< Back to S. 3516 (111th Congress, 2009–2010)

Text of the Outer Continental Shelf Reform Act of 2010

This bill was introduced on June 30, 2010, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jul 28, 2010 (Reported by Senate Committee).

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II

Calendar No. 492

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3516

[Report No. 111–236]

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 21, 2010

(for himself, Ms. Murkowski, Mr. Dorgan, and Ms. Stabenow) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

July 28, 2010

Reported by , with amendments

Omit the part struck through and insert the part printed in italic

A BILL

To amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to reform the management of energy and mineral resources on the Outer Continental Shelf, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Outer Continental Shelf Reform Act of 2010.

(b)

Table of Contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Purposes.

Sec. 3. Definitions.

Sec. 4. National policy for the outer Continental Shelf.

Sec. 5. Structural reform of outer Continental Shelf program management.

Sec. 6. Safety, environmental, and financial reform of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

Sec. 7. Reform of other laws.

Sec. 8. Savings provisions.

Sec. 9. Budgetary effects.

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Purposes.

Sec. 3. Definitions.

Sec. 4. National policy for the outer Continental Shelf.

Sec. 5. Structural reform of outer Continental Shelf program management.

Sec. 6. Safety, environmental, and financial reform of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

Sec. 7. Study on the effect of the moratoria on new deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico on employment and small businesses.

Sec. 8. Reform of other law.

Sec. 9. Safer oil and gas production.

Sec. 10. National Commission on Outer Continental Shelf Oil Spill Prevention.

Sec. 11. Classification of offshore systems.

Sec. 12. Savings provisions.

Sec. 13. Budgetary effects.

2.

Purposes

The purposes of this Act are—

(1)

to rationalize and reform the responsibilities of the Secretary of the Interior with respect to the management of the outer Continental Shelf in order to improve the management, oversight, accountability, safety, and environmental protection of all the resources on the outer Continental Shelf;

(2)

to provide independent development and enforcement of safety and environmental laws (including regulations) governing—

(A)

energy development and mineral extraction activities on the outer Continental Shelf; and

(B)

related offshore activities; and

(3)

to ensure a fair return to the taxpayer from, and independent management of, royalty and revenue collection and disbursement activities from mineral and energy resources.

3.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Department

The term Department means the Department of the Interior.

(2)

Outer continental shelf

The term outer Continental Shelf has the meaning given the term in section 2 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331).

(3)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.

4.

National policy for the outer Continental Shelf

Section 3 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1332) is amended—

(1)

by striking paragraph (3) and inserting the following:

(3)

the outer Continental Shelf is a vital national resource reserve held by the Federal Government for the public, which should be managed in a manner that recognizes—

(A)

the need of the United States for domestic sources of energy, food, minerals, and other resources;

(B)

the potential impacts of development of those resources on the marine and coastal environment and on human health and safety; and

(C)

the long-term economic value to the United States of the balanced and orderly management of those resources that safeguards the environment and respects the multiple values and uses of the outer Continental Shelf;

;

(1)

by striking paragraph (3) and inserting the following:

(3)

the outer Continental Shelf is a vital national resource reserve held by the Federal Government for the public, which should be managed in a manner that—

(A)

recognizes the need of the United States for domestic sources of energy, food, minerals, and other resources;

(B)

minimizes the potential impacts of development of those resources on the marine and coastal environment and on human health and safety; and

(C)

acknowledges the long-term economic value to the United States of the balanced and orderly management of those resources that safeguards the environment and respects the multiple values and uses of the outer Continental Shelf;

;

(2)

in paragraph (4)(C), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon;

(3)

in paragraph (5), by striking ; and and inserting a semicolon;

(4)

by redesignating paragraph (6) as paragraph (7);

(5)

by inserting after paragraph (5) the following:

(6)

exploration, development, and production of energy and minerals on the outer Continental Shelf should be allowed only when those activities can be accomplished in a manner that provides reasonable assurance of adequate protection against harm to life, health, the environment, property, or other users of the waters, seabed, or subsoil; and

; and

(6)

in paragraph (7) (as so redesignated)—

(A)

by striking should be and inserting shall be; and

(B)

by adding best available after using.

5.

Structural reform of outer Continental Shelf program management

(a)

In general

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.) is amended by adding to the end the following:

32.

Structural reform of outer Continental Shelf program management

(a)

Leasing, permitting, and regulation bureaus

(1)

Establishment of bureaus

(A)

In general

Subject to the discretion granted by Reorganization Plan Number 3 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1262; 43 U.S.C. 1451 note), the Secretary shall establish in the Department of the Interior not more than 2 bureaus to carry out the leasing, permitting, and safety and environmental regulatory functions vested in the Secretary by this Act and the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 (30 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) related to the outer Continental Shelf.

(B)

Conflicts of interest

In establishing the bureaus under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that any potential organizational conflicts of interest related to leasing, revenue creation, environmental protection, and safety are eliminated.

(2)

Director

Each bureau shall be headed by a Director, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(3)

Compensation

Each Director shall be compensated at the rate provided for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of title 5, United States Code.

(4)

Qualifications

Each Director shall be a person who, by reason of professional background and demonstrated ability and experience, is specially qualified to carry out the duties of the office.

(b)

Royalty and revenue office

(1)

Establishment of office

Subject to the discretion granted by Reorganization Plan Number 3 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1262; 43 U.S.C. 1451 note), the Secretary shall establish in the Department of the Interior an office to carry out the royalty and revenue management functions vested in the Secretary by this Act and the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 (30 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.).

(2)

Director

The office established under paragraph (1) shall be headed by a Director, who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(3)

Compensation

The Director shall be compensated at the rate provided for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of title 5, United States Code.

(4)

Qualifications

The Director shall be a person who, by reason of professional background and demonstrated ability and experience, is specially qualified to carry out the duties of the office.

(c)

OCS Safety and Environmental Advisory Board

(1)

Establishment

The Secretary shall establish, under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), an Outer Continental Shelf Safety and Environmental Advisory Board (referred to in this subsection as the Board), to provide the Secretary and the Directors of the bureaus established under this section with independent peer-reviewed scientific and technical advice on safe and environmentally compliant energy and mineral resource exploration, development, and production activities.

(2)

Membership

(A)

Size

(i)

In general

The Board shall consist of not more than 12 members, chosen to reflect a range of expertise in scientific, engineering, management, and other disciplines related to safe and environmentally compliant energy and mineral resource exploration, development, and production activities.

(ii)

Consultation

The Secretary shall consult with the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering to identify potential candidates for membership on the Board.

(B)

Term

The Secretary shall appoint Board members to staggered terms of not more than 4 years, and shall not appoint a member for more than 2 consecutive terms.

(C)

Chair

The Secretary shall appoint the Chair for the Board.

(3)

Meetings

The Board shall—

(A)

meet not less than 3 times per year; and

(B)

at least once per year, shall host a public forum to review and assess the overall safety and environmental performance of outer Continental Shelf energy and mineral resource activities.

(4)

Reports

Reports of the Board shall—

(A)

be submitted to Congress; and

(B)

made available to the public in an electronically accessible form.

(5)

Travel expenses

Members of the Board, other than full-time employees of the Federal Government, while attending a meeting of the Board or while otherwise serving at the request of the Secretary or the Director while serving away from their homes or regular places of business, may be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by section 5703 of title 5, United States Code, for individuals in the Federal Government serving without pay.

(d)

Special personnel authorities

(1)

Direct hiring authority for critical personnel

(A)

In general

Notwithstanding sections 3104, 3304, and 3309 through 3318 of title 5, United States Code, the Secretary may, upon a determination that there is a severe shortage of candidates or a critical hiring need for particular positions, recruit and directly appoint highly qualified accountants, scientists, engineers, or critical technical personnel into the competitive service, as officers or employees of any of the organizational units established under this section.

(B)

Requirements

In exercising the authority granted under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall ensure that any action taken by the Secretary—

(i)

is consistent with the merit principles of chapter 23 of title 5, United States Code; and

(ii)

complies with the public notice requirements of section 3327 of title 5, United States Code.

(2)

Critical pay authority

(A)

In general

Notwithstanding section 5377 of title 5, United States Code, and without regard to the provisions of that title governing appointments in the competitive service or the Senior Executive Service and chapters 51 and 53 of that title (relating to classification and pay rates), the Secretary may establish, fix the compensation of, and appoint individuals to critical positions needed to carry out the functions of any of the organizational units established under this section, if the Secretary certifies that—

(i)

the positions—

(I)

require expertise of an extremely high level in a scientific or technical field; and

(II)

any of the organizational units established in this section would not successfully accomplish an important mission without such an individual; and

(ii)

exercise of the authority is necessary to recruit an individual exceptionally well qualified for the position.

(B)

Limitations

The authority granted under subparagraph (A) shall be subject to the following conditions:

(i)

The number of critical positions authorized by subparagraph (A) may not exceed 40 at any 1 time in either of the bureaus established under this section.

(ii)

The term of an appointment under subparagraph (A) may not exceed 4 years.

(iii)

An individual appointed under subparagraph (A) may not have been an employee of the Department of the Interior during the 2-year period prior to the date of appointment.

(iv)

Total annual compensation for any individual appointed under subparagraph (A) may not exceed the highest total annual compensation payable at the rate determined under section 104 of title 3, United States Code.

(v)

An individual appointed under subparagraph (A) may not be considered to be an employee for purposes of subchapter II of chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code.

(C)

Notification

Each year, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a notification that lists each individual appointed under this paragraph.

(3)

Reemployment of civilian retirees

(A)

In general

Notwithstanding part 553 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (relating to reemployment of civilian retirees to meet exceptional employment needs), or successor regulations, the Secretary may approve the reemployment of an individual to a particular position without reduction or termination of annuity if the hiring of the individual is necessary to carry out a critical function of any of the organizational units established under this section for which suitably qualified candidates do not exist.

(B)

Limitations

An annuitant hired with full salary and annuities under the authority granted by subparagraph (A)—

(i)

shall not be considered an employee for purposes of subchapter III of chapter 83 and chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code;

(ii)

may not elect to have retirement contributions withheld from the pay of the annuitant;

(iii)

may not use any employment under this paragraph as a basis for a supplemental or recomputed annuity; and

(iv)

may not participate in the Thrift Savings Plan under subchapter III of chapter 84 of title 5, United States Code.

(C)

Limitation on term

The term of employment of any individual hired under subparagraph (A) may not exceed an initial term of 2 years, with an additional 2-year appointment under exceptional circumstances.

(e)

Continuity of authority

Subject to the discretion granted by Reorganization Plan Number 3 of 1950 (64 Stat. 1262; 43 U.S.C. 1451 note), any reference in any law, rule, regulation, directive, or instruction, or certificate or other official document, in force immediately prior to the date of enactment of this section—

(1)

to the Minerals Management Service that pertains to any of the duties and authorities described in this section shall be deemed to refer and apply to the appropriate bureaus and offices established under this section;

(2)

to the Director of the Minerals Management Service that pertains to any of the duties and authorities described in this section shall be deemed to refer and apply to the Director of the bureau or office under this section to whom the Secretary has assigned the respective duty or authority; and

(3)

to any other position in the Minerals Management Service that pertains to any of the duties and authorities described in this section shall be deemed to refer and apply to that same or equivalent position in the appropriate bureau or office established under this section.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

Section 5316 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by striking Director, Bureau of Mines, Department of the Interior and inserting the following:

  • Bureau Directors, Department of the Interior (2).
  • Director, Royalty and Revenue Office, Department of the Interior.

.

6.

Safety, environmental, and financial reform of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

(a)

Definitions

Section 2 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(r)

Safety case

The term safety case means a body of evidence complete set of safety documentation that provides a basis for determining whether a system is adequately safe for a given application in a given environment.

.

(b)

Administration of leasing

Section 5(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1334(a)) is amended in the second sentence—

(1)

by striking The Secretary may at any time and inserting The Secretary shall; and

(2)

by inserting after provide for the following: operational safety, the protection of the marine and coastal environment,.

(c)

Maintenance of leases

Section 6 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1335) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(f)

Review of bond and surety amounts

Not later than May 1, 2011, and every 5 years thereafter, the Secretary shall—

(1)

review the minimum bond amounts financial responsibility requirements for mineral leases under subsection (a)(11); and

(2)

set any bonds, surety, or other evidence of financial responsibility required in amounts adequate adjust for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor, and recommend to Congress any further changes to existing financial responsibility requirements necessary to permit lessees to fulfill all obligations under this Act or the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.).

(g)

Periodic fiscal reviews and reports

(1)

Royalty rates

(A)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection and every 3 4 years thereafter, the Secretary shall carry out a review of, and prepare a report that describes—

(i)

the royalty and rental rates included in new offshore oil and gas leases and the rationale for the rates;

(ii)

whether, in the view of the Secretary, the royalty and rental rates described in subparagraph (A) would yield a fair return to the public while promoting the production of oil and gas resources in a timely manner; and

(iii)

whether, based on the review, the Secretary intends to modify the royalty or rental rates.

(B)

Public participation

In carrying out a review and preparing a report under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall provide to the public an opportunity to participate.

(2)

Comparative review of fiscal system

(A)

In general

Not later than 2 years 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection and every 5 4 years thereafter, the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, shall carry out a comprehensive review of all components of the Federal offshore oil and gas fiscal system, including requirements for bonus bids, rental rates, royalties, oil and gas taxes, income taxes and other significant financial elements, and oil and gas fees.

(B)

Inclusions

The review shall include—

(i)

information and analyses comparing the offshore bonus bids, rents, royalties, taxes, and fees of the Federal Government to the offshore bonus bids, rents, royalties, taxes, and fees of other resource owners (including States and foreign countries); and

(ii)

an assessment of the overall offshore oil and gas fiscal system in the United States, as compared to foreign countries.

(C)

Independent advisory committee

In carrying out a review under this paragraph, the Secretary shall convene and seek the advice of an independent advisory committee comprised of oil and gas and fiscal experts from States, Indian tribes, academia, the energy industry, and appropriate nongovernmental organizations.

(D)

Report

The Secretary shall prepare a report that contains—

(i)

the contents and results of the review carried out under this paragraph for the period covered by the report; and

(ii)

any recommendations of the Secretary and the Secretary of the Treasury based on the contents and results of the review.

(E)

Combined report

The Secretary may combine the reports required by paragraphs (1) and (2)(D) into 1 report.

(3)

Report deadline

Not later than 30 days after the date on which the Secretary completes each report under this subsection, the Secretary shall submit copies of the report to—

(A)

the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate;

(B)

the Committee on Finance of the Senate;

(C)

the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives; and

(D)

the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives.

.

(d)

Leases, easements, and rights-of-Way

Section 8 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1337) is amended by striking subsection (d) and inserting the following:

(d)

Disqualification from bidding

No bid for a lease may be submitted by any entity that the Secretary finds, after prior public notice and opportunity for a hearing—

(1)

is not meeting due diligence, safety, or environmental requirements on other leases; or

(2)
(A)

is a responsible party for a vessel or a facility from which oil is discharged, for purposes of section 1002 of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2702); and

(B)

has failed to meet the obligations of the responsible party under that Act to provide compensation for covered removal costs and damages.

.

(e)

Exploration plans

Section 11 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1340) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (c)—

(A)

in the fourth sentence of paragraph (1), by striking within thirty days of its submission and inserting by the deadline described in paragraph (5);

(B)

by striking paragraph (3) and inserting the following:

(3)

Minimum requirements

(A)

In general

An exploration plan submitted under this subsection shall include, in such degree of detail as the Secretary by regulation may require—

(i)

a complete description and schedule of the exploration activities to be undertaken;

(ii)

a description of the equipment to be used for the exploration activities, including—

(I)

a description of the drilling unit;

(II)

a statement of the design and condition of major safety-related pieces of equipment;

(III)

a description of any new technology to be used; and

(IV)

a statement demonstrating that the equipment to be used meets the best available technology requirements under section 21(b);

(iii)

a map showing the location of each well to be drilled;

(iv)
(I)

a scenario for the potential blowout of the well involving the highest potential expected volume of liquid hydrocarbons; and

(II)

a complete description of a response plan to control the blowout and manage the accompanying discharge of hydrocarbons, including—

(aa)

the technology and timeline for regaining control of the well; and

(bb)

the strategy, organization, and resources necessary to be used to avoid harm to the environment and human health from hydrocarbons; and

(v)

any other information determined to be relevant by the Secretary.

(B)

Deepwater wells

(i)

In general

Before conducting exploration activities in water depths greater than 500 feet, the holder of a lease shall submit to the Secretary for approval a deepwater operations plan prepared by the lessee in accordance with this subparagraph.

(ii)

Technology requirements

A deepwater operations plan under this subparagraph shall be based on the best available technology to ensure safety in carrying out the exploration activity and the blowout response plan.

(iii)

Systems analysis required

The Secretary shall not approve a deepwater operations plan under this subparagraph unless the plan includes a technical systems analysis of—

(I)

the safety of the proposed exploration activity;

(II)

the blowout prevention technology; and

(III)

the blowout and spill response plans.

; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following:

(5)

Deadline for approval

(A)

In general

In the case of a lease issued under a sale held after March 17, 2010, the deadline for approval of an exploration plan referred to in the fourth sentence of paragraph (1) is—

(i)

the date that is 90 days after the date on which the plan or the modifications to the plan are submitted; or

(ii)

the date that is not later than an additional 180 days after the deadline described in clause (i), if the Secretary makes a finding that additional time is necessary to complete any environmental, safety, or other reviews.

(B)

Existing leases

In the case of a lease issued under a sale held on or before March 17, 2010, the Secretary, with the consent of the holder of the lease, may extend the deadline applicable to the lease for such additional time as the Secretary determines is necessary to complete any environmental, safety, or other reviews.

;

(2)

by resdesignating subsections (e) through (h) as subsections (f) through (i), respectively; and

(3)

by striking subsection (d) and inserting the following:

(d)

Drilling permits

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall, by regulation, require that any lessee operating under an approved exploration plan obtain a permit—

(A)

before the lessee drills a well in accordance with the plan; and

(B)

before the lessee significantly modifies the well design originally approved by the Secretary.

(2)

Engineering review required

The Secretary may not grant any drilling permit until the date of completion of a full engineering review of the well system, including a system by not less than 2 agency engineers, including a written determination that—

(A)

critical safety systems (including blowout prevention) will use best available technology; and

(B)

blowout prevention systems will include redundancy and remote triggering capability.

(3)

Modification review required

The Secretary may not approve any modification of a permit without a determination, after an additional engineering review, that the modification will not degrade compromise the safety of the well system previously approved.

(4)

Operator safety and environmental management required

The Secretary may not grant any drilling permit or modification of the permit until the date of completion and approval of a safety and environmental management plan that—

(A)

is to be used by the operator during all well operations; and

(B)

includes—

(i)

a description of the expertise and experience level of crew members who will be present on the rig; and

(ii)

designation of at least 2 environmental and safety managers that—

(I)

are employees of the operator;

(II)

would be present on the rig at all times; and

(III)

have overall responsibility for the safety and environmental management of the well system and spill response plan; and

(C)

not later than May 1, 2012, requires that all employees on the rig meet the training and experience requirements under section 21(b)(4).

(e)

Disapproval of exploration plan

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall disapprove an exploration plan submitted under this section if the Secretary determines that, because of exceptional geological conditions in the lease areas, exceptional resource values in the marine or coastal environment, or other exceptional circumstances, that—

(A)

implementation of the exploration plan would probably cause serious harm or damage to life (including fish and other aquatic life), property, mineral deposits, national security or defense, or the marine, coastal or human environments;

(B)

the threat of harm or damage would not disappear or decrease to an acceptable extent within a reasonable period of time; and

(C)

the advantages of disapproving the exploration plan outweigh the advantages of exploration.

(2)

Compensation

If an exploration plan is disapproved under this subsection, the provisions of subparagraphs (B) and (C) of section 25(h)(2) shall apply to the lease and the plan or any modified plan, except that the reference in section 25(h)(2)(C) to a development and production plan shall be considered to be a reference to an exploration plan.

.

(f)

Outer Continental Shelf leasing program

Section 18 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1344) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

in the second sentence, by inserting after national energy needs the following: and the need for the protection of the marine and coastal environment and resources;

(B)

in paragraph (1), by striking considers and inserting gives equal consideration to; and

(C)

in paragraph (3), by striking , to the maximum extent practicable,;

(2)

in subsection (b)—

(A)

in paragraph (3), by striking and at the end;

(B)

in paragraph (4), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following:

(5)

provide technical review and oversight of the exploration plan and a systems review of the safety of the well design and other operational decisions;

(6)

conduct regular and thorough safety reviews and inspections, and;

(7)

enforce all applicable laws (including regulations).

;

(3)

in the second sentence of subsection (d)(2), by inserting , the head of an interested Federal agency, after Attorney General;

(4)

in the first sentence of subsection (g), by inserting before the period at the end the following: , including existing inventories and mapping of marine resources previously undertaken by the Department of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, information provided by the Department of Defense, and other available data regarding energy or mineral resource potential, navigation uses, fisheries, aquaculture uses, recreational uses, habitat, conservation, and military uses on the outer Continental Shelf; and

(5)

by adding at the end the following:

(i)

Research and development

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall carry out a program of research and development to ensure the continued improvement of methodologies for characterizing resources of the outer Continental Shelf and conditions that may affect the ability to develop and use those resources in a safe, sound, and environmentally responsible manner.

(2)

Inclusions

Research and development activities carried out under paragraph (1) may include activities to provide accurate estimates of energy and mineral reserves and potential on the outer Continental Shelf and any activities that may assist in filling gaps in environmental data needed to develop each leasing program under this section.

(3)

Leasing activities

Research and development activities carried out under paragraph (1) shall not be considered to be leasing or pre-leasing activities for purposes of this Act.

.

(g)

Environmental studies

Section 20 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1346) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsections (a) through (f) as subsections (b) through (g), respectively;

(2)

by inserting before subsection (b) (as so redesignated) the following:

(a)

Comprehensive and independent studies

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall develop and carry out programs for the collection, evaluation, assembly, analysis, and dissemination of environmental and other resource data that are relevant to carrying out the purposes of this Act.

(2)

Scope of research

The programs under this subsection shall include—

(A)

the gathering of baseline data in areas before energy or mineral resource development activities occur;

(B)

ecosystem research and monitoring studies to support integrated resource management decisions; and

(C)

the improvement of scientific understanding of the fate, transport, and effects of discharges and spilled materials, including deep water hydrocarbon spills, in the marine environment.

(3)

Use of data

The Secretary shall ensure that information from the studies carried out under this section—

(A)

informs the management of energy and mineral resources on the outer Continental Shelf including any areas under consideration for oil and gas leasing; and

(B)

contributes to a broader coordination of energy and mineral resource development activities within the context of best available science.

(4)

Independence

The Secretary shall create a program within the appropriate bureau established under section 32 that shall—

(A)

be programmatically separate and distinct from the leasing program;

(B)

carry out the environmental studies under this section;

(C)

conduct additional environmental studies relevant to the sound management of energy and mineral resources on the outer Continental Shelf;

(D)

provide for external scientific review of studies under this section, including through appropriate arrangements with the National Academy of Sciences; and

(E)

subject to the restrictions of subsections (g) and (h) of section 18, make available to the public studies conducted and data gathered under this section.

; and

(3)

in the first sentence of subsection (b)(1) (as so redesignated), by inserting every 3 years after shall conduct.

(h)

Safety research and regulations

Section 21 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1347) is amended—

(1)

in the first sentence of subsection (a), by striking Upon the date of enactment of this section, and inserting Not later than May 1, 2011, and every 3 years thereafter,;

(2)

by striking subsection (b) and inserting the following:

(b)

Best available technologies and practices

(1)

In general

In exercising respective responsibilities under this Act, the Secretary, and the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating, shall require, on all new drilling and production operations and, to the maximum extent practicable, on existing operations, the use of the best available and safest technologies and practices, if the failure of equipment would have a significant effect on safety, health, or the environment.

(2)

Identification of best available technologies

Not later than May 1, 2011, and not later than every 3 years thereafter, the Secretary shall identify and publish an updated list of best available technologies for key areas of well design and operation, including blowout prevention and blowout and oil spill response.

(3)

Safety case

Not later than May 1, 2011, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations requiring a safety case be submitted along with each new application for a permit to drill on the outer Continental Shelf.

(4)

Employee training

(A)

In general

Not later than May 1, 2011, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations setting standards for training for all workers on offshore facilities (including mobile offshore drilling units) conducting energy and mineral resource exploration, development, and production operations on the outer Continental Shelf.

(B)

Requirements

The training standards under this paragraph shall require that employers of workers described in subparagraph (A)—

(i)

establish training programs approved by the Secretary; and

(ii)

demonstrate that employees involved in the offshore operations meet standards that demonstrate the aptitude of the employees in critical technical skills.

(C)

Experience

The training standards under this section shall require that any offshore worker with less than 5 years of applied experience in offshore facilities operations pass a certification requirement after receiving the appropriate training.

(D)

Monitoring training courses

The Secretary shall ensure that Department employees responsible for inspecting offshore facilities monitor, observe, and report on training courses established under this paragraph, including attending a representative number of the training sessions, as determined by the Secretary.

; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following:

(g)

Technology research and risk assessment program

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall carry out a program of research, development, and risk assessment to address technology and development issues associated with outer Continental Shelf energy and mineral resource activities, with the primary purpose of informing the role of research, development, and risk assessment relating to safety, environmental protection, and spill response.

(2)

Specific areas of focus

The program under this subsection shall include research, development, and other activities related to—

(A)

risk assessment, using all available data from safety and compliance records both within the United States and internationally;

(B)

analysis of industry trends in technology, investment, and interest in frontier areas;

(C)

analysis of incidents investigated under section 22;

(D)

reviews of best available technologies, including technologies associated with pipelines, blowout preventer mechanisms, casing, well design, and other associated infrastructure related to offshore energy development;

(E)

oil spill response and mitigation;

(F)

risks associated with human factors; and

(G)

renewable energy operations.

(3)

Information sharing activities

(A)

Domestic activities

The Secretary shall carry out programs to facilitate the exchange and dissemination of scientific and technical information and best practices related to the management of safety and environmental issues associated with energy and mineral resource exploration, development, and production.

(B)

International cooperation

The Secretary shall carry out programs to cooperate with international organizations and foreign governments to share information and best practices related to the management of safety and environmental issues associated with energy and mineral resource exploration, development, and production.

(4)

Reports

The program under this subsection shall provide to the Secretary, each Bureau Director under section 32, and the public quarterly reports that address—

(A)

developments in each of the areas under paragraph (2); and

(B)
(i)

any accidents that have occurred in the past quarter; and

(ii)

appropriate responses to the accidents.

(5)

Independence

The Secretary shall create a program within the appropriate bureau established under section 32 that shall—

(A)

be programmatically separate and distinct from the leasing program;

(B)

carry out the studies, analyses, and other activities under this subsection;

(C)

provide for external scientific review of studies under this section, including through appropriate arrangements with the National Academy of Sciences; and

(D)

make available to the public studies conducted and data gathered under this section.

(6)

Use of data

The Secretary shall ensure that the information from the studies and research carried out under this section inform the development of safety practices and regulations as required by this Act and other applicable laws.

.

(i)

Enforcement

Section 22 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1348) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (d)—

(A)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

in the first sentence, by inserting , each loss of well control, blowout, activation of the blowout preventer, and other accident that presented a serious risk to human or environmental safety, after fire; and

(ii)

in the last sentence, by inserting as a condition of the lease before the period at the end;

(B)

in the last sentence of paragraph (2), by inserting “as a condition of lease” before the period at the end;

(2)

in subsection (e)—

(A)

by striking (e) The and inserting the following:

(e)

Review of alleged safety violations

(1)

In general

The

; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following:

(2)

Investigation

The Secretary shall investigate any allegation from any employee of the lessee or any subcontractor of the lessee made under paragraph (1).

; and

(3)

by adding at the end of the section the following:

(g)

Independent investigation

(1)

In general

At the request of the Secretary, the National Transportation Safety Board may conduct an independent investigation of any accident, occurring in the outer Continental Shelf and involving activities under this Act, that does not otherwise fall within the definition of an accident or major marine casualty, as those terms are used in chapter 11 of title 49, United States Code.

(2)

Transportation accident

For purposes of an investigation under this subsection, the accident that is the subject of the request by the Secretary shall be determined to be a transportation accident within the meaning of that term in chapter 11 of title 49, United States Code.

(h)

Information on causes and corrective actions

(1)

In general

For each incident investigated under this section, the Secretary shall promptly make available to all lessees and the public technical information about the causes and corrective actions taken.

(2)

Public database

All data and reports related to an incident described in paragraph (1) shall be maintained in a database that is available to the public.

(i)

Inspection fee

(1)

In general

TheTo the extent necessary to fund the inspections described in this paragraph, the Secretary shall collect a non-refundable inspection fee, which shall be deposited in the Ocean Energy Enforcement Fund established under paragraph (3), from the designated operator for facilities subject to inspection under subsection (c).

(2)

Establishment

The Secretary shall establish, by rule, inspection fees—

(A)

at an aggregate level equal to the amount necessary to offset the annual expenses of inspections of outer Continental Shelf facilities (including mobile offshore drilling units) by the Department of the Interior; and

(B)

using a schedule that reflects the differences in complexity among the classes of facilities to be inspected.

(3)

Ocean energy enforcement fund

There is established in the Treasury a fund, to be known as the Ocean Energy Enforcement Fund (referred to in this subsection as the Fund), into which shall be deposited amounts collected under paragraph (1) and which shall be available as provided under paragraph (4).

(4)

Availability of fees

Notwithstanding section 3302 of title 31, United States Code, all amounts collected by the Secretary under this section—

(A)

shall be credited as offsetting collections;

(B)

shall be available for expenditure only for purposes of carrying out inspections of outer Continental Shelf facilities (including mobile offshore drilling units) and the administration of the inspection program;

(C)

shall be available only to the extent provided for in advance in an appropriations Act; and

(D)

shall remain available until expended.

(5)

Annual reports

(A)

In general

Not later than 60 days after the end of each fiscal year beginning with fiscal year 2011, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives a report on the operation of the Fund during the fiscal year.

(B)

Contents

Each report shall include, for the fiscal year covered by the report, the following:

(i)

A statement of the amounts deposited into the Fund.

(ii)

A description of the expenditures made from the Fund for the fiscal year, including the purpose of the expenditures.

(iii)

Recommendations for additional authorities to fulfill the purpose of the Fund.

(iv)

A statement of the balance remaining in the Fund at the end of the fiscal year.

.

(j)

Remedies and penalties

Section 24 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1350) is amended—

(1)

by striking subsection (b) and inserting the following:

(b)

Civil penalty

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraphs (2) through (3), if any person fails to comply with this Act, any term of a lease or permit issued under this Act, or any regulation or order issued under this Act, the person shall be liable for a civil administrative penalty of not more than $75,000 for each day of continuance of each failure.

(2)

Administration

The Secretary may assess, collect, and compromise any penalty under paragraph (1).

(3)

Hearing

No penalty shall be assessed under this subsection until the person charged with a violation has been given the opportunity for a hearing.

(4)

Adjustment

The penalty amount specified in this subsection shall increase each year to reflect any increases in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor.

;

(2)

in subsection (c)—

(A)

in the first sentence, by striking $100,000 and inserting $10,000,000; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following: The penalty amount specified in this subsection shall increase each year to reflect any increases in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor.; and

(3)

in subsection (d), by inserting , or with reckless disregard, after knowingly and willfully.

(k)

Oil and gas development and production

Section 25 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1351) is amended by striking , other than the Gulf of Mexico, each place it appears in subsections (a)(1), (b), and (e)(1).

(l)

Conflicts of interest

Section 29 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1355) is amended to read as follows:

29.

Conflicts of interest

(a)

Restrictions on employment

No full-time officer or employee of the Department of the Interior who directly or indirectly discharges duties or responsibilities under this Act shall—

(1)

within 2 years after his employment with the Department has ceased—

(A)

knowingly act as agent or attorney for, or otherwise represent, any other person (except the United States) in any formal or informal appearance before;

(B)

with the intent to influence, make any oral or written communication on behalf of any other person (except the United States) to; or

(C)

knowingly aid, advise, or assist in—

(i)

representing any other person (except the United States in any formal or informal appearance before; or

(ii)

making, with the intent to influence, any oral or written communication on behalf of any other person (except the United States) to,

any department, agency, or court of the United States, or any officer or employee thereof, in connection with any judicial or other proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other determination, regulation, order lease, permit, rulemaking, inspection, enforcement action, or other particular matter involving a specific party or parties in which the United States is a party or has a direct and substantial interest which was actually pending under his official responsibility as an officer or employee within a period of one year prior to the termination of such responsibility or in which he participated personally and substantially as an officer or employee;
(2)

within 1 year after his employment with the Department has ceased—

(A)

knowingly act as agent or attorney for, or otherwise represent, any other person (except the United States) in any formal or informal appearance before;

(B)

with the intent to influence, make any oral or written communication on behalf of any other person (except the United States) to; or

(C)

knowingly aid , advise, or assist in —

(i)

representing any other person (except the United States in any formal or informal appearance before, or

(ii)

making, with the intent to influence, any oral or written communication on behalf of any other person (except the United States) to,

the Department of the Interior, or any officer or employee thereof, in connection with any judicial, rulemaking, regulation, order, lease, permit, regulation, inspection, enforcement action, or other particular matter which is pending before the Department of the Interior or in which the Department has a direct and substantial interest; or
(3)

accept employment or compensation, during the 1-year period beginning on the date on which employment with the Department has ceased, from any person (other than the United States) that has a direct and substantial interest—

(A)

that was pending under the official responsibility of the employee as an officer or employee of the Department during the 1-year period preceding the termination of the responsibility; or

(B)

in which the employee participated personally and substantially as an officer or employee.

(b)

Prior employment relationships

No full-time officer or employee of the Department of the Interior who directly or indirectly discharges duties or responsibilities under this Act shall participate personally and substantially as a Federal officer or employee, through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, the rendering of advice, investigation, or otherwise, in a proceeding, application, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, controversy, charge, accusation, inspection, enforcement action, or other particular matter in which, to the knowledge of the officer or employee—

(1)

the officer or employee or the spouse, minor child, or general partner of the officer or employee has a financial interest;

(2)

any organization in which the officer or employee is serving as an officer, director, trustee, general partner, or employee has a financial interest;

(3)

any person or organization with whom the officer or employee is negotiating or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment has a financial interest; or

(4)

any person or organization in which the officer or employee has, within the preceding 1-year period, served as an officer, director, trustee, general partner, agent, attorney, consultant, contractor, or employee has a financial interest.

(c)

Gifts from outside sources

No full-time officer or employee of the Department of the Interior who directly or indirectly discharges duties or responsibilities under this Act shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or accept any gift in violation of subpart B of part 2635 of title V, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations).

(d)

Exemptions

The Secretary may, by rule, exempt from this section clerical and support personnel who do not conduct inspections, perform audits, or otherwise exercise regulatory or policy making authority under this Act.

(e)

Penalties

(1)

Criminal penalties

Any person who violates paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) or subsection (b) shall be punished in accordance with section 216 of title 18, United States Code.

(2)

Civil penalties

Any person who violates subsection (a)(3) or (c) shall be punished in accordance with subsection (b) of section 216 of title 18, United States Code.

.

7.

Study on the effect of the moratoria on new deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico on employment and small businesses

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Energy, acting through the Energy Information Administration, shall publish a monthly study evaluating the effect of the moratoria resulting from the blowout and explosion of the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon that occurred on April 20, 2010, and resulting hydrocarbon releases into the environment, on employment and small businesses.

(b)

Report

Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act and at the beginning of each month thereafter during the effective period of the moratoria described in subsection (a), the Secretary of Energy, acting through the Energy Information Administration, shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report regarding the results of the study conducted under subsection (a), including—

(1)

a survey of the effect of the moratoria on deepwater drilling on employment in the industries directly involved in oil and natural gas exploration in the outer Continental Shelf;

(2)

a survey of the effect of the moratoria on employment in the industries indirectly involved in oil and natural gas exploration in the outer Continental Shelf, including suppliers of supplies or services and customers of industries directly involved in oil and natural gas exploration;

(3)

an estimate of the effect of the moratoria on the revenues of small business located near the Gulf of Mexico and, to the maximum extent practicable, throughout the United States; and

(4)

any recommendations to mitigate possible negative effects on small business concerns resulting from the moratoria.

78.

Reform of other laws

(a)

Coordinated mapping initiative

Section 388(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (43 U.S.C. 1337 note; Public Law 109–58) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(4)

Federal agencies

Any head of a Federal department or agency shall, on request of the Secretary, provide to the Secretary all data and information that the Secretary determines to be necessary for the purpose of including the data and information in the mapping initiative, except that no Federal department or agency shall be required to provide any data or information that is privileged or proprietary.

.

(b)

Dedicated funding for outer continental shelf research activities

Section 999H(d) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16378(d)) is amended by striking paragraph (4) and inserting the following:

(4)

25 percent shall be used for research activities required under sections 20 and 21 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1346, 1347).

.

9.

Safer oil and gas production

(a)

Program authority

Section 999A of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16371) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

by striking ultra-deepwater and inserting deepwater; and

(B)

by inserting well control and accident prevention, after safe operations,;

(2)

in subsection (b)—

(A)

by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:

(1)

Deepwater architecture, well control and accident prevention, and deepwater technology, including drilling to deep formations in waters greater than 500 feet.

; and

(B)

by striking paragraph (4) and inserting the following:

(4)

Safety technology research and development for drilling activities aimed at well control and accident prevention performed by the Office of Fossil Energy of the Department.

; and

(3)

in subsection (d)—

(A)

in the subsection heading, by striking National Energy Technology Laboratory and inserting Office of Fossil Energy of the Department; and

(B)

by striking National Energy Technology Laboratory and inserting Office of Fossil Energy of the Department.

(b)

Deepwater and unconventional onshore natural gas and other petroleum research and development program

Section 999B of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16372) is amended—

(1)

in the section heading, by striking Ultra-deepwater and unconventional onshore natural gas and other petroleum and inserting Safe oil and gas production and accident prevention;

(2)

in subsection (a), by striking , by increasing and all that follows through the period at the end and inserting and the safe and environmentally responsible exploration, development, and production of hydrocarbon resources.;

(3)

in subsection (c)(1)—

(A)

by redesignating subparagraphs (D) and (E) as subparagraphs (E) and (F), respectively; and

(B)

by inserting after subparagraph (C) the following:

(D)

projects will be selected on a competitive, peer-reviewed basis.

; and

(4)

in subsection (d)—

(A)

in paragraph (6), by striking ultra-deepwater and inserting deepwater;

(B)

in paragraph (7)—

(i)

in subparagraph (A)—

(I)

in the subparagraph heading, by striking Ultra-deepwater and inserting Deepwater;

(II)

by striking development and and inserting research, development, and; and

(III)

by striking as well as and all that follows through the period at the end and inserting aimed at improving operational safety of drilling activities, including well integrity systems, well control, blowout prevention, the use of non-toxic materials, and integrated systems approach-based management for exploration and production in deepwater.;

(ii)

in subparagraph (B), by striking and environmental mitigation and inserting use of non-toxic materials, drilling safety, and environmental mitigation and accident prevention;

(iii)

in subparagraph (C), by inserting safety and accident prevention, well control and systems integrity, after including; and

(iv)

by adding at the end the following:

(D)

Safety and accident prevention technology research and development

Awards from allocations under section 999H(d)(4) shall be expended on areas including—

(i)

development of improved cementing and casing technologies;

(ii)

best management practices for cementing, casing, and other well control activities and technologies;

(iii)

development of integrity and stewardship guidelines for—

(I)

well-plugging and abandonment;

(II)

development of wellbore sealant technologies; and

(III)

improvement and standardization of blowout prevention devices.

; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following:

(8)

Study; report

(A)

Study

As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this paragraph, the Secretary shall enter into an arrangement with the National Academy of Sciences under which the Academy shall conduct a study to determine—

(i)

whether the benefits provided through each award under this subsection during calendar year 2011 have been maximized; and

(ii)

the new areas of research that could be carried out to meet the overall objectives of the program.

(B)

Report

Not later than January 1, 2012, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that contains a description of the results of the study conducted under subparagraph (A).

(C)

Optional updates

The Secretary may update the report described in subparagraph (B) for the 5-year period beginning on the date described in that subparagraph and each 5-year period thereafter.

;

(5)

in subsection (e)—

(A)

in paragraph (2)—

(i)

in the second sentence of subparagraph (A), by inserting to the Secretary for review after submit; and

(ii)

in the first sentence of subparagraph (B), by striking Ultra-Deepwater and all that follows through and such Advisory Committees and inserting Program Advisory Committee established under section 999D(a), and the Advisory Committee; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following:

(6)

Research findings and recommendations for implementation

The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, shall publish in the Federal Register an annual report on the research findings of the program carried out under this section and any recommendations for implementation that the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, determines to be necessary.

;

(6)

in subsection (i)—

(A)

in the subsection heading, by striking United States Geological Survey and inserting Department of the Interior; and

(B)

by striking , through the United States Geological Survey,; and

(7)

in the first sentence of subsection (j), by striking National Energy Technology Laboratory and inserting Office of Fossil Energy of the Department.

(c)

Additional requirements for awards

Section 999C(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16373(b)) is amended by striking an ultra-deepwater technology or an ultra-deepwater architecture and inserting a deepwater technology.

(d)

Program Advisory Committee

Section 999D of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16374) is amended to read as follows:

999D.

Program Advisory Committee

(a)

Establishment

Not later than 270 days after the date of enactment of the Safe and Responsible Energy Production Improvement Act of 2010, the Secretary shall establish an advisory committee to be known as the Program Advisory Committee (referred to in this section as the Advisory Committee).

(b)

Membership

(1)

In general

The Advisory Committee shall be composed of members appointed by the Secretary, including—

(A)

individuals with extensive research experience or operational knowledge of hydrocarbon exploration and production;

(B)

individuals broadly representative of the affected interests in hydrocarbon production, including interests in environmental protection and safety operations;

(C)

representatives of Federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior;

(D)

State regulatory agency representatives; and

(E)

other individuals, as determined by the Secretary.

(2)

Limitations

(A)

In general

The Advisory Committee shall not include individuals who are board members, officers, or employees of the program consortium.

(B)

Categorical representation

In appointing members of the Advisory Committee, the Secretary shall ensure that no class of individuals described in any of subparagraphs (A), (B), (D), or (E) of paragraph (1) comprises more than 1/3 of the membership of the Advisory Committee.

(c)

Subcommittees

The Advisory Committee may establish subcommittees for separate research programs carried out under this subtitle.

(d)

Duties

The Advisory Committee shall—

(1)

advise the Secretary on the development and implementation of programs under this subtitle; and

(2)

carry out section 999B(e)(2)(B).

(e)

Compensation

A member of the Advisory Committee shall serve without compensation but shall be entitled to receive travel expenses in accordance with subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.

(f)

Prohibition

The Advisory Committee shall not make recommendations on funding awards to particular consortia or other entities, or for specific projects.

.

(e)

Definitions

Section 999G of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16377) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by striking 200 but less than 1,500 meters and inserting 500 feet;

(2)

by striking paragraphs (8), (9), and (10);

(3)

by redesignating paragraphs (2) through (7) and (11) as paragraphs (4) through (9) and (10), respectively;

(4)

by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:

(2)

Deepwater architecture

The term deepwater architecture means the integration of technologies for the exploration for, or production of, natural gas or other petroleum resources located at deepwater depths.

(3)

Deepwater technology

The term deepwater technology means a discrete technology that is specially suited to address 1 or more challenges associated with the exploration for, or production of, natural gas or other petroleum resources located at deepwater depths.

; and

(5)

in paragraph (10) (as redesignated by paragraph (3)), by striking in an economically inaccessible geological formation, including resources of small producers.

(f)

Funding

Section 999H of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16378) is amended—

(1)

in the first sentence of subsection (a) by striking Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Research Fund and inserting Safe and Responsible Energy Production Research Fund;

(2)

in subsection (d)—

(A)

in paragraph (1), by striking 35 percent and inserting 21.5 percent;

(B)

in paragraph (2), by striking 32.5 percent and inserting 21 percent;

(C)

in paragraph (4)—

(i)

by striking 25 percent and inserting 30 percent;

(ii)

by striking complementary research and inserting safety technology research and development; and

(iii)

by striking contract management, and all that follows through the period at the end and inserting and contract management.; and

(D)

by adding at the end the following:

(5)

20 percent shall be used for research activities required under sections 20 and 21 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1346, 1347).

.

(3)

in subsection (f), by striking Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Research Fund and inserting Safer Oil and Gas Production and Accident Prevention Research Fund.

(g)

Conforming amendment

Subtitle J of title IX of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 16371 et seq.) is amended in the subtitle heading by striking Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources and inserting Safer Oil and Gas Production and Accident Prevention.

10.

National Commission on Outer Continental Shelf Oil Spill Prevention

(a)

Establishment

There is established in the Legislative branch the National Commission on Outer Continental Shelf Oil Spill Prevention (referred to in this section as the Commission).

(b)

Purposes

The purposes of the Commission are—

(1)

to examine and report on the facts and causes relating to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill of 2010;

(2)

to ascertain, evaluate, and report on the evidence developed by all relevant governmental agencies regarding the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident;

(3)

to build upon the investigations of other entities, and avoid unnecessary duplication, by reviewing the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of—

(A)

the Committees on Energy and Natural Resources and Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate;

(B)

the Committee on Natural Resources and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House of Representatives; and

(C)

other Executive branch, congressional, or independent commission investigations into the Deepwater Horizon incident of 2010, other fatal oil platform accidents and major spills, and major oil spills generally;

(4)

to make a full and complete accounting of the circumstances surrounding the incident, and the extent of the preparedness of the United States for, and immediate response of the United States to, the incident; and

(5)

to investigate and report to the President and Congress findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective measures that may be taken to prevent similar incidents.

(c)

Composition of Commission

(1)

Members

The Commission shall be composed of 10 members, of whom—

(A)

1 member shall be appointed by the President, who shall serve as Chairperson of the Commission;

(B)

1 member shall be appointed by the majority or minority (as the case may be) leader of the Senate from the Republican Party and the majority or minority (as the case may be) leader of the House of Representatives from the Republican Party, who shall serve as Vice Chairperson of the Commission;

(C)

2 members shall be appointed by the senior member of the leadership of the Senate from the Democratic Party;

(D)

2 members shall be appointed by the senior member of the leadership of the House of Representatives from the Republican Party;

(E)

2 members shall be appointed by the senior member of the leadership of the Senate from the Republican Party; and

(F)

2 members shall be appointed by the senior member of the leadership of the House of Representatives from the Democratic Party.

(2)

Qualifications; initial meeting

(A)

Political party affiliation

Not more than 5 members of the Commission shall be from the same political party.

(B)

Nongovernmental appointees

An individual appointed to the Commission may not be a current officer or employee of the Federal Government or any State or local government.

(C)

Other qualifications

It is the sense of Congress that individuals appointed to the Commission should be prominent United States citizens, with national recognition and significant depth of experience and expertise in such areas as—

(i)

engineering;

(ii)

environmental compliance;

(iii)

health and safety law (particularly oil spill legislation);

(iv)

oil spill insurance policies;

(v)

public administration;

(vi)

oil and gas exploration and production;

(vii)

environmental cleanup; and

(viii)

fisheries and wildlife management.

(D)

Deadline for appointment

All members of the Commission shall be appointed on or before September 15, 2010.

(E)

Initial meeting

The Commission shall meet and begin the operations of the Commission as soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act.

(3)

Quorum; vacancies

(A)

In general

After the initial meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall meet upon the call of the Chairperson or a majority of the members of the Commission.

(B)

Quorum

6 members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum.

(C)

Vacancies

Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect the powers of the Commission, but shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.

(d)

Functions of Commission

(1)

In general

The functions of the Commission are—

(A)

to conduct an investigation that—

(i)

investigates relevant facts and circumstances relating to the Deepwater Horizon incident of April 20, 2010, and the associated oil spill thereafter, including any relevant legislation, Executive order, regulation, plan, policy, practice, or procedure; and

(ii)

may include relevant facts and circumstances relating to—

(I)

permitting agencies;

(II)

environmental and worker safety law enforcement agencies;

(III)

national energy requirements;

(IV)

deepwater and ultradeepwater oil and gas exploration and development;

(V)

regulatory specifications, testing, and requirements for offshore oil and gas well explosion prevention;

(VI)

regulatory specifications, testing, and requirements offshore oil and gas well casing and cementing regulation;

(VII)

the role of congressional oversight and resource allocation; and

(VIII)

other areas of the public and private sectors determined to be relevant to the Deepwater Horizon incident by the Commission;

(B)

to identify, review, and evaluate the lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon incident of April 20, 2010, regarding the structure, coordination, management policies, and procedures of the Federal Government, and, if appropriate, State and local governments and nongovernmental entities, and the private sector, relative to detecting, preventing, and responding to those incidents; and

(C)

to submit to the President and Congress such reports as are required under this section containing such findings, conclusions, and recommendations as the Commission determines to be appropriate, including proposals for organization, coordination, planning, management arrangements, procedures, rules, and regulations.

(2)

Relationship to inquiry by congressional committees

In investigating facts and circumstances relating to energy policy, the Commission shall—

(A)

first review the information compiled by, and any findings, conclusions, and recommendations of, the committees identified in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (b)(3); and

(B)

after completion of that review, pursue any appropriate area of inquiry, if the Commission determines that—

(i)

those committees have not investigated that area;

(ii)

the investigation of that area by those committees has not been completed; or

(iii)

new information not reviewed by the committees has become available with respect to that area.

(e)

Powers of Commission

(1)

Hearings and evidence

The Commission or, on the authority of the Commission, any subcommittee or member of the Commission, may, for the purpose of carrying out this section—

(A)

hold such hearings, meet and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths; and

(B)

require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of such witnesses and the production of such books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, documents, tapes, and materials;

as the Commission or such subcommittee or member considers to be advisable.
(2)

Subpoenas

(A)

Issuance

(i)

In general

A subpoena may be issued under this paragraph only—

(I)

by the agreement of the Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson; or

(II)

by the affirmative vote of 6 members of the Commission.

(ii)

Signature

Subject to clause (i), a subpoena issued under this paragraph—

(I)

shall bear the signature of the Chairperson or any member designated by a majority of the Commission;

(II)

and may be served by any person or class of persons designated by the Chairperson or by a member designated by a majority of the Commission for that purpose.

(B)

Enforcement

(i)

In general

In the case of contumacy or failure to obey a subpoena issued under subparagraph (A), the United States district court for the district in which the subpoenaed person resides, is served, or may be found, or where the subpoena is returnable, may issue an order requiring the person to appear at any designated place to testify or to produce documentary or other evidence.

(ii)

Judicial action for noncompliance

Any failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt of that court.

(iii)

Additional enforcement

In the case of any failure of any witness to comply with any subpoena or to testify when summoned under authority of this subsection, the Commission may, by majority vote, certify a statement of fact constituting such failure to the appropriate United States attorney, who may bring the matter before the grand jury for action, under the same statutory authority and procedures as if the United States attorney had received a certification under sections 102 through 104 of the Revised Statutes (2 U.S.C. 192 through 194).

(3)

Contracting

The Commission may, to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts, enter into contracts to enable the Commission to discharge the duties of the Commission under this section.

(4)

Information from Federal agencies

(A)

In general

The Commission may secure directly from any Executive department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality of the Federal Government, information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics for the purposes of this section.

(B)

Cooperation

Each Federal department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality shall, to the extent authorized by law, furnish information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics directly to the Commission, upon request made by the Chairperson, the Chairperson of any subcommittee created by a majority of the Commission, or any member designated by a majority of the Commission.

(C)

Receipt, handling, storage, and dissemination

Information shall be received, handled, stored, and disseminated only by members of the Commission and the staff of the Commission in accordance with all applicable laws (including regulations and Executive orders).

(5)

Assistance from Federal agencies

(A)

General services administration

The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission on a reimbursable basis administrative support and other services for the performance of the functions of the Commission.

(B)

Other departments and agencies

In addition to the assistance prescribed in subparagraph (A), departments and agencies of the United States may provide to the Commission such services, funds, facilities, staff, and other support services as are determined to be advisable and authorized by law.

(6)

Gifts

The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts or donations of services or property, including travel, for the direct advancement of the functions of the Commission.

(7)

Postal services

The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as departments and agencies of the United States.

(f)

Public meetings and hearings

(1)

Public meetings and release of public versions of reports

The Commission shall—

(A)

hold public hearings and meetings, to the extent appropriate; and

(B)

release public versions of the reports required under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (j).

(2)

Public hearings

Any public hearings of the Commission shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the protection of proprietary or sensitive information provided to or developed for or by the Commission as required by any applicable law (including a regulation or Executive order).

(g)

Staff of Commission

(1)

In general

(A)

Appointment and compensation

(i)

In general

The Chairperson, in consultation with the Vice Chairperson and in accordance with rules agreed upon by the Commission, may, without regard to the civil service laws (including regulations), appoint and fix the compensation of a staff director and such other personnel as are necessary to enable the Commission to carry out the functions of the Commission.

(ii)

Maximum rate of pay

No rate of pay fixed under this subparagraph may exceed the equivalent of that payable for a position at level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of title 5, United States Code.

(B)

Personnel as Federal employees

(i)

In general

The staff director and any personnel of the Commission who are employees shall be considered to be employees under section 2105 of title 5, United States Code, for purposes of chapters 63, 81, 83, 84, 85, 87, 89, and 90 of that title.

(ii)

Members of commission

Clause (i) shall not apply to members of the Commission.

(2)

Detailees

(A)

In general

An employee of the Federal Government may be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement.

(B)

Civil service status

The detail of the employee shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.

(3)

Procurement of temporary and intermittent services

The Chairperson of the Commission may procure temporary and intermittent services in accordance with section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals that do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.

(h)

Compensation and travel expenses

(1)

Compensation of members

(A)

Non-federal employees

A member of the Commission who is not an officer or employee of the Federal Government shall be compensated at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, for each day (including travel time) during which the member is engaged in the performance of the duties of the Commission.

(B)

Federal employees

A member of the Commission who is an officer or employee of the Federal Government shall serve without compensation in addition to the compensation received for the services of the member as an officer or employee of the Federal Government.

(2)

Travel expenses

A member of the Commission shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for an employee of an agency under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from the home or regular place of business of the member in the performance of the duties of the Commission.

(i)

Security clearances for Commission members and staff

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (2), the appropriate Federal agencies or departments shall cooperate with the Commission in expeditiously providing to the members and staff of the Commission appropriate security clearances, to the maximum extent practicable, pursuant to existing procedures and requirements.

(2)

Proprietary information

No person shall be provided with access to proprietary information under this section without the appropriate security clearances.

(j)

Reports of Commission; adjournment

(1)

Interim reports

The Commission may submit to the President and Congress interim reports containing such findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective measures as have been agreed to by a majority of members of the Commission.

(2)

Final report

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commission shall submit to the President and Congress a final report containing such findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective measures as have been agreed to by a majority of members of the Commission.

(3)

Temporary adjournment

(A)

In general

The Commission, and all the authority provided under this section, shall adjourn and be suspended, respectively, on the date that is 60 days after the date on which the final report is submitted under paragraph (2).

(B)

Administrative activities before termination

The Commission may use the 60-day period referred to in subparagraph (A) for the purpose of concluding activities of the Commission, including—

(i)

providing testimony to committees of Congress concerning reports of the Commission; and

(ii)

disseminating the final report submitted under paragraph (2).

(C)

Reconvening of Commission

The Commission shall stand adjourned until such time as the President or the Secretary of Homeland Security declares an oil spill of national significance to have occurred, at which time—

(i)

the Commission shall reconvene in accordance with subsection (c)(3); and

(ii)

the authority of the Commission under this section shall be of full force and effect.

(k)

Funding

(1)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section—

(A)

$10,000,000 for the first fiscal year in which the Commission convenes; and

(B)

$3,000,000 for each fiscal year thereafter in which the Commission convenes.

(2)

Availability

Amounts made available to carry out this section shall be available—

(A)

for transfer to the Commission for use in carrying out the functions and activities of the Commission under this section; and

(B)

until the date on which the Commission adjourns for the fiscal year under subsection (j)(3).

(l)

Nonapplicability of Federal Advisory Committee Act

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Commission.

11.

Classification of offshore systems

(a)

Regulations

(1)

In general

Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary and the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall jointly issue regulations requiring systems (including existing systems) used in the offshore exploration, development, and production of oil and gas in the outer Continental Shelf to be constructed, maintained, and operated so as to meet classification, certification, rating, and inspection standards that are necessary—

(A)

to protect the health and safety of affiliated workers; and

(B)

to prevent environmental degradation.

(2)

Third-party verification

The standards established by regulation under paragraph (1) shall be verified through certification and classification by independent third parties that—

(A)

have been preapproved by both the Secretary and the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating; and

(B)

have no financial conflict of interest in conducting the duties of the third parties.

(3)

Minimum systems covered

At a minimum, the regulations issued under paragraph (1) shall require the certification and classification by an independent third party who meets the requirements of paragraph (2) of—

(A)

mobile offshore drilling units;

(B)

fixed and floating drilling or production facilities;

(C)

drilling systems, including risers and blowout preventers; and

(D)

any other equipment dedicated to the safety systems relating to offshore extraction and production of oil and gas.

(4)

Exceptions

The Secretary and the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating may waive the standards established by regulation under paragraph (1) for an existing system only if—

(A)

the system is of an age or type where meeting such requirements is impractical; and

(B)

the system poses an acceptably low level of risk to the environment and to human safety.

(b)

Authority of Coast Guard

Nothing in this section preempts or interferes with the authority of the Coast Guard.

812.

Savings provisions

(a)

Existing law

All regulations, rules, standards, determinations, contracts and agreements, memoranda of understanding, certifications, authorizations, appointments, delegations, results and findings of investigations, or any other actions issued, made, or taken by, or pursuant to or under, the authority of any law (including regulations) that resulted in the assignment of functions or activities to the Secretary, the Director of the Minerals Management Service (including by delegation from the Secretary), or the Department (as related to the implementation of the purposes referenced in this Act) that were in effect on the date of enactment of this Act shall continue in full force and effect after the date of enactment of this Act unless previously scheduled to expire or until otherwise modified or rescinded by this Act or any other Act.

(b)

Effect on other authorities

This Act does not amend or alter the provisions of other applicable laws, unless otherwise noted.

913.

Budgetary effects

The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall be determined by reference to the latest statement titled Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, provided that such statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.

July 28, 2010

Reported with amendments