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Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
11/20/2013--Passed House amended.
Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act of 2013 -
Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security
Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act -
Directs the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary), when practicable, to encourage the use of U.S. workers and equipment manufactured in the U.S. in all construction related to mineral resource development under this Act.
Onshore Oil and Gas Permit Streamlining
Streamlining Permitting of American Energy Act of 2013 - Chapter 1: Application for Permits to Drill Process Reform -
Amends the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA) to direct the Secretary to decide whether to issue a permit to drill within 30 days after receiving a permit application.
Authorizes the Secretary to extend the initial 30-day permit application review period for up to two periods of 15 days each, with written notice to the applicant.
Deems a permit application approved if the Secretary has not made a decision by 60 days after its receipt. Prescribes requirements for denial of an application, including allowing resubmission of an application and a decision to issue or deny within 10 days after resubmission.
Requires the Secretary to collect a single $6,500 permit processing fee per application at the time the decision is made whether to issue a permit.
Requires that at least 25% of fees collected each fiscal year as annual wind energy and solar energy right-of-way authorization fees be made available for certain solar and wind permitting and management activities, and another 25% be made available for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) solar and wind permit approval activities.
Restricts the total amount of fees available for such activities to $5 million each fiscal year.
Chapter 2: Administrative Protest Documentation Reform - (1121) Directs the Secretary to collect a $5,000 documentation fee to accompany each protest for a lease, right of way, or application for permit to drill. Requires 50% of all such fees to remain in the field office where they are collected and used to process protests subject to appropriation.
Chapter 3: Permit Streamlining -
Requires the Secretary to: (1) establish a Federal Permit Streamlining Project in every BLM field office with responsibility for permitting energy projects on federal land, and (2) enter into a related memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Secretary of Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Chief of the Army Corps of Engineers.
Authorizes the Secretary to request that the Governor of any state with energy projects on federal lands be a signatory to the MOU.
Requires federal signatories to such a MOU to assign staff with special expertise in the pertinent regulatory issues to each BLM field office.
Requires such staff to: (1) be responsible for all issues relating to the energy projects that arise under the authorities of the employee's home agency; and (2) participate as part of the team of personnel working on proposed energy projects, planning, and environmental analyses on federal lands.
Directs the Secretary to assign to each relevant BLM field office additional personnel to ensure the effective approval and implementation of energy projects administered by BLM field offices, including inspection and enforcement relating to energy development on federal land, in accordance with the multiple use mandate of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.
Prohibits the Secretary, in managing federal lands under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPA 2005) with respect to oil or natural gas drilling, from requiring a finding of extraordinary circumstances under a review pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).
Chapter 4: Judicial Review -
Sets forth requirements for judicial review of a claim regarding agency action affecting the leasing of federal lands regarding exploration, development, production, processing, or transmission of oil, natural gas, wind, or any other source of energy.
Chapter 5: Knowing America's Oil And Gas Resources -
Requires the Secretary to provide matching funding for joint projects with states to conduct oil and gas resource assessments on federal lands with significant oil and gas potential.
Prohibits the federal share of the cost of such activities from exceeding 50%.
Authorizes $50 million for FY2014-FY2017 to implement such assessments.
Oil and Gas Leasing Certainty
Providing Leasing Certainty for American Energy Act of 2013 -
Directs the Secretary, in conducting lease sales under the MLA, to offer for sale at least 25% of the annual nominated acreage not previously made available for lease.
Shields such acreage from protest and the test of extraordinary circumstances, but makes it eligible for certain categorical exclusions under EPA 2005 and NEPA.
Amends the MLA to prohibit the Secretary from: (1) withdrawing any covered energy project without finding a violation of lease terms by the lessee; (2) delaying indefinitely issuance of project approvals, drilling and seismic permits, and rights of way for activities under a lease; or (3) cancelling or withdrawing any lease parcel after a competitive lease sale has occurred and a winning bidder has made the last payment for the parcel.
Instructs the Secretary to: (1) make nominated areas available for lease within 18 months after an area is designated as open under a current land use plan, (2) issue all leases sold 60 days after the last payment is made, and (3) adjudicate lease protests filed following a lease sale.
Prohibits additional lease stipulations after the parcel is sold without consultation and agreement of the lessee (except certain emergency actions to conserve U.S. resources).
Requires federal land managers to follow existing resource management plans and continue to lease actively in areas designated as open when resource management plans are being amended or revised, until such time as a new record of decision is signed.
Declares without force or effect BLM Instruction Memorandum 2010-117 (which establishes a process to ensure orderly, effective, timely, and environmentally responsible leasing of oil and gas resources on federal lands).
Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security Act, or PIONEERS Act -
Deems the final regulations regarding oil shale management published by the BLM on November 18, 2008, to satisfy all legal and procedural requirements under any law, including the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, NEPA, and EPA 2005. Directs the Secretary to implement those regulations, including the oil shale leasing program they authorize, without any other administrative action necessary.
Deems 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 also to satisfy all legal and procedural requirements under any law.
Directs the Secretary to implement the oil shale leasing program 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.
Directs the Secretary to hold a lease sale, within 180 days after enactment of this Act, that offers an additional ten 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.
Requires the Secretary, by January 1, 2016, to hold at least five separate commercial lease sales, in multiple lease blocs, in areas of at least 25,000 acres, which: (1) have been nominated through public comment, and (2) are considered to have the most potential for oil shale development.
Declares that nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize the issuance of a lease under the MLA to any person designated for the imposition of sanctions pursuant to specified Executive Orders, certain statutes relating to Iran Sanctions, and the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003.
Planning For American Energy
Planning for American Energy Act of 2013 -
Amends the MLA to direct the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) with regard to lands administered by the Forest Service, to publish every four years a Quadrennial Federal Onshore Energy Production Strategy to direct federal land energy development and department resource allocation in order to promote the energy and national security of the United States in accordance with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) mission to promote the multiple use of federal lands.
Instructs the Secretary to consult with the Administrator of the Energy Information Administration on the projected energy demands of the United States for the next 30 years and on how energy derived from federal onshore lands can put the United States on a trajectory that meets such demand during the next four years, with a goal for increasing energy independence and production.
Requires the Secretary to determine a domestic strategic production objective for the development of energy resources from such lands.
Expresses the sense of Congress that federally recognized Indian tribes may elect to set their own production objectives as part of the Strategy.
Grants the relevant Secretary all necessary authority to make determinations regarding which additional federal lands available for leasing at the time the lease sale occurs will be available to meet the production objectives established by the strategies.
Directs the Secretary also to take all necessary actions to achieve such objectives unless the President determines that it is not in U.S. national security and economic interests to increase federal domestic energy production and to further decrease dependence upon foreign energy sources.
Requires the relevant Secretary to only consider leasing federal lands available for leasing at the time the lease sale occurs.
Requires the Secretary to report annually to specified congressional committees on the progress of meeting the production goals set forth in the strategy and projections for production and capacity installations and any problems with leasing, permitting, siting, or production that will prevent meeting the goal.
Requires the Secretary, within 12 months of this Act's enactment, to complete a programmatic environmental impact statement in accordance with certain requirements under NEPA. Deems such statement sufficient to be in compliance with NEPA requirements for all necessary resource management and land use plans associated with implementation of the Strategy.
Requires the Secretary to submit to: (1) the President and Congress, each proposed strategy, including comments received from affected states, federally recognized tribes, and local governments prior to publishing it; and (2) Congress the first strategy within 18 months of enactment.
National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska Access
National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act -
Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the National Petroleum Reserve (NPR) in Alaska remains explicitly designated to provide oil and natural gas resources to the United States, and (2) it is national policy to actively advance oil and gas development within the NPR.
Amends the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976 to require the mandatory program of competitive leasing of oil and gas in the NPR to include at least one lease sale annually in those areas of the NPR most likely to produce commercial quantities of oil and natural gas each year in the period 2013-2023.
Directs the Secretary of the Interior to ensure permits according to a specified time line for all surface development activities, including pipelines and roads construction, to:
(1) develop and bring into production areas within the NPR that are subject to oil and gas leases, and
(2) transport oil and gas from and through the NPR to existing transportation or processing infrastructure on the North Slope of Alaska. Requires the Secretary to ensure that any federal permitting agency shall issue permits for construction for transportation of oil and natural gas under existing federal oil and gas leases with drilling permits within 60 days after enactment of this Act. Requires approval of drilling permits under new federal oil and gas leases within six months after submission of a permit request to the Secretary. Directs the Secretary to submit to Congress a plan for approved rights-of-way for any plan for pipeline, road, and other necessary surface infrastructure that will ensure that all leasable tracts in the NPR are within 25 miles of an approved road and pipeline right-of-way that can serve future development of the NPR.
Directs the Secretary to issue: (1) a new proposed integrated activity plan from among the non-adopted alternatives in the NPR Alaska Integrated Activity Plan Record of Decision dated February 21, 2013, and (2) an environmental impact statement under NEPA for issuance of oil and gas leases in the NPR-Alaska to promote efficient and maximum development of oil and natural gas resources of such reserve.
Nullifies the February 21, 2013, Record of Decision, including its integrated activity plan and environmental impact statement.
Instructs the Secretary to issue regulations establishing clear requirements to ensure that the Department of the Interior is supporting development of oil and gas leases in the NPR.
Prescribes requirements for the new proposed integrated activity plan, including a departmental deadline for response to lease development permit applications and a timeline for processing each application.
Requires the Secretary to assess all technically recoverable fossil fuel resources within the NPR, including all conventional and unconventional oil and natural gas.
Directs the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the state of Alaska and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, to carry out and complete the resource assessment within 24 months after enactment of this Act.
Authorizes the USGS to use resources and funds provided by the state of Alaska in carrying out such assessment.
BLM Live Internet Auctions
BLM Live Internet Auctions Act -
Amends the MLA to authorize the Secretary to conduct onshore oil and gas lease sales through Internet-based live bidding methods.
Requires each individual Internet-based lease sale to conclude within seven days.
Directs the Secretary to analyze the first ten such lease sales, including estimates of: (1) increases or decreases in such lease sales, compared to sales conducted by oral bidding; and (2) the total cost or savings to the Department of the Interior as a result of such sales, compared to sales conducted by oral bidding.
Requires the report to evaluate the demonstrated or expected effectiveness of different structures for lease sales which may provide an opportunity to better maximize bidder participation, ensure the highest return to the federal taxpayers, minimize opportunities for fraud or collusion, and ensure the security and integrity of the leasing process.
Native American Energy
Native American Energy Act -
Amends the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to allow either the Secretary, an affected Indian tribe, or a certified third-party appraiser under contract with the Indian tribe to appraise Indian land or trust assets involved in a transaction requiring the Secretary's approval.
Deems an appraisal conducted by an Indian tribe or by an appraiser under contract with an Indian tribe to be approved if the Secretary does not approve or disapprove of the appraisal within 60 days of receiving it.
Grants tribes the option of waiving such appraisals if they give the Secretary an unambiguous indication of tribal intent to do so that includes an express waiver of any claims they might have against the United States that result from forgoing the appraisal.
Requires each agency within the Department of the Interior involved in the review of oil and gas activities on Indian lands to use a uniform system of reference numbers and tracking systems for oil and gas wells.
Amends NEPA to make the environmental impact statement for major federal action on Indian lands available for review and comment only to the affected Indian tribe and individuals residing within the affected area.
Prescribes procedures for judicial review. Bars any energy related action that is not filed within the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of the final agency action.
Amends the Tribal Forest Protection Act of 2004 to direct the Secretary to enter into agreements with Indian tribes, for each of FY2014-FY2018, to execute demonstration projects that promote biomass energy production on Indian forest land and in nearby communities by providing tribes with reliable supplies of woody biomass from federal lands.
Requires the creation of at least four new demonstration projects during each of those fiscal years.
Directs the Secretary, when reviewing project applications, to consider whether a proposed demonstration project will:
increase the availability or reliability of local or regional energy, enhance the tribe's economic development, improve the connection of electric power transmission facilities serving the tribe with other electric transmission facilities, improve the forest health or watersheds of federal land or Indian forest land or rangeland, or otherwise promote woody biomass use.
Directs the Secretary, to the extent practicable, to incorporate management plans in effect on Indian forest land or rangeland into demonstration project agreements affecting those lands.
Prohibits the agreements from having a term that exceeds 20 years, but allows them to be renewed for up to ten additional years.
Considers activities conducted or resources harvested or produced pursuant to a tribal resource management plan or an integrated resource management plan approved by the Secretary to be a sustainable when sustainability is federally required.
Amends the Long-Term Leasing Act to authorize the Navajo Nation to enter into commercial or agricultural leases of up to 99 years on their restricted lands without the Secretary's approval, provided they are executed under tribal regulations approved by the Secretary.
Permits the Navajo Nation to enter into mineral resource leases on their restricted lands without the Secretary's approval if they are executed under approved tribal regulations and do not exceed 25 years, though they may include a renewal option for one additional term not exceeding 25 years.
Prohibits any Department of the Interior rule concerning hydraulic fracturing used in oil and gas development or production, from having any effect on land held in trust or restricted status for Indians, except with the express consent of its Indian beneficiaries.
House Republican Conference Summary
The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.
This summary can be found at http://www.gop.gov/bill/113/1/hr1965.
H.R. 1965 combines several bills aimed at expanding onshore energy production, streamlining permitting processes, and reducing red tape. The following Summary and Background Information was provided by the House Natural Resources Committee:
Title I: Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act
- The Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act, introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05), would streamline government roadblocks and bureaucratic red-tape that block and delay onshore American energy production and job creation.
- The bill would reform the leasing process for onshore oil and natural gas projects on federal lands to eliminate unnecessary delays; reform the process for energy permitting, once a lease is in hand, to encourage the timely development of our federal resources; ensure funds are available for efficient wind and solar permitting; and set clear rules for the development of U.S. oil shale resources.
- The Obama Administration has had the four lowest years of federal acres leased for energy production going back to 1988.
- This bill would expand onshore energy production by requiring the Interior Secretary to conduct new lease sales in areas identified with the greatest energy potential, prohibit the Interior Secretary from taking away leases already sold, set firm timelines for the Secretary to issue leases, and prohibit the Secretary from changing the rules after the leases and contracts have been finalized.
- Under the Obama Administration, energy producers on federal lands have to wait on average 30 percent longer for approval of an application for permit to drill. While the average time to get a permit to drill approved on state lands is 12-15 days, according the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) the average time to get a permit approved on federal lands is 307 days.
- This bill would ensure the timely approval of permits by setting a firm timeline for the Interior Secretary to act on a permit to drill; direct a portion of permit processing fees and rights of way fees to the local office where they were collected in order ensure the permitting agencies have the personnel, expertise, and resources to keep American oil, natural gas, wind and solar production on track by processing permits, leases and protests in a timely manner; and ensure American energy projects are not indefinitely delayed by frivolous lawsuits by setting reasonable time limits for litigation.
- According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. holds more than half of the world’s oil shale resources - six times Saudi Arabia’s proven resources, and enough to provide the United States with energy for the next 200 years.
- Since taking office the Obama Administration has repeatedly hindered oil shale development, preventing the production of this new energy resource and blocking the creation of thousands of American jobs.
- This bill would direct the Secretary of the Interior to issue additional Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) leases within 180 days after enactment of bids published on January 15, 2009; direct the Secretary of the Interior to issue at least 5 separate commercial lease sales by January 1, 2016; provide regulatory certainty to oil and natural gas producers for commercial development; and provide the Secretary of the Interior the ability to temporarily reduce royalties and fees paid by oil producers in order to further incentivize and encourage energy development
Title II - The Planning for American Energy Act:
- The Planning for American Energy Act, introduced by Rep. Scott Tipton (CO-03), would establish common sense steps to create an all-of-the-above American energy plan using our vast federal resources.
- The bill ensures that our Nation’s energy needs are met through development of both traditional and alternative energy resources–a true all-of-the-above approach that will lower the cost of energy, grow our economy, and get Americans working.
- Specifically, the Planning for American Energy Actwould:
- Strengthen our energy security by requiring the Secretary of the Interior to develop a Quadrennial Federal Onshore Energy Production Strategy (a strategic action plan) every four years on how to responsibly develop our federal onshore energy resources in order to meet the United States’ energy demands and promote the energy security of our Nation.
- Require the Secretary to set production objectives for the development of our Federal resources. Also requires the Secretary to report annually to Congress on the progress of meeting these objectives.
- Ensure the development of a true all-of-the-above energy plan that embraces all of America’s vast energy resources by requiring that oil, natural gas, coal, wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, oil shale and minerals be included in the plan.
Title III - The National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act:
- The National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act, introduced by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) and Rep. Don Young (AK-at large), would create new jobs, support current energy jobs in Alaska, expand American energy production, and lower energy costs by ensuring that oil and natural gas resources in the National Petroleum Reserve -Alaska (NPR-A) are developed and transported in a timely, efficient manner.
- The NPR-A was specifically established as a petroleum reserve in 1923 and again in 1981 when stewardship was passed from the Navy to the Interior Department. According to estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey, there are over 896 million barrels of oil and 53 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the NPR-A .
- In February, the Obama Administration finalized a plan to close over half of the NPR-A to energy production. In addition, bureaucratic delays have slowed construction of necessary roads, bridges and pipelines needed to transport the energy out of the Reserve once it is produced and the Administration’s new management plan establishes a “special area” around the entire southeastern boundary of NPR-A.
- Specifically, the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Actwould:
- Clearly state and affirm that the NPR-A is explicitly designated for the purpose of providing oil and natural gas resources to the United States.
- Nullify the plan released by the Obama Administration in February 2013 and require the Interior Department to issue a new integrated activity plan.
- Require that annual lease sales be held in the NPR-A in areas with the most oil and natural gas resources.
- Streamline the permitting process to ensure lease sales actually lead to energy being produced and transported out of the NPR-A and delivered to the continental U.S.
- Set firm timelines for infrastructure permits to be approved to ensure that bureaucratic delays do not prevent oil and natural gas resources from being transported out of the NPR-A.
- Require the Secretary of the Interior to prepare a right-of-way plan detailing how existing and future leases will be within 25 miles of an approved road or pipeline.
Title IV - The BLM Live Internet Auctions Act:
- The BLM Live Internet Auctions Act, introduced by Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-06), would modernize and update the bidding process for federal onshore oil and natural gas leases, bringing the process into the 21st century and saving taxpayer dollars.
- It gives the Secretary of the Interior the authority to conduct Internet-based auctions for onshore leases to ensure the best return to the Federal taxpayer, reduce fraud, and secure the leasing process.
Title V - The Native American Energy Act:
- The Native American Energy Act, introduced by Rep. Don Young (AK-at large), would streamline burdensome and duplicative government regulations and remove the barriers erected by the Obama Administration that are blocking Indian tribes from developing energy resources on their own land and creating new jobs.
- In some Indian communities, the highest-wage jobs held by tribal members are those in the oil, natural gas, and mining industries. H.R. 1548 enhances the ability of tribes to create new jobs in energy industries on Indian lands.
- Specifically, the Native American Energy Act would:
- Protect Indian jobs by blocking ANY federal rule on hydraulic fracturing from taking effect on Indian Trust Lands unless it is with the consent of the Indian owners of the lands.
- Discourage unnecessary and frivolous lawsuits that are specifically designed to prevent Indians from producing energy on their own land and eliminate taxpayer compensation to those filing frivolous lawsuits to prohibit energy development on Indian lands.
- Requires that any environmental impact statement for a major federal action on a tribe’s land, required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to be available for public comment only by members of the affected Indian tribe and other individuals within the affected area.
- Allows the Navajo Nation to conduct their own mineral leasing without involvement of the Department of the Interior as long as the leasing is conducted under Navajo tribal leasing laws that received prior approval from the Secretary of the Interior.
The CBO report for the Rules Committee Print of H.R. 1965 is forthcoming. The Legislative Digest will be updated when the report is released. Individual CBO cost estimates for each bill, as it was reported out of the Natural Resources Committee, are provided below.
According to CBO estimates,
- Implementing HR. 1965 “would increase offsetting receipts, which are treated as reductions in direct spending, by $325 million over the 2014-2023 period.” The bill would increase discretionary spending by $329 million over the same period, assuming necessary appropriations.
- Implementing H.R. 1394 would cost $15 million over the 2014-2018 period. The bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.
- Implementing H.R. 1964 would cost $2 million over the 2014-2015 period. The bill could affect direct spending, therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply.
- Implementing H.R. 555 would cost $2 million over the 2014-2018 period. The bill could affect direct spending, therefore pay-as-you-go procedures apply.
- Implementing H.R. 1548 would cost $29 million over the 2014-2018 period. However, the text of the bill included in the Rules Committee Print of H.R. 1965 strikes the portion of the bill that imposed a cost.
House Democratic Caucus Summary
The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.
So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.
We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.