H.R. 6781 (110th): To authorize the State of Virginia to petition for authorization to conduct natural gas or crude oil ...

...(or both) exploration and extraction activities in any area that is at least 50 miles beyond the coastal zone of the State, and for oth

110th Congress, 2007–2009. Text as of Aug 01, 2008 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6781

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

August 1, 2008

(for himself, Mr. Cantor, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Tom Davis of Virginia, Mr. Goode, Mr. Forbes, Mr. Wittman of Virginia, and Mrs. Drake) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources

A BILL

To authorize the State of Virginia to petition for authorization to conduct natural gas or crude oil (or both) exploration and extraction activities in any area that is at least 50 miles beyond the coastal zone of the State, and for other purposes.

1.

Availability of certain areas for leasing

Section 8 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(q)

Availability of certain areas for leasing

(1)

Definitions

In this subsection:

(A)

Atlantic coastal state

The term Atlantic Coastal State means each of the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

(B)

Governor

The term Governor means the Governor of the State.

(C)

Qualified revenues

The term qualified revenues means all rentals, royalties, bonus bids, and other sums due and payable to the United States from leases entered into on or after the date of enactment of this Act for natural gas or crude oil (or both) exploration and extraction activities authorized by the Secretary under this subsection.

(D)

State

The term State means the State of Virginia.

(2)

Petition

(A)

In general

The Governor may submit to the Secretary—

(i)

a petition requesting that the Secretary issue leases authorizing the conduct of natural gas or crude oil (or both) exploration activities only to ascertain the presence or absence of a natural gas or crude oil (or both) reserve in any area that is at least 50 miles beyond the coastal zone of the State; and

(ii)

if a petition for exploration by the State described in clause (i) has been approved in accordance with paragraph (3) and the geological finding of the exploration justifies extraction, a second petition requesting that the Secretary issue leases authorizing the conduct of natural gas or crude oil (or both) extraction activities in any area that is at least 50 miles beyond the coastal zone of the State.

(B)

Contents

In any petition under subparagraph (A), the Governor shall include a detailed plan of the proposed exploration and subsequent extraction activities, as applicable.

(3)

Action by Secretary

(A)

In general

Subject to subparagraph (F), as soon as practicable after the date of receipt of a petition under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall approve or deny the petition.

(B)

Requirements for exploration

The Secretary shall not approve a petition submitted under paragraph (2)(A)(i) unless the State legislature has enacted legislation supporting exploration for natural gas or crude oil, as applicable, in the coastal zone of the State.

(C)

Requirements for extraction

The Secretary shall not approve a petition submitted under paragraph (2)(A)(ii) unless the State legislature has enacted legislation supporting extraction for natural gas or crude oil, as applicable, in the coastal zone of the State.

(D)

Consistency with legislation

The plan provided in the petition under paragraph (2)(B) shall be consistent with the legislation described in subparagraph (B) or (C), as applicable.

(E)

Comments from Atlantic Coastal States

On receipt of a petition under paragraph (2), the Secretary shall—

(i)

provide Atlantic Coastal States with an opportunity to provide to the Secretary comments on the petition; and

(ii)

take into consideration, but not be bound by, any comments received under clause (i).

(F)

Conflicts with military operations

The Secretary shall not approve a petition for a drilling activity under this paragraph if the drilling activity would conflict with any military operation, as determined by the Secretary of Defense.

(4)

Disposition of revenues

Notwithstanding section 9, for each applicable fiscal year, the Secretary of the Treasury shall deposit—

(A)

50 percent of qualified revenues in a Clean Energy Fund in the Treasury, which shall be established by the Secretary; and

(B)

50 percent of qualified revenues in a special account in the Treasury from which the Secretary shall disburse—

(i)

75 percent to the State;

(ii)

12.5 percent to provide financial assistance to the State in accordance with section 6 of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (16 U.S.C. 460l–8), which shall be considered income to the Land and Water Conservation Fund for purposes of section 2 of that Act (16 U.S.C. 460l–5); and

(iii)

12.5 percent to a reserve fund to be used to mitigate for any environmental damage that occurs as a result of extraction activities authorized under this subsection, regardless of whether the damage is—

(I)

reasonably foreseeable; or

(II)

caused by negligence, natural disasters, or other acts.

(5)

Lines extending seaward and defining the State’s Adjacent Zone

Notwithstanding the requirement that the President determine and publish projected lines under the first sentence of section 4(a)(2), for purposes of the application of that section with respect to this subsection the lines extending seaward and defining the State’s Adjacent Zone are as indicated on the map entitled Atlantic OCS Region State Adjacent Zones and OCS Planning Areas, dated September 2005 and on file in the Office of the Director, Minerals Management Service.

(6)

Use of funds by Virginia

Amounts paid to Virginia under paragraph (4)(B) shall be used by Virginia for one or more of the following:

(A)

Education.

(B)

Transportation.

(C)

Reducing taxes.

(D)

Coastal and environmental restoration.

(E)

Energy infrastructure and projects.

(F)

Virginia State seismic monitoring programs.

(G)

Alternative energy development.

(H)

Energy efficiency and conservation.

(I)

Hurricane and natural disaster insurance programs.

.