< Back to S. 916 (112th Congress, 2011–2013)

Text of the Oil and Gas Facilitation Act of 2011

This bill was introduced on July 21, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of May 9, 2011 (Introduced).

This is not the latest text of this bill.

Download PDF

Source: GPO

II

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 916

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 9, 2011

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

A BILL

To facilitate appropriate oil and gas development on Federal land and waters, to limit the dependence of the United States on foreign sources of oil and gas, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Oil and Gas Facilitation Act of 2011.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Definition of Secretary.

TITLE I—Oil and gas leasing

Sec. 101. Extension of Oil and Gas Permit Processing Improvement Fund.

Sec. 102. Facilitation of coproduction of geothermal energy on oil and gas leases.

TITLE II—Outer Continental Shelf

Sec. 201. Comprehensive inventory of outer Continental Shelf resources.

Sec. 202. Alaska OCS permit processing coordination office.

Sec. 203. Phase-out of mandatory Outer Continental Shelf deep water and deep gas royalty relief for future leases.

TITLE III—Miscellaneous

Sec. 301. Facilitation of Alaska natural gas pipeline.

Sec. 302. Exemption of trans-Alaska oil pipeline system from certain requirements.

Sec. 303. Permits for natural gas pipeline in Denali National Park and Preserve.

2.

Definition of Secretary

In this Act, the term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.

I

Oil and gas leasing

101.

Extension of Oil and Gas Permit Processing Improvement Fund

Section 35(c) of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 191(c)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(4)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated from the Fund, or to the extent adequate funds in the Fund are not available from miscellaneous receipts of the Treasury, for the coordination and processing of oil and gas use authorizations and for oil and gas inspection and enforcement on onshore Federal land under the jurisdiction of the Pilot Project offices described in section 365(d) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15924(d)) $20,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2020, to remain available until expended.

.

102.

Facilitation of coproduction of geothermal energy on oil and gas leases

Section 4(b) of the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 1003(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(4)

Land subject to oil and gas lease

Land under an oil and gas lease issued pursuant to the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.) or the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands (30 U.S.C. 351 et seq.) that is subject to an approved application for permit to drill and from which oil and gas production is occurring may be available for leasing under subsection (c) by the holder of the oil and gas lease—

(A)

on a determination that—

(i)

geothermal energy will be produced from a well producing or capable of producing oil and gas; and

(ii)

the public interest will be served by the issuance of such a lease; and

(B)

in order to provide for the coproduction of geothermal energy with oil and gas.

.

II

Outer Continental Shelf

201.

Comprehensive inventory of outer Continental Shelf resources

(a)

In general

Section 357 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15912) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

by striking the first sentence of the matter preceding paragraph (1) and inserting the following: The Secretary shall conduct a comprehensive inventory of oil and natural gas (including executing or otherwise facilitating seismic studies of resources) and prepare a summary (the latter prepared with the assistance of, and based on information provided by, the heads of appropriate Federal agencies) of the information obtained under paragraph (3), for the waters of the United States Outer Continental Shelf (referred to in this section as the OCS) in the Atlantic Region, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and the Alaska Region.;

(B)

in paragraph (2)—

(i)

by striking 3-D and inserting 2-D and 3-D; and

(ii)

by adding and at the end; and

(C)

by striking paragraphs (3) through (5) and inserting in the following:

(3)

use existing inventories and mapping of marine resources undertaken by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and with the assistance of and based on information provided by the Department of Defense and other Federal and State agencies possessing relevant data, and use any available data regarding alternative energy potential, navigation uses, fisheries, aquaculture uses, recreational uses, habitat, conservation, and military uses.

; and

(2)

by striking subsection (b) and inserting the following:

(b)

Implementation

The Secretary shall carry out the inventory and analysis under subsection (a) in 3 phases, with priority given to all or part of applicable planning areas of the outer Continental Shelf—

(1)

estimated to have the greatest potential for energy development in barrel of oil equivalent; and

(2)

outside of any leased area or area scheduled for leasing prior to calendar year 2011 under any outer Continental Shelf 5-year leasing program or amendment to the program under section 18 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1344).

(c)

Plan

(1)

In general

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this paragraph, 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 that provides a plan for executing or otherwise facilitating the seismic studies required under this section, including an estimate of the costs to complete the seismic inventory by region and environmental and permitting activities to facilitate expeditious completion.

(2)

First phase

Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this paragraph, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report describing the results of the first phase of the inventory and analysis under subsection (a).

(3)

Subsequent phases

Not later than 2 years after the date on which the report is submitted under paragraph (2) and 2 years thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report describing the results of the second and third phases, respectively, of the inventory and analysis under subsection (a).

(4)

Public availability

A report submitted under paragraph (2) or (3) shall be—

(A)

made publicly available; and

(B)

updated not less frequently than once every 5 years.

.

(b)

Relationship to 5-Year Program

The requirement that the Secretary carry out the inventory required by the amendment made by subsection (a) shall not be considered to require, authorize, or provide a basis or justification for delay by the Secretary or any other agency of the issuance of any outer Continental Shelf leasing program or amendment to the program under section 18 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1344), or any lease sale pursuant to that section.

(c)

Permits

Nothing in this section or an amendment made by this section—

(1)

precludes the issuance by the Secretary of a permit to conduct geological and geophysical exploration of the outer Continental Shelf in accordance with the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.) and other applicable law; or

(2)

otherwise alters the requirements of applicable law with respect to the issuance of such a permit or any other activities undertaken by the Secretary in connection with the inventory.

(d)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section, to be available until expended without fiscal year limitation—

(1)

$100,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2017; and

(2)

$50,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2018 through 2022.

202.

Alaska OCS permit processing coordination office

(a)

Establishment

The Secretary shall establish a regional joint outer Continental Shelf lease and permit processing office for the Alaska outer Continental Shelf region.

(b)

Memorandum of understanding

(1)

In general

Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall enter into a memorandum of understanding for the purposes of carrying out this section with—

(A)

the Secretary of Commerce;

(B)

the Chief of Engineers;

(C)

the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; and

(D)

any other Federal agency that may have a role in permitting activities.

(2)

State participation

The Secretary shall request that the Governor of Alaska be a signatory to the memorandum of understanding.

(c)

Designation of qualified staff

(1)

In general

Not later than 30 days after the date of the signing of the memorandum of understanding under subsection (b), each Federal signatory party shall, if appropriate, assign to the office described in subsection (a) an employee who has expertise in the regulatory issues administered by the office in which the employee is employed relating to leasing and the permitting of oil and gas activities on the outer Continental Shelf.

(2)

Duties

An employee assigned under paragraph (1) shall—

(A)

not later than 90 days after the date of assignment, report to the office described in subsection (a);

(B)

be responsible for all issues relating to the jurisdiction of the home office or agency of the employee; and

(C)

participate as part of the applicable team of personnel working on proposed oil and gas leasing and permitting, including planning and environmental analyses.

(d)

Transfer of funds

For the purposes of coordination and processing of oil and gas use authorizations for the Alaska outer Continental Shelf region, the Secretary may authorize the expenditure or transfer of such funds as are necessary to—

(1)

the Secretary of Commerce;

(2)

the Chief of Engineers;

(3)

the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;

(4)

any other Federal agency having a role in permitting activities; and

(5)

the State of Alaska.

(e)

Savings provision

Nothing in this section affects—

(1)

the operation of any Federal or State law; or

(2)

any delegation of authority made by the head of a Federal agency for employees that are assigned to the coordination office.

(f)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $2,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 through 2022, to remain available until expended.

203.

Phase-out of mandatory Outer Continental Shelf deep water and deep gas royalty relief for future leases

(a)

In general

Sections 344 and 345 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15904, 15905) are repealed.

(b)

Administration

The Secretary shall not be required to provide for royalty relief in the lease sale terms beginning with the first lease sale held on or after the date of enactment of this Act for which a final notice of sale has not been published.

III

Miscellaneous

301.

Facilitation of Alaska natural gas pipeline

Section 116 of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act (15 U.S.C. 720n) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)(3)—

(A)

in the first sentence, by inserting before the period at the end the following: “, except that a holder of a certificate may request the Secretary to extend the period to issue Federal guarantee instruments for not more than 180 days following the date of resolution of any reopening, contest, or other proceeding relating to the certificate”; and

(B)

in the second sentence, by inserting before the period at the end the following: “, or connecting to pipeline infrastructure capable of delivering commercially economic quantities of natural gas to the continental United States”;

(2)

in subsection (b)—

(A)

by striking paragraph (2);

(B)

by redesignating paragraphs (3) and (4) as paragraphs (2) and (3), respectively; and

(C)

in paragraph (2) (as so redesignated), by striking and completion guarantees;

(3)

in subsection (c)(2), by striking $18,000,000,000 and inserting $30,000,000,000;

(4)

in subsection (d)—

(A)

in the first sentence of paragraph (1), by inserting before the period at the end the following: , except that an issued loan guarantee instrument shall apply to not less than 80 percent of project costs unless by previous consent of the borrower; and

(B)

in paragraph (2), by striking An eligible and inserting A; and

(5)

in subsection (g)—

(A)

by striking paragraph (2);

(B)

by redesignating paragraphs (3) and (4) as paragraphs (2) and (3), respectively; and

(C)

in paragraph (2) (as so redesignated), by inserting before the period at the end the following: under subsection (a)(3), including direct lending from the Federal Financing Bank of all or a part of the amount to the holder, in lieu of a guarantee.

302.

Exemption of trans-Alaska oil pipeline system from certain requirements

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act (43 U.S.C. 1651 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

208.

Exemption of trans-Alaska oil pipeline system from certain requirements

(a)

In general

Except as provided in subsection (b), no part of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline system shall be considered to be a district, site, building, structure, or object for purposes of section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f), regardless of whether all or part of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline system may otherwise be listed on, or eligible for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places.

(b)

Individual elements

(1)

In general

Subject to subsection (c), the Secretary of the Interior may identify up to 3 sections of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline system that possess national or exceptional historic significance, and that should remain after the pipeline is no longer used for the purpose of oil transportation.

(2)

Historic site

Any sections identified under paragraph (1) shall be considered to be a historic site.

(3)

Views

In making the identification under this subsection, the Secretary shall consider the views of—

(A)

the owners of the pipeline;

(B)

the State Historic Preservation Officer;

(C)

the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; and

(D)

the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects.

(c)

Construction, maintenance, restoration, and rehabilitation activities

Subsection (b) does not prohibit the owners of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline system from carrying out construction, maintenance, restoration, or rehabilitation activities on or for a section of the system described in subsection (b).

.

303.

Permits for natural gas pipeline in Denali National Park and Preserve

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Appurtenance

(A)

In general

The term appurtenance includes cathodic protection or test stations, valves, signage, and buried communication and electric cables relating to the operation of high-pressure natural gas transmission.

(B)

Exclusions

The term appurtenance does not include compressor stations.

(2)

Park

The term Park means the Denali National Park and Preserve in the State of Alaska.

(b)

Permit

The Secretary may issue right-of-way permits for—

(1)

a high-pressure natural gas transmission pipeline (including appurtenances) in non-wilderness areas within the boundary of Denali National Park within, along, or near the approximately 7-mile segment of the George Parks Highway that runs through the Park; and

(2)

any distribution and transmission pipelines and appurtenances that the Secretary determines to be necessary to provide natural gas supply to the Park.

(c)

Terms and conditions

A permit authorized under subsection (b)—

(1)

may be issued only—

(A)

if the permit is consistent with the laws (including regulations) generally applicable to utility rights-of-way within units of the National Park System;

(B)

in accordance with section 1106(a) of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3166(a)); and

(C)

if, following an appropriate analysis prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), the route of the right-of-way is the route through the Park with the least adverse environmental effects for the Park; and

(2)

shall be subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretary determines to be necessary.