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H.R. 7242 (96th): A bill to facilitate and encourage the production of oil from tar sand and other hydrocarbon deposits.

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jul 22, 1980.

(Measure passed House, amended) Amends the Mineral Land Leasing Act of 1920 and the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Lands to expand the application of such Acts to include gilsonite and all vein-type solid hydrocarbons. Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to establish a lower aggregate limitation for leases in areas designated as containing some deposits of tar sand. Increases the size of units which may be leased within producing oil or gas fields if such areas are designated as containing some deposits of tar sand. Requires the Secretary to consult with the Governor of the State concerned prior to making such designations. Directs the Secretary to make such designations within one year of enactment. Directs the Secretary, under specified conditions, to extend a lease for not less than five years beyond its primary term in areas designated as containing some deposits of tar sand. Authorizes the Secretary to waive or reduce any royalty schedule for hydrocarbon lease issued in those areas designated as containing some deposits of tar sand, if the established royalty rates discourage development or are likely to result in reduced recovery rates. Directs the Secretary to analyze development alternatives and costs for producing oil from tar sands to report to Congress the results and any recommendations for changes in the royalty schedules. Entitles current valid claimants to such hydrocarbon minerals to a combined hydrocarbon lease. Permits the owner of an oil and gas lease issued before the date of enactment of this Act to apply to the Secretary to convert the lease to a new combined hydrocarbon lease. Declares that nothing in this Act shall affect the taxable status of tar sand production. Excludes lands where mineral leasing is prohibited by law from the provisions of this Act.