period of 5 years, and may be renewed for additional 1-year periods, subject to paragraphs (2) and (3);

(2)

not be renewed for an additional period, unless the Secretary determines that as of the date of the expiration of the preceding period—

(A)

production of oil or gas is occurring under the lease; or

(B)

the lessee is making good-faith progress towards such production and additional time is required to initiate such production; and

(3)

be subject to a rental for each such additional period that is not less than double the rental rate that applied for the last year of the initial period.

.

(2)

Leases under Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands

The Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands Act (30 U.S.C. 351 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

12.

Lease terms

Leases issued under this section shall—

(1)

be for an initial period of 5 years, and may be renewed for additional 1-year periods, subject to paragraphs (2) and (3);

(2)

not be renewed for an additional period, unless the Secretary determines that as of the date of the expiration of the preceding period—

(A)

production of oil or gas is occurring under the lease; or

(B)

the lessee is making good-faith progress towards such production and additional time is required to initiate such production; and

(3)

be subject to a rental for each such additional period that is not less than double the rental rate that applied for the last year of the initial period.

.