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H.R. 3408 (112th): PIONEERS Act

The text of the bill below is as of Nov 14, 2011 (Introduced).


I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3408

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 14, 2011

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources

A BILL

To set clear rules for the development of United States oil shale resources, to promote shale technology research and development, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security Act or the PIONEERS Act.

2.

Findings

Congress finds that oil shale resources located within the United States—

(1)

total almost 2 trillion barrels of oil in place;

(2)

are a strategically important domestic resource that should be developed on an accelerated basis to reduce our growing reliance on politically and economically unstable sources of foreign oil imports;

(3)

are one of the best resources available for advancing American technology and creating American jobs; and

(4)

will be a critically important component of the Nation’s transportation fuel sector in particular, by providing a secure domestic source of aviation fuel for both commercial and military uses.

3.

Effectiveness of oil shale regulations, amendments to resource management plans, and record of decision

(a)

Regulations

Notwithstanding any other law or regulation to the contrary, the final regulations regarding oil shale management published by the Bureau of Land Management on November 18, 2008 (73 Fed. Reg. 69,414) are deemed to satisfy all legal and procedural requirements under any law, including the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–58), and the Secretary of the Interior shall implement those regulations, including the oil shale leasing program authorized by the regulations, without any other administrative action necessary.

(b)

Amendments to resource management plans and record of decision

Notwithstanding any other law or regulation to the contrary, the November 17, 2008 U.S. Bureau of Land Management Approved Resource Management Plan Amendments/Record of Decision for Oil Shale and Tar Sands Resources to Address Land Use Allocations in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming and Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement are deemed to satisfy all legal and procedural requirements under any law, including the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–58), and the Secretary of the Interior shall implement the oil shale leasing program authorized by the regulations referred to in subsection (a) in those areas covered by the resource management plans amended by such amendments, and covered by such record of decision, without any other administrative action necessary.

4.

Oil shale leasing

(a)

Additional research and development lease sales

The Secretary of the Interior shall hold a lease sale within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act offering an additional 10 parcels for lease for research, development, and demonstration of oil shale resources, under the terms offered in the solicitation of bids for such leases published on January 15, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 10).

(b)

Commercial lease sales

No later than January 1, 2016, the Secretary of the Interior shall hold no less than 5 separate commercial lease sales in areas considered to have the most potential for oil shale development, as determined by the Secretary, in areas nominated through public comment. Each lease sale shall be for an area of not less than 25,000 acres, and in multiple lease blocs.

(c)

Reduced payments To ensure production

The Secretary of the Interior may temporarily reduce royalties, fees, rentals, bonus, or other payments for leases of Federal lands for the development and production of oil shale resources as necessary to incentivize and encourage development of such resources, if the Secretary determines that the royalties, fees, rentals, bonus bids, and other payments otherwise authorized by law are hindering production of such resources.