Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
Increase American Energy Production Now Act of 2011 - Establishes in the Department of the Interior:
(1) a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to administer a program of offshore energy and mineral resources management on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS),
(2) a Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to administer safety and environmental enforcement activities related to such resources,
(3) a National Oil and Gas Health and Safety Academy to train Department of the Interior personnel, and
(4) an Office of Natural Resources Revenue to administer offshore royalty and revenue management functions.
Abolishes the Minerals Management Service and transfers specified functions to such Bureaus and Office.
Requires the Secretary of the Interior to: (1) certify compliance with federal employee ethics laws annually; and (2) establish an Outer Continental Shelf Safety and Environmental Advisory Board to advise the Secretary and the Directors of such Bureaus on safe and environmentally compliant energy and mineral resource exploration, development, and production activities.
Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments of 2011 - Amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), including by:
(1) establishing and revising regulations to provide for operational safety and the protection of the marine and coastal environment of OCS natural resources;
(2) setting forth minimum requirements for regulatory standards for blowout preventers, well design, and cementing;
(3) requiring the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to review the minimum financial responsibility requirements for leases by May 11, 2011, and every five years thereafter;
(4) limiting an oil and gas lease of submerged OCS lands to a tract of 5,760 acres;
(5) requiring geological exploration permits to include environmental and natural resource conservation requirements;
(6) increasing civil penalties for violations;
(7) directing the Secretary to require that lessees obtain a permit before any significant modification of a well design;
(8) requiring lessees to submit development and production plans for oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico;
(9) revoking provisions concerning royalty relief for oil and gas leases in the Planning Areas offshore Alaska;
(10) requiring the President to publish a final determination of the boundaries of coastal states projected seaward to the outer margin of the OCS; and
(11) prohibiting the Secretary from issuing any license or permit authorizing drilling for oil and gas on the OCS unless the applicant has an approved response plan.
Requires the Secretary to take action to apply such requirements to existing leases.
Amends the Clean Air Act to require the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board to make recommendations on preventing an accidental fire, explosion, or release involving an offshore oil or gas exploration or production facility to the Secretary and the Commandant of the Coast Guard.
Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to repeal provisions relating to:
(1) incentives for natural gas production from deep wells in shallow waters in the Gulf of Mexico;
(2) royalty relief for deep water production in the Gulf of Mexico; and
(3) a rebuttable presumption that the use of a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 would apply to specified actions by the Secretary in managing the public lands, or to the Secretary of Agriculture in managing National Forest System Lands, if the activity is conducted pursuant to the Mineral Leasing Act for the purpose of exploration or development of oil or gas.
Amends the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 to increase civil penalties for violations of such Act.
Directs the Secretary to:
(1) complete a pilot project assessing costs and benefits of automatic transmission of certain data produced under federal leases on the OCS,
(2) ensure accurate determination and reporting of BTU values of natural gas from federal leases to ensure accurate royalty payments,
(3) publish regulations concerning required recordkeeping of natural gas measurement data, and
(4) publish regulations prescribing when a lessee must report and pay royalties on oil and gas.
Applies any royalty under an OCS lease to oil that is saved, removed, sold, or discharged, without regard to whether the oil is lost or used on, or for the benefit of, the lease.
Gulf Coast Restoration Act - Establishes: (1) the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Fund for the conservation, protection, and restoration of the Gulf Coast in accordance with State Coastal Ecosystem Restoration Plans; and (2) the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force to review and approve such plans.
Requires the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to establish or designate a Regional Coordination Council for each of the Coordination Regions designated by this Act, which shall submit to CEQ strategic plans to foster comprehensive, integrated, and sustainable development and use of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources, while protecting marine ecosystem health and sustaining the long-term economic and ecosystem values of such waters.
Establishes the Ocean Resources Conservation and Assistance Fund, amounts from which shall be used for activities and grants that contribute to the conservation, protection, maintenance, and restoration of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems.
Oil Spill Accountability and Environmental Protection Act of 2011 - Amends the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to:
(1) repeal the limitation on the liability of the responsible party for an offshore facility for damages and removal costs that result from a discharge of oil into or upon the navigable waters or adjoining shorelines or the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ);
(2) increase the amount of financial responsibility required for offshore facilities and guarantors of an offshore facility to $300 million;
(3) make responsible parties for vessels or facilities from which oil is discharged liable for damages to human health;
(4) authorize the President to require a responsible party to provide information about claims in the event of a spill of national significance; and
(5) extend liability to any corporation, partnership, or other person (other than an individual) having an ownership interest exceeding 25% in any responsible party.
Limits the: (1) exploration, development, or production of resources in, on, above, or below the EEZ to vessels owned by U.S. citizens; and (2) exploration, development, or production of oil or natural gas in, on, above, or below the EEZ to facilities built in the United States.
Sets forth provisions concerning safety management systems and standards for mobile offshore drilling units.
Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (commonly known as the Clean Water Act) to:
(1) revoke the President's authorization to allow tank vessels and facilities to operate without a plan to respond to the discharge of oil or hazardous substances, and
(2) require the National Contingency Plan to include guidelines regarding the use of containment booms to contain a discharge of oil or a hazardous substance.
Requires the President to:
(1) issue a revised regulation for the development of the schedule for the use of dispersants, other chemicals, and other spill mitigating devices and substances;
(2) undertake a rulemaking concerning standards for ceasing and removing a worst case discharge of oil or a hazardous substance and for mitigating or preventing a substantial threat of such discharge;
(3) create a database to track all discharges of oil or hazardous substances; and
(4) delegate specified responsibilities with respect to oil discharges to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, the Secretary of Transportation (DOT), and the Secretary of the Interior.
Requires the Commandant to inventory and maintain a database of vessels operating in U.S. waters that are capable of meeting oil spill responses needs designated in the National Contingency Plan.
Oil Pollution Research and Development Program Reauthorization Act of 2011 - Amends the Oil Pollution Research and Development Program, including by:
(1) revising membership requirements of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on Oil Pollution Research;
(2) requiring such Committee to develop a national information clearinghouse on oil discharge;
(3) removing requirements that the Coast Guard conduct port oil pollution minimization demonstration projects with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Port of New Orleans, Louisiana; and
(4) requiring such Committee to establish the Oil Pollution Research Advisory Committee.
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to eliminate: (1) the $1 billion per incident limitation on expenditures from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for cleanup of oil spills, and (2) restrictions on the borrowing authority of such Trust Fund.
Requires diligent development by the leaseholder of each lease authorizing the exploration for or development or production of oil or natural gas issued under the Mineral Leasing Act, the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 (NPRPA), the OCSLA, and the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands, in order to ensure timely production.
Directs the Secretary of the Interior to issue regulations to establish an annual production incentive fee with respect to federal onshore and offshore lands subject to an oil or natural gas production lease under which production is not occurring.
Amends the NPRPA to direct the Secretary to accelerate competitive and environmentally responsible leasing of oil and gas in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A), including at least one lease sale during each of calendar years 2011-2016.
Directs the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to facilitate the construction of oil and natural gas pipelines from or through the NPR-A to existing transportation or processing infrastructure on the North Slope of Alaska. Prescribes general requirements for project labor agreements and pipeline maintenance.
Amends NPRPA to repeal provisions concerning: (1) renewing leasing of oil and gas in the NPR-A; (2) expiration of a lease if no oil or gas is produced from a lease within 30 years of its issuance; (3) expiration of a lease covering lands capable of producing oil or gas in paying quantities for failing to produce such quantities due to circumstances beyond the lessee's control; and (4) waiving, suspending, or reducing rental fees or royalties.
Study of Ways to Improve the Accuracy of the Collection of Federal Oil, Condensate, and Natural Gas Royalties Act of 2011 - Requires the Secretary of the Interior to enter into an arrangement with the National Academy of Engineering to study whether any of specified actions would improve the accuracy of collection of royalties on production of oil, condensate, and natural gas under leases of federal lands (including submerged and deep water lands) and Indian lands.
Offshore Oil and Gas Worker Whistleblower Protection Act of 2011 - Prohibits employers from discharging, or discriminating against, a covered employee for providing information for, or participating in, proceedings related to violations of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
Amends the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 to make any person or instrumentality that destroys, causes the loss of, or injures any refuge resource liable for the amount of the response costs and resulting damages and interest on amounts paid in satisfaction of claims under such Act.
Amends the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (CZMA) to authorize the Secretary of Commerce to make grants to coastal states to ensure sufficient response capabilities to address impacts of oil spills.
Requires the Secretary of the Interior to establish a Flow Rate Technical Group to develop expertise in measuring and estimating flow rates and spill volumes.