LEASING OF ENZRGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES ON FEDERAL LANDS
ISSUE BRIEF NUMBER IB82050
Congressional Research Service
Library of Congress
David M. Lindahl, Coordinator
Environment and Natural Resources Policy Divison
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
MAJOR ISSUES SYSTEM
DATE ORIGINATED 04/07/82
DATE UPDATED 08/09/82
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CALL 287-5700
Leasing of energy minerals has been a n issue of varying intensity f o r most
of the past century, a s o i l , g a s , and coal became indispensable commodities
i n both U.S. and world commerce.
When high-grade, relatively cheap f o s s i l
fuels were i n abundant s u p p l y , there was little pressure o n Federal l a n d s to
provide additional quantities. Eastern coal was o f a higher quality a n d
therefore, there was little interest i n Western
accessible to markets
Oil and gas from well-known
mid-continent, California, Gulf Coast (onshore) was much more abundant a n d
cheaper than o i l and gas from isolated, mountainous public lands.
interest i n public lands relfects the depletion of the older, lower cost
areas plus the high price of energy.
Lands previously withdrawn from leasing for a variety o f public policy
reasons a r e believed to contain large amounts of f u e l s which could reduce
energy dependence on foreign sources, reduce the balance-of-trade
and generate revenues for t h e States and the Federal Government.
development i s opposed in many
cases by environmentalists who fear that
energy leasing and subsequent development on wilderness l a n d s , p a r k s , o r
areas withdrawn from leasing because of environmental considerations would d o
irreparable harm to these areas.
Some a l s o oppose leasing now because they
doubt the existance of substantial economic resources sufficient to justify
the likely adverse effects o n the environment.
Many Western States, the oil
companies, a n d the Reagan Administration have actively promoted the rapid
leasing of energy minerals o n Federal land, a s did the Carter Administration.
Leasing on Federal lands has increased by over 3 0 % over the past f i v e years.
The issue h a s many aspects and is very complex; a n d , a s a result, i t has so
far proven difficult for the Congress and the President t o avoid controversy
I t i s , and will probably continue t o b e , one of the major issues of
BACKGROUND AND POLICY ANALYSIS
The leasing policies o f the Reagan Administration, a s articulated by
Interior Secretary James W a t t , have generated both strong support and strong
opposition. T h e pro-development rhetoric and policies of this Administration
stand in stark contrast t o those of its predecessor.
Interior Department has had a bias toward development, although rarely a s
strongly expressed a s in 1 9 8 1 and 1982. Although the Carter Administration
stressed a n increase in energy leasing, it also was more inclined to insist
o n environmental protection measures than its predecessors, and operating
Administration took a position which was diametrically opposed to the Carter
policy, seeking not only t o reverse the accommodations made to environmental
interests, but also to make wilderness areas a n d other protected a r e a s more
accessible to development than they had ever been before.
The Reagan policy toward Federal lands i s still evolving and is likely to
change even more in response to political pressures, but the basic policy
includes the following objectives:
(1) t o renew a n d to accelerate the
leasing of energy minerals o n Federal lands (through areawide environmental
impact statements, streamlining
self-imposed time limits, and larger and more rapid lease sales;
t r a n s f e r Federal lands t o t h e S t a t e s wherever f e a s i b l e o r t o sell d i r e c t l y t o
i n d i v i d u a l s ( p r i v a t i z a t i o n ) ; ( 3 ) t o e n d new l a n d a c q u i s i t i o n s b y t h e F e d e r a l
Government; ( 4 ) t o deny f u r t h e r w i t h d r a w a l s w i t h o u t t h e s a l e o r
o t h e r F e d e r a l l a n d s ; (5) t o r e v e r s e t h e S o l i c i t o r ' s 1979 o p i n i o n denying t h e
t o update t h e 1902
I n t e r i o r Department t h e r i g h t t o reserve water;
R e c l a m a t i o n A c t t o p r o m o t e water
(7) t o implement
f i n a n c i a l i n c e n t i v e s f o r mineral e x p l o r a t i o n ; (8) t o r e t u r n t o t h e
Department t h e l e a s i n g f u n c t i o n t r a n s f e r r e d t o t h e Department of Energy;
(9) t o
t h e mineral
examination backlog a t t h e Bureau
Many o f t h e s e o b j e c t i v e s h a v e y e t t o be f u l l y r e a l i z e d ,
t o a c h i e v e them are underway.
Some o f
them h a v e
S e c r e t a r y Watt's d e c i s i o n t o l e a s e s e v e r a l t r a c t s on t h e O u t e r
C o n t i n e n t a l S h e l f i n e n v i r o n m e n t a l l y s e n s i t i v e areas o f f t h e C a l i f o r n i a c o a s t
The decision t o
g e n e r a t e d h e a t e d o p p o s i t i o n a n d was l a t e r r e s c i n d e d .
exploration i n
c e r t a i n w i l d e r n e s s a r e a s was a l s o met
d i s a p p r o v a l , e s p e c i a l l y i n t h e S t a t e s a f f e c t e d ; a n d i t was l a t e r
In a d d i t i o n , t h e I n t e r i o r Department announced an a c c e l e r a t e d l e a s e
t h a t l e d many i n t h e O i l i n d u s t r y t o q u e s t i o n p u b l i c l y
own a b i l i t y t o
d r i l l e f f e c t i v e l y t h e l a r g e acreages t o be offered.
The need t o g e n e r a t e revenues f o r b o t h S t a t e and F e d e r a l Governments are a
p a r t i c u l a r c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e Reagan A d m i n i s t r a t i o n b e c a u s e o f
The n e e d t o
t a x c u t s , which have r e s u l t e d i n lower r e t u r n s t o t h e Treasury.
r e d u c e t h e d e f i c i t was a t l e a s t p a r t l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t h e A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s
a c c e l e r a t i o n o f t h e p a c e of l e a s i n g f o r o i l ,
o i l shale,
g e o t h e r m a l r e s o u r c e s on F e d e r a l l a n d s .
Opening t o l e a s i n g a r e a s t h a t a r e
considered t o have high p o t e n t i a l b u t which were p r e v i o u s l y withdrawn o r n o t
o f f e r e d b e f o r e would a l m o s t c e r t a i n l y g e n e r a t e s u b s t a n t i a l
revenues through greater bonus b i d s , r e n t a l s , r o y a l t i e s , and c o r p o r a t e t a x e s .
Whether o r n o t t h e revenue g a i n s w i l l
as g r e a t as t h e A d m i n i s t r a t i o n
e x p e c t s , however, i s h i g h l y u n c e r t a i n .
This issue brief provides
an overview of
the leasing issue.
s u b d i v i d e d i n t o t o p i c s which p r o v i d e b r i e f summaries o f t h e major aspects of
l e a s i n g of
hardrock m i n e r a l s ; r e o r g a n i z a t i o n of F e d e r a l l e a s i n g f u n c t i o n s ;
of F e d e r a l l a n d from m i n e r a l development; r e s o u r c e a s s e s s m e n t ; d i s p o s i t i o n of
F e d e r a l l a n d s , i n c l u d i n g l e a s e s t o f o r e i g n e r s ; a n d F e d e r a l l a n d s as a s o u r c e
of F e d e r a l and S t a t e revenues.
(David L i n d a h l ,
Resources Policy Division)
P E T R O L E U M LEASING
P e t r o l e u m l e a s i n g became a m a j o r i s s u e i n t h e 1 9 7 0 s b e c a u s e o f t h e n e e d t o
i n c r e a s e d o m e s t i c o i l a n d g a s p r o d u c t i o n t o r e d u c e t h e demand f o r i m p o r t e d
Most o f t h e m a j o r r e m a i n i n g p r o s p e c t s f o r c o m m e r c i a l o i l f i e l d s l i e
e i t h e r on F e d e r a l l a n d s i n t h e Western United S t a t e s , i n A l a s k a ,
o r on t h e
O u t e r C o n t i n e n t a l S h e l f (OCS).
The h i g h p r i c e s o f c r u d e ,
on which F e d e r a l
from t h e s e
s o u r c e s were
r o y a l t i e s a r e b a s e d , have meant t h a t t h e r e v e n u e s
much g r e a t e r t h a n p r e v i o u s l y e x p e c t e d , w h i c h was w e l c o m e n e w s t o a s u c c e s s i o n
of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n s t h a t h a v e u s e d t h a t " w i n d f a l l " t o p a r t i a l l y o f f s e t b u d g e t
I n a d d i t i o n t o t h o s e economic and n a t i o n a l
l e a s i n g p h i l o s o p h y o f t h e Reagan A d m i n i s t r a t i o n i s t o maximize l e a s i n g
that the benefits of production could be achieved a s early a s possible.
policy, which increases industry access to Federal lands and revenue to the
Government, has drawn stiff opposition from environmentalists who fear
environmental degradation in the form of oil spills, a c c e s s roads i n
wilderness a r e a s , a n d disruption of wildlife habitats.
A s a result, the
ambitious leasing schedule announced by the Interior Department i s facing
T h e Department has already backed down on plans to lease
certain a r e a s off the California coast and to permit exploration in
T h e method of leasing has a l s o been a subject of concern.
Federal l a n d s
that are known to contain o i l , or a r e next t o producing s i t e s , a r e classified
a s "known geological structures" (KGSs); along with all O C S tracts, these
KGSs must be leased o n a competitive basis.
The tract is awarded to the
applicant who offers the highest bonus b i d , which entitles him to f i v e years
i n which he can find oil and commercially produce it.
If h e does find o i l ,
h e keeps the lease indefinitely and pays a royalty of 16 2/3%
production value t o the Treasury.
Only 3% of the total tracts offered each
year are leased in this manner, but they produce most of the oil.
Onshore lands t h a t have never been offered before or previous leases which
have been abandoned o r returned a r e leased on a noncompetitive basis.
offerings a r e made on a n over-the-counter basis i n which the l e a s e i s awarded
t o t h e first applicant.
The previously leased lands are offered through a
lottery i n which o n e application i s chosen a t random from a l l of those made
for each tract; a l l of the applications in the lottery a r e considered to have
been filed simultaneously for lottery purposes.
The royalty rate f o r
noncompetitive leases is 1 2 1/2%.
T h e petroleum leasing program; which is administered by the Interior
Department's Bureau of Land Management and the Minerals Management
normally generates about $ 8 billion per y e a r , although the Administration
plans to double that in FY83.
T h e Interior Department a l m o s t always collects
more money than it spends, making i t o n e of the few departments to actually
make a profit each year. Because this revenue is so important i n reducing
budget deficits, numerous suggestions have been made to increase it.
have included increasing the royalty rate on noncompetitive l e a s e s , raising
the royalties o n a l l l e a s e s , accelerating the leasing schedule so more tracts
a r e offered each y e a r , making a l l leases competitive, offering desirable
tracts in KGSs that had been previously withdrawn from l e a s i n g , a n d by
raising the application and rental fees.
Another leasing consideration, and one that often conflicts with the goal
o f maximizing r e v e n u e from energy l e a s i n g , i s the question of equitable
access to K G S l e a s e s , particularly o n the OCS.
The high bonus bids for such
leases tend to f a v o r the major o i l companies because they generally have more
Participation i n O C S leasing by independent o i l companies
has been limited to a great extent by this bidding system a n d by the high
cost of operating offshore.
In recent y e a r s , new joint OCS ventures by the
major oil companies have been banned a n d alternative bidding
systems h a v e
been approved for about 20% of O C S lease sales.
Onshore, the main concern o f both the major and the independent o i l
companies is access t o the most promising areas.
Some of t h e s e , like the
Douglas Arctic Wildlife Range in Alaska, may well contain upwards of 1 0
billion barrels of oil -- the equivalent of P r u d h o e B a y , which adjoins o n i t s
Because i t and other a r e a s , such as parts of the Rocky
Mountain Overthrust Belt and t h e North and Central California C o a s t , have
been withdrawn from leasing, a large potential supply of oil and gas cannot
Even when lease sales are held, legal challenges, often on
environmental grounds, can delay actual drilling for years.
opposition to the existing system, however, there has been considerable
reluctance on the part of a succession of Congresses and Administrations to
substantially alter the leasing program because of entrenched industry
support of it.
(David Lindall, Environment and Natural Resources Policy
OIL SHALE LEASING
The Secretary of the Interior has the responsibility for leasing and
managing the publicly owned oil shale lands. Thus far, only 20,000 acres (or
1%) of these lands, which contain the thickest and richest U.S.
deposits, have been leased to the private Sector through the Department of
the Interior's (DoI) Prototype Oil Shale Leasing Program. DO1 i s currently
considering the lease of additional tracts under its prototype program a s
well as the creation of a permanent oil shale leasing program.
In addition to these executive actions, several oil shale leasing bills
have been introduced. The House of Representatives has passed, and the
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has reported, legislation -H.R. 4053 and S. 1484, respectively
both of which are designed to expedite
shale oil production on federally owned lands.
associated with oil shale leasing are:
(1) the appropriate extent and timing
(2) State and local governmental
of future oil shale leasing activities,
concerns regarding future leasing, and (3) the environmental protection
the areas where oil shale extraction would occur.
(Paul Rothberg, Science
Policy Research Division)
In 1971, after discovering that a substantial amount of Federal coal had
been haphazardly leased, the Department of the Interior established a
moratorium on all long-term leasing, pending the development of a new and
comprehensive coal management program.
About 1 6 billion tons in 565 leases
had been awarded, but little development of these leases was taking place.
The first attempt by the Department was thwarted by litigation in which
environmental interests charged that the Department had failed to consider
"no leasingw of Federal coal a s one of the available options in the array of
In 1976, Congress enacted the Federal Coal
Amendments Act (FCLAA) to solve the major leasing problems identified by
Department of the Interior.
Major provisions included the development of
"logical mining units" out of the hodgepodge of individual lease tracts; the
leasing of Federal coal by a competitive bidding process only, the diligent
deveopment of Federal coal leases (under penalty of forteiture) to discourage
speculation in Federal coal by nonmining interests; and the establishment of
a percentage royalty payment t o the Federal Government to more accurately
reflect the value of the coal, with an increased percentage returned t o the
States to ameliorate the socio-economic impacts of development.
The establishment of the diligence requirements, however, has created new
issues for the Congress to address. A number of lessees holding pre-FCLAA
leases will obviously not be able to produce the required amounts of coal to
Interior has tried to solve the problem a t the regulatory
level through its own interpretation of the law.
This may lead to a
challenge i n the courts.
Mining interests have charged
development should not concern the government since it is assured a
percentage royalty of the coal's v a l u e , regardless of when i t i s mined.
Furthermore, mandating coal development on a preset schedule disregards
market conditions a n d could result in a n oversupply situation. P r o p o n e n t s o f
diligent d e v e l o p m e n t , h o w e v e r r have expressed fears that eliminating the
requirement would lead to renewed speculation i n c o a l leases.
In response t o
the industry's oversupply c h a r g e , they counter that prospective l e s s e e s
should not actively bid for Federal coal unless the entlre output of the mine
is committed over i t s life.
F e d e r a l c o a l ownership, over the last decade, has definitely tilted toward
the large energy companies, primarily the o i l producers and the electric
T h e profile of total reserve ownership
(both Federal a n d
non-Federal) must include the railroads, particularly the Burlington Northern
and the Union Pacific. Railroad reserves were originally procured during the
1800s via land grants a n d , although they a r e considerable, they a r e
configured i n a checkerboard that complicates the formation of "logical
T h e railroads have offered a s o l u t i o n , now being considered
by Congress, t h a t they be permitted
to lease the missing
"checkers" o f
Federal coal. Such a n action would permit the leasing of these particular
reserves which would otherwise be difficult to develop.
It c o u l d , however,
exclude other interested parties from competitively bidding for the Federal
portion o f the reserve. Opponents of the proposal (otherwise k n o w n a s the
repeal of section 2-C of the 1 9 2 0 Minerals Leaslng Act)
independent c o a l mining companies who state that this proposal would r e q u i r e
them t o c o m p e t e with the railroads for customers when they are already i n a n
relationship with . the
Thompson, Environment- and Natural Resources Policy Division)
T h e major legislative f o c u s o n geothermal energy development i n the 9 7 t h
Congress is i n the a r e a of leasing reform. T h e basic authorizing legislation
for the leasing o f Federal o r public lands for geothermal resources
development is the Geothermal Steam Act of 1 9 7 0 , P.L.
authorizes the Secretary of t h e Interior t o issue leases for geothermal
resources development and provides for the size of the lease, conversion
r i g h t s , r e n t s a n d royalties, duration of the l e a s e , readjustment of l e a s e
terms, beneficial uses of w a t e r , a n d ownership of geothermal steam in s u r f a c e
In a d d i t i o n to establishing lease terms and c o n d i t i o n s , this Act
defined two k i n d s of areas:
Known Geothermal Resource Areas
a r e leased to t h e highest bidder, and a l l other areas
H o w e v e r , the implementation of this Act and the geothermal
leasing o f Federal lands have not proceeded i n a timely fashion.
reform legislation passed both Houses i n the 9 6 t h Congress but failed t o
reach conference before adjournment.
Similar measures, introduced i n t o the
9 7 t h C o n g r e s s , a d d r e s s a number o f concerns including: increasing the a c r e a g e
limitation per S t a t e from the present level of 20,480 a c r e s per lessee t o
51,200 a c r e s ; revising the definition of KGRAs to eliminate the competitive
interest a s p e c t ; providing for declassification of KGRAs on which
there a r e
no bids i n a l e a s e sale; extending lease renewals from 10 t o 20 y e a r s ; and
specific provisions f o r protecting the thermal features of national parks.
Meanwhile i n consonance with congressional concerns over the management o f
geothermal leasing o f Federal l a n d s , the Secretary o f the Interior has
announced actions to expedite lease applications and the holding of l e a s e
Currently there are over 2 , 0 0 0 lease applications still pending
although 1 , 7 5 0 non-competitive leases have been issued over the past 7 years.
(James Mielke, Science Policy Research Division)
LEASING OF HARDROCK MINERALS
The disposal of many nonfuel minerals on public lands comes under the
jurisdiction of the General Mining Law of 1 8 7 2 , which provides that, in
instances where minerals on Federal public
lands have been located in
commercial quantities, a claim to those lands may be awarded to the claimant
through the local land office by the Bureau of Land Management.
once properly located, filed and recorded, conveys to the claimant the
exclusive possessory right to remove the mineral from the property.
The only Government requirement of the claimant i s that $100 worth of work
be performed on the claim annually.
The Go.vernment receives neither an
annual rental on the property nor a royalty on the production value of the
In addition to obtaining the right to extract the minerals
within a claim, a claimant may apply for a "patentw or deed to the claimed
area. A patent conveys title to the land, but the United States may reserve
certain rights for itself.
An important issue arising from the claim/patent system for the disposal
of minerals on public lands is the fairness of return to the public for the
rights of removing and marketing the minerals.
Unlike coal leasing, i n which
the royalty is a function of the value of the c o a l , under the claim/patent
system there is n o return to the Federal Government for the minerals that are
Concer'n has also been expressed over the title transfer of public
-lands t o - p r i v a t e - p a r t i e s ..when.-these lands will eventually be abandoned
following mineral development. The General Accounting Office has documented
several instances of gross abuse to the mineral patent system.
among these were intances where the land was never used
Critics also maintain that
extraction, but for other, non-related purposes.
patent issuance can also result in "islands" of privately owned
land in an
otherwise uninterrupted "seaw of public domain land with possible adverse
consequences for subsequent land use.
D u r i n g - t h e 94th and 95th Congresses, legislation was introduced to address
many of th,ese problems by changing the claim/patent
system t o a leasing
system. However, it was introduced during the time of acute dep.ression in
the copper industry and was abandoned following severe opposition from
interest groups in some of the key western mining States.
reasons, the mining industry has objected to the imposition of a hardrock
leasing system on the grounds that royalties would further add to total
production costs that are now considerably higher than those of foreign
Furthermore, it claims that to change from absolute ownership
of the mineral deposit to a royalty arrangement would encourage the mine
Operators to engage in "high-grading," or removing only the best ore and
leaving the marginal ore that otherwise could economically be developed
without a royalty.
(Duane Thompson, Environment and Natural Resources Policy
ENERGY AND MINERALS MANAGEMENT ON FEDERAL LANDS
Three agencies in the Department of the Interior have major
minerals management responsibilities.
The Bureau of Land Management has
responsibi1ity.for .administering leasing o n all federally owned lands,
including those managed by other a g e n c i e s , a s well as on the 1.1 billion
acres of the Outer Continental Shelf; .the U.S.
Geological Survey h a s
responsibility for assessing the resources on the public l a n d s ; and the newly
formed Minerals Management Service carries o u t royalty collection for l e a s e d
land and enforcement of regulations governing the leases. All three of these
agencies have been reorganized within the past year in order to effect
changes in policy o r direction under the Reagan Administration.
This Administration has given the energy resources o n public lands a
central position in its energy policy.
In the July 1 9 8 1 report on t h e
National Energy Policy P l a n , required annually by l a w , the Administration
stated, "The Federal Government's most direct impact on America's energy
future arises from i t s position a s the steward of the Outer Continental S h e l f
and of the 7 6 2 million acres of publicly controlled l a n d , one-third
of t h e
land a r e a of the United States. These lands contain an estimated 85% of o u r
tar s a n d s , 8 0 % of our oil shale, and 50% of our geothermal resources.
Federal role i n national energy production i s to bring these resources i n t o
the energy marketplace, while simultaneously protecting the environment."
The report observed that these are rough estimates o f the figures, and t h e
full extent of these resources a r e unknown, but it indicated that i t i s t h e
Administration's policy to inventory the Federal l a n d s and waters "to
determine the quantities of energy resources so that wise resource decisions
can be made."
On July 2 1 , 1 9 8 1 , the Director of the Bureau of Land Management announced
a reorganization of its functions, stating, "One of our primary objectives i s
to icnrease the availability of Federal lands and resources for energy a n d
T h e -positlan o f Deputy Director for Energy a n d
m i e n r a l _daxelapnent.* I .
Minerals was established, "to elevate the role of energy and minerals i s s u e s
in multiple-use management."
Major priorities were listed as streamlining
existing energy and mienral leaging programs, accelerating development a n d
implementation of n e w programs for leasing programs, accelerating development
and implementation of new programs for leasing oil s h a l e , tar sands a n d
Alaskan onshore oil and gas; increasing availability o f Federal lands f o r
exploration a n d development a c t i v i t i e s , particularly for o i l and gas a n d
strategic minerals; streamlining and coordinating decisionmaking for energy
and mineral-related uses of Federal l a n d s , and improving the energy a n d
reorganization memnorandum s t a t e s , "Our emphasis o n energy and minerals
recognizes the critical national interest i n orerly eocnomic development o f
these resources, while maintaining our commitment to environemtnal quality
and balanced resource management."
At present, the U.S.
Geological Survey is engaged in a n accelerated
evaluation of the potential of the Federal lands for o i l , g a s , and m i e n r a l s ,
The preliminary assessment is based o n overlaying the percentage of federally
owned land o n the estimated undiscovered resources in each a r e a , and coming
up with the estimated percentage of the resource that i s federally owned.
This method results in only a very crude estimate, and will be refined o v e r
the coming several years.
The U.S. Geological Survey maintains a large scientific staff which
responsibilities for mapping and other resource evaluations.
1 9 8 2 , i t also included a Conservation
Division which w a s responsible f o r
enforcement of leasing regulations after BLM issued the l e a s e s , and a l s o w a s
responsible for r o y a l t y _ c o l l e c t i o n s . T h e divergence between these scientific
and regulatory functions in USGS, and the findings of problems in royalty
collections by the Fiscal Accountability Commission appointed by Secretary of
the Interior Watt, led to a decision in January 1 9 8 2 , to remove the
Conservation Division from the USGS and place these functions in a Minerals
Management Service which reports through a Mineral Management Board
The Board is composed of an Undersecretary and two Assistant
Secretaries of the Interior.
However, the staff and operations of the
Mienrals Management Service at present remain in the same location in the
USGS facilities in Reston, Virginia.
(Susan Abbasi, Environment and Natural
Resources Policy Division)
WITHDRAWALS OF LAND FROM MINERAL DEVELOPMENT
A strong clash of values is evident in the controversies over whether or
not adequate amounts of the public lands are available for oil, gas, and
mineral leasing. The energy and mining companies frequently complain that
large areas containing oil, gas, and minerals on the public lands are off
limits to commercial development because of restrictions imposed a t the
urging of "environmental extremists."
Environmentalists argue t h a t plenty of
Federal Land i s available for development without disturbing wilderness
areas, that the energy and minerals industry do not fully explore the public
land currently under lease, and that a crisis atmosphere in the public lands
debate has been created for the purpose of acquiring leases on those lands.
The fact i s , no one really knows how much energy and mienral resources exist
or public lands or how much of the acreage is actually open to development.
Estimates of the maount of Federal land withdrawn from oil and gas
exploration range from 16% to 788. A withdrawal review effort i s underway in
- - the-Inlterior Department ,- an& i t has found that many areas are subject to more
than one withdrawal, and have been double or triple-counted.
This means that
the actual acreage withdrawn i s probably
less by up to 50% than was
The leasing system itself is being criticized a s an inadequate tool in
determining how the Nationa should exploit its natural resources, since it
provides not way of determining if a leaseholder i s really interested in
development or merely a speculator.
It is not clear, therefore, whether more
leasing will necessarily increase the production of energy resources.
mineral leasing methods also make i t difficult to determine the mineral
potential of a n area without damaging certain characteristics. This results
from the requirement that the Government must
development companies to expore the public lands, y e t the companies a r e
reluctant t o commit their resources to exploration if they cannot be
guaranteed that they will be permitted to extract what they find.
The issue of increased abailability of Federal lands for energy and
mineral development is focused to a great degree on wilderness areas.
date, 8 0 million acres of Federal lands
(10%) have been designated a s
Another 44.5 million acres of BLM and Forest Service lands a r e
being considered for such designations by Congress and/or the land management
agencies. That leaves 76% of Forest Service lands and 94% of BLM lands open
Under the Wilderness Act of 1 9 6 4 , land designatd as
wilderness i s protected from the construction of ralds, dams, buildings, and
other permanent structures; from logging; from coal mining; and from the
operation of motorized equipment and vehicles.
Grazing i s allowed, a s is
hunting and fishing in some instances.
The law allows o i l , gas, and mineral
companies to explore in nonpark wilderness areas until midnight of Dec.
Oil and mining companies complain that their activities in designated
wilderness areas have been effectively excluded as a result of excess
Indeed, there has been almost no mining and very
little oil exploration allowed on either BLM designated wilderness a r e a s
(12,000 acres) or o n the 25 million acres of national forest wilderness.
and gas leasing, however, is occurring on Forest Service a n d BLM l a n d s which
a r e being studied for inclusion i n the wilderness system.
Industry a n d
wilderness advocates disagree o n the compatibility of exploration activities
with wilderness values.
They further disagree o n the value of focusing t h e
access debate on wilderness a r e a s which make up only 3 % o f the Nation's land.
Environmentalists cite a recent study by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory o f
the oil and gas potential i n the 23 million a c r e s of BLM land under
wilderness review which says that this land represents less than 1% of t h e
Nation's potential energy resources.
Representative James Santini, chairman of
Subcommittee has a bill (H.R. 3364) that would extend the 1 9 8 3 d e a d l i n e on
mlneral exploration in wilderness areas for 1 0 years.
T h e measure is
currently lodged in the Interior Committee. L a s t y e a r , the House Interior
Committee withdrew several wilderness areas i n Montana from o i l a n d g a s
on further leases
leasing and passed a resolution requesting a moratorium
after the three leases were approved in the Capitan Wilderness in New M e x i c o *
Secretary Watt agreed not ot issue any more leases until the end of the 9 7 t h
At first, the Adminisration favored a 20-year
of t h e
1983 deaclline but its latest proposal includes a ban on o i i and g a s leasing
i n most wilderness areas in the lower 48 States until the year 2000.
5603 allows the President to open any wilderness area if he finds there i s a n
-- urgent national. n e e d for s p e c i f i c mineral r e s o u r c e s ; gives Congress until t h e
end of 1 9 8 4 to act on the Forest Service's
recommendations and rules out any further wilderness review of national
forest lands; and allows the Interior Department t o release
congressional approval BLM l a n d s studied f o r wilderness designation but found
Conservation groups strongly oppose the bill.
They a r g u e that
i t provides less protection t h a n the current l a w and would severely restrict
later wilderness additions f o r national forest a n d BLM lands.
Huston, Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division)
The resolution of problems stemming from human habitation or use of land
involves a l l levels of government. Competition and conflicts a r e the primary
stimulus behind local z o n i n g , State land-use plans, or Federal
management legislation. Minerals and energy usually occupy a prominent
position in these considerations. It i s customarily recognized a s rational
i n choosing among the alternatives to examine the public interest in terms of
the benefits to be gained by one form o f use
Exclusive o r irreversible land commitments prove particularly
T h u s , our legislative history is characterized by
"inventory" o r "evaluatew resource values a s part o f the decision process.
The Wilderness Act of 1964 states:
i n accordance with such program a s the Secretary of
Interior shall develop and conduct in consultation with
the Secretary of Agriculture, such areas shall be surveyed
on a planned, recurring basis consistent with the concept
of wilderness preservation by the Geological Survey and
the Bureau of Mines to determine the mineral v a l u e s , i f
a n y , that m a y , be present
T h e F e d e r a l Land Policy and Management Act of 1 9 7 6 continues this pattern
of requiring a p p r a i s a l of mineral resource potential by specifying a Bureau
of Land Management Study:
T h i s section extends the Wilderness Act to the public
It directs the Secretary t o review...tracts of
Bureau of Land Management land...and to submit
recommendations on wilderness suitability or
within 1 5 years. T h e review must include
Once a tract is designated a s
Administration will include
wilderness by the Congress
periodic mineral surveys.
T h e desire t o inventory continues t o appear i n current legislative
But concern also appears a b o u t h o w much review is necessary a n d
f o r h o w long.
T h u s i n the purposes of H.R.
5603, introduced o n Feb.
1 9 8 2 , w e f i n d directives that:
resource values in wilderness a n d wilaerness study a r e a s
be properly inventoried, In order that informed land
use and resource allocation decisions will be fostered...
and - - . - - --- .
- - wilderness study lands judged not suitable for d.esignation
a s wilderness...not be retained i n indefinite or repetitious
wilderness study processes.
T h i s continuing call for mineral inventorying i s likely to be considered
by many a s comparable to the evaluation of public land f o r g r a z i n g ,
timbering, water supply, or various developmental purposes.
k i n d s o f a p p r a i s a l s a r e not f r e e of di,fficulties, t o gather information a b o u t
hidden mineral a n d energy resources values i s significantly more costly,
time-consuming, a n d imprecise a t best.
D e s p i t e advances i n modern electronic
g e a r , the sensing instruments currently available to u s rarely identify the
presence o f mineral values in a n y sort o f specific fashion.
It i s n o t
possible f o r a designated Federal agency merely to f l y o v e r , o r traverse o n ,
a surface a n d make a judgment a s to the mineral resource potential that may
T h i s k i n d o f reconnaissance can provide only the most elemental
identification o f the geologic a n d petrologic characteristics of the large
a r e a s that a r e involved.
T h e U.S. Forest Service i n its January 1 9 7 9 Final Environment Statement
(RARE I1 Report) rated the mineral and energy potential of 2,919 individual
study a r e a s covering 6 2 million areas.
This effort w a s m a d e i n 11 months by
a small g r o u p o f USFS geologists a n d mining
Accounting Office reports that Congress i s currently making decisions based
upon information that "implies a substantially firmer k n o w l e d g e of mineral
presence (or non-presence)
than actually exists...."
In contrast, U.S.
Geological Survey a n d Bureau of Mines spent 1 0 years examining 5.5
a c r e s of primitive wilderness with uncertainty remaining a b o u t the quality of
O n e 230,000-acre area w a s subjected t o h e scrutiny of 1 5 staff
people for over four years. GAO estimates that the USGS/USBM
required by the Wilderness At would cost an estimated
$ 3 2 0 million.
work would have to be interspersed with other demands placed o n t h e two
I t is well recognized among resource specialists t h a t none of the methods
available to the Federal agenciess f o r inventorying k n o w n r e s o u r c e s o r
assessing future mineral potential i s satisfactory.
Usually, t h e work
based on limited observation, biased d a t a , a n d a reliance o n analog drawn
from past experience.
Highly subjective judgments a r e t h e n made o n a c r u d e
s c a l e ranging from areas being not very promising
t o those being
Such estimates a r e not specific a s t o i n d i v i d u a l minerals,
commodities, exact locations, or quantities likely to be found. T h i s i s f a r
from the kind of site-specific exploration process used by
individual f i r m s
which involves laborious examination o f small, f a v o r a b l e a r e a s through
seismic work, drilling, excavation, a n d o t h e r means not suitable f o r regional
assessments and likely to intrude on t h e wilderness.
Given the current interest in our domestic capability t o produce k e y
energy and mineral supplies, much of which may rely o n the public land a r e a s ,
the need for resource assessment will continue.
I t i s not l i k e l y t h a t a n y
significant advancement will be made i n the near f u t u r e t o m a k e t h a t task
q u i c k e r , better, or cheaper.
The k e y problem t h e n becomes h o w i s the
Congress and the Administration
to make allocation d e c i s i o n s given this
(John S c h a n z , Senior Specialist Division)
DISPOSITION OF FEDERAL LANDS
Since the 1 9 7 0 s , the Federal Government has operated .under a policy o f
retaining and managing public land and other property.
It is to acquire
property only when needed to support i t s various programs a n d t o d i s p o s e s f
the same when a determination has been made that the property i s s u r p l u s to
the Government's n e e d s , o r , in the c a s e of public l a n d s , that t h e national
interest would best be served by the sale o r exchange o r particular tracts o f
land. Today approximately one-third o f the land a r e a of the 5 0 States
belongs to the Federal Government--over 90 percent of this land i s located
west of the Rockies in the 1 1 western contiguous States. T h r e e hundred forty
million acres of the federally owned land--that
which i s unreserved a n d
unappropriated--is the responsibility o f the Bureau o f Land Management
within the Department of the Interior.
In 1 9 7 6 , the F e d e r a l Land P o l i c y a n d
Management Act ratified B L M f s practice of management under multiple use--the
responsibility to find ways of accommodating insofar a s f e a s i b l e and
compatible, the f u l l range of beneficial uses of the land.
G r a z i n g , timber
production and mineral extraction, i n that o r d e r , a r e the three major
economic uses of the pubiic domain lands.
In FY 78, l e a s e s issued through
the public land onshore oil a n d gas program
percent of domestic oil production and 5.4 percent of domestic
production. These lands a r e a l s o used f o r recreational p u r p o s e s , protection
of wildlife, rights-of-way, and a s a source of water f o r downstream
Currently, there are two movements calling for the disposition
of l a r g e
portions of Federal land and/or property.
T h e "Sagebrush R e b e l l i o n w is a n
effort a t the State and Federal level t o provide the cession and c o n v e y a n c e
of federally o w n e d , unreserved, unappropriated lands to Western
including the mineral rights o n o r underlying
such l a n d s a n d a p p u r t e n a n t
water and access riqh-ts. It i s a l e g a l challenge a s to w h o r i g h t f u l l y o w n s
and is the more competent administrator of these lands. Supporters of this
cause say that the States are the logical public lands manager since they a r e
in a better decision-making position, being close to the lands and its
people, than the Federal landlord on the Potomac. They list a potential for
increased production of renewable resources and increased mineral
to the States if the land transfer were to occur.
It is unclear, however,
whether the States could actually absorb the job of managing a mineral
leasing program for the amount equivalent to the 10 percent now being
deposited I n the U.S. Treasury--50 percent of the royalties go directly back
to the States under the Mineral Leasing Act and 4 0 percent goes to the Bureau
of Reclamation for use on a wide range of water projects in Western States.
Concern about the llrebellionwalso stems from what many perceive to be
conflicting premises of the proposal and overwhelming barriers of continued
balanced management of the public lands. Shared management of resources has
been suggested a s an alternative to the Sagebrush Rebellion--some say i t will
only be achieved through legislation, others hope i t i s possible through
procedural changes at BLM a s part of Secretary Watt's "good neighborv policy
and through the Administration's support for the drive to reduce Federal
control over regional land-use policies.
Even more recently, public land disposition and the sale of Federal
property are being discussed a s a management initiative to raise revenues and
help reduce the national debt.
Advocates of "privatization" say that
historically the Federal Government has not managed its real property assets
in a manner that saves costs to the Federal Government or promotes the
highest and best use of the N a t i o n T s ' r e a l property. The Administration has
taken the first steps necessary toward development of a comprehensive Federal
policy encompassing all' phases of public lands management from acquisition t o
disposal by establishing a Federal Real Property Review Board to identify and
evaluate high value holdings not developed to their optimum economic use and
to recommend alternative
Administration sales and improve marketing techniques. The Administration i s
proposing to extend the Federal land sales and asset management program to
the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, but with land review in that
phase to focus on not on national treasures such a s parks, but lands already
used for commercial purposes such a s grazing and mining.
Lands likely for
disposal would be residual BLM land with patterned ownership problems; small
tracts of land which cannot be managed due to its size or location; land in
areas which hinders local
Resolutions in the House and Senate emphasize the need
for the Federal
Government to estimate the current market value of its land and property
holdings, to identify likely sales, and to streamline the sale process--focus
a t this point is on nonpublic land properties and small parcels in or near
Some of the many questions raised by the proposal include:
exactly which Federal lands would be targeted for sale?
What are Federal
lands really worth? On what scale would the sale of Federal property be
How would a large-scale Federal property disposal program
impact on State/local communities, the real estate market, current users of
the land, and the environment? Opponents of the Federal property
program, such a s the Sierra Club, the Wilderness Society, and others, fear
that i t i s a disguise for massive land disposal. Alternatives for reduction
of the national debts and increased
revenues which these groups propose
include stricter control by the Federal Government of its land management
program; an increase in royalties on oil/gas leases and the creation of a
leasing/royalty system for hardrock minerals; sale of land uses rather than
of the land itself. The appeal as a public land policy
land/property disposal lies in the fact that resource users would achieve
security of land tenure with added freedom to pursue their own plans for the
l a n d and l o c a l o f f i c i a l s would s e e t h e l a n d added t o t h e i r t a x r o l l s .
FOREIGN INTERESTS I N FEDERAL M I N E R A L LEASES
S e c t i o n 1 of t h e Mineral Lands L e a s i n g A c t of 1920, as amended, l i m i t s t h e
i n t e r e s t s f o r e i g n i n d i v i d u a l s o r c o r p o r a t i o n s can hold i n l e a s e s of
on t h e F e d e r a l p u b l i c domain l a n d s i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s :
(minerals). ..and l a n d s containing
s u c h d e p o s i t s owned by t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s , . . . s h a l l
be s u b j e c t t o d i s p o s i t i o n i n t h e f o r m a n d m a n n e r
p r o v i d e d by t h i s c h a p t e r t o C i t i z e n s o f t h e United
S t a t e s , o r t o a s s o c i a t i o n s of such c i t i z e n s , o r
t o a n y c o r p o r a t i o n o r g a n i z e d u n d e r t h e laws o f
t h e United S t a t e s , o r of any S t a t e o r T e r r i t o r y
t h e r e o f , o r i n t h e case of c o a l , o i l , o i l s h a l e ,
or gas, t o municipalities.
Citizens of another
country, t h e laws, customs, o r r e g u l a t i o n s of
which d e n y similar o r l i k e p r i v i l i e g e s t o c i t i z e n s
o r c o r p o r a t i o n s of t h i s c o u n t r y , s h a l l n o t by
stock ownership, stock holding, o r stock control,
own a n y i n t e r e s t i n a n y l e a s e a c q u i r e d
under t h e p r o v i s i o n s of t h i s A c t .
T h i s language establishes t h e concept of r e c i p r o c i t y
from c o u n t r i e s
t h a t grant our c i t i z e n s
m i n e r a l l e a s e s -- o n l y n a t i o n a l s
s i m i l a r o r - l i k e - p r i u i l e g e s may h o l d . o r own a n d y i n t e r e s t i n a m i n e r a l
of F e d e r a l p u b l i c domain l a n d s .
I n 1 9 4 7 , t h e p r o v i s i o n was. made a p p l i c a b l e
t o m i n e r a l l e a s e s f o r " a c q u i r e d w f e d e r a l l a n d s as w e l l .
T h i s r e c i p r o c i t y p r o v i s i o n f o r leased m i n e r a l s i s i n c o n t r a s t t o t h e l a w
r e s p e c t t o t h e development
l o c a b l e o r h a r d r o c k m i n e r a l s on t h e
F e d e r a l p u b l i c domain l a n d s .
In t h e latter instance, t h e r i g h t t o claim and
S t a t e s Citizens and
technically i s l i m i t e d t o United
c o r p o r a t i o n s , b u t a f o r e i g n f i r m may q u a l i f y b y i n c o r p o r a t i n g a s u b s i d i a r y
c o m p a n y u n d e r t h e laws o f a n y s t a t e .
The d e t e r m i n a t i o n a s t o which o t h e r n a t i o n s a l l o w o u r n a t i o n a l s r e c i p r o c a l
In p r a c t i c e , t h i s l i s t i s
r i g h t s i s made b y t h e S e c r e t a r y o f t h e I n t e r i o r .
developed i n c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h t h e S t a t e Department.
Obviously, t h e r e
b e s u b s t a n t i a l d i f f e r e n c e s of o p i n i o n as t o w h a t c o n s t i t u t e s " s i m i l a r o r l i k e
I n a d d i t i o n , o t h e r f o r e i g n p o l i c y c o n c e r n s may e n t e r i n t o t h e
T h e r e f o r e , t h e f i n a l l i s t of r e c i p r o c a l n a t i o n s i s l i k e l y t o
be c o n t r o v e r s i a l .
Most r e c e n t l y , f o r e x a m p l e , c o n t r o v e r s y h a s s u r r o u n d e d t h e
d e t e r m i n a t i o n t h a t Canada i s a r e c i p r o c a l n a t i o n .
Many o b s e r v e r s f e e l
r e c e n t c h a n g e s i n t h e laws o f t h a t c o u n t r y d e n y o u r c i t i z e n s a n d c o r p o r a t i o n s
many p r i v i l e g e s s t i l l e n j o y e d b y C a n a d i a n s i n o u r c o u n t r y , s o much
Canada no l o n g e r s h o u l d be d e s i g n a t e d as a r e c i p r o c a l n a t i o n ,
other, arguabley extraneous, policy
(Susan Abbasi and Cynthia
Huston, Environment and Natural Resources Policy Division)
FEDERAL LANDS AS A SOURCE O F STATE R E V E N U E
A s i z e a b l e p o r t i o n of t h e energy p r o d u c t i o n i n t h e Western S t a t e
F o r - e x a m p l e , o v e r o n e - h a l f o f Wyoming's o i l and n a t u r a l
production, along with one-third of i t s coal production i s from Federal land.
For New exico, one-third of i t s oil and coal production
and half of i t s
natural gas is from Federal lands. H e n c e , the Federal royalties received
from this production, along with the revenues from the State-imposed
severance t a x e s , a r e significant.
In FY 1 9 8 0 , Wyoming a n d New Mexico
received 223 and 2 0 0 million dollars respectively from o i l , natural g a s , a n d
coal leases on public lands.
Wyoming received and addition 1 million dollars
from production of oil and natural gas from acquired lands.
Disposition of royalties from mineral leases t o t h e S t a t e s i s delineated
by sections of the 1 9 2 0 Minerals Leasing Act, as amended.
Under the l a w ,
one-half of the revenue collected from leases on public lands a r e returned t o
the S t a t e of mineral production with the recommendation
that priority be
given to local i m p a c t assistance. The disposition of royalties from acquired
lands is less specific. Royalties from acquired lands a r e distributed by the
agency having jurisdiction over the lands in the same manner a s prescribed
from other receipts from the same lands.
Federal leasing expressly does not interfere with the right of States to
tax "improvements, output of mines, o r other rights, property, o r assets of
any l e s s e e of the United States."
Since minerals, once served from the l a n d ,
a r e considered the property o f the lessees, States a r e permitted t o tax o i l ,
natural g a s , and c o a l production from Federal lands. Wyoming, f o r e x a m p l e ,
imposes a 10.5 percent severance tax on a l l coal produced
i n t h e State.
Similar taxes exist for oil and natural gas, and a r e applied by most
producing States. T h e OCS l a n d s , seaward of the three-mile
the c o a s t , comprise a special category of public lands on which the minerals
are leased by the Federal Government. The principal sources of revenue from
these l a n d s - a r e l e a s e s of crude oil and natural gas although sulfur and salt
provide some small amounts of revenue.
T h e O C S Lands Act of 1 9 5 3 , a s amended in September 1 8 , 1 9 7 8 , requires that
revenues from O C S minerals to be deposited i n the U.S.
Treasury a s
T h e requirement of the O C S
withstanding, two other laws provide channels through which revenues from
minerals from the 0 C S . r e a c h the States. T h e Historic Preservation Act of
1 9 6 6 established a fund
rehabilitating, r e s t o r i n g , and reconstructing d i s t r i c t s , s i t e s , buildings,
structures, and other objects significant in American
history, a r c h e o l o g y ,
architecture, or culture. This l a w designates revenues from the O C S a s the
source o f funds. T h e Historic Preservation fund received $ 3 0 0 million i n
T h e Land a n d Water Conservation Fund Act established a fund to a s s i s t
the States i n planning, acquiring, a n d developing needed l a n d , water a r e a s ,
and facilities for certain Federal acquisitions. T h e fund i s maintained a t a
level of $900 m i l l i o n , and to the extent that this l e v e l i s not maintained by
funds from other s o u r c e s , revenues from OCS minerals a r e used.
This f u n d
received over $ 8 6 7 million from OCS revenues i n FY81.
T h e S t a t e s a d j a c e n t to
OCS production have asked that they be given a greater share of O C S revenue.
This i s a n issue t h a t could be difficult to resolve because o f the need t o
maximize Federal revenue from the O C S to reduce the budget deficit.
P a r k e r , a n d William Hymes, Environment a n d Natural Resources Policy Division)
FEDERAL LANDS AS A SOURCE OF FEDERAL REVENUES
T h e Congressional search for sources of revenue, i n the context of large
projected budget deficits, has led to examination of options for deriving
more money from t h e minerals and other natural resources on Federal lands.
Options that may be considered include increases in royalty r a t e s , sales of
property, a n d resource development by the Federal Government itself.
o p t i o n , however, has consequences that run counter to other Federal policy
g o a l s , such a s optimal development of domestic natural resources, control
over publicly owned resources, and increased health of domestic mineral
industries. (Bernard Gelb and J a m e s Bickley, Economies Division).
64 (Albosta) , H.R.
1 2 6 7 (Penetta et al.)
Directs the Secretary of t h e Interior to retain specified lands within t h e
Outer Continental Shelf extending from P o i n t Concepcion i n the south to t h e
California-Oregon border i n the north and extending
seaward a s a national
reserve for oil o r gas production development.
H.R. 3 9 9 (Pickle), H.R. 2990 (Hammerschmidt e t
. ,/ S. 8 5 9 (Bumpers et al.)
Amends the Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired
Lands to require receipts
received from leases o n l a n d s set a s i d e f o r military o r naval purposes,
except t h e Naval Petroleum R e s e r v e s and National disposed of in the s a m e
manner a s similar receipts under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920.
1 4 0 9 (Marriott et al.)
Amends the Mineral Lands L e a s i n g . A c t to authorize holders of leases o f o i l
s h a l e _ l a n d s . - t o l e a s e - . a d d i t i o n a l . - a c r e a g e f o r operational purposes a n d
prohibits mining of oil shale o n those additional lands.
2826 (Emerson et al.)
Amends the Mineral Lands Leasing Act to prohibit, f o r a specified period,
a n y f o r e i g n person from acquiring more than 25 percent 06 the v o t i n g
securities i n a U.S. mineral resource corporation.
(Santini et a . , H.R.
H.R. 2 8 4 4 (Marriott et a . , H.R.
(Mariott e t al.) , / S. 1 0 3 2 (Jackson), S. (Hart, and S. 1484 (Warner et al.)
Amends the mineral Leasing Act t o revise the authority of the Secretary of
the Interior t o l e a s e lands containing o i l shale deposits.
(Marriott et al.), H.R.
et al.) / S. 1 5 7 5 (Wallop et al.)
3 1 1 4 (Santini et al.)
Amends the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1 9 2 0 . a n d the Mineral Leasing Act
f o r Acquired L a n d s to expand the application of such Acts to include
gilsonite a n d a l l vein-type
solid hydrocarbons, and i t Authorizes the
Secretary of the Interior to establish a lower aggregate acreage limitation
f o r leases i n designated tar sand areas.
3313 (Udall et al.)
Amends the Mineral Leasing Act of 1 9 2 0 to prohibit major oil companies
from directly o r indirectly acquiring a n y Coal lease or locating a n d
recording a n y claim for uranium or other fissionable materials, a n d i t a l l o w s
any holder of a mineral l e a s e t o modify. or re.vise a l e a s e t o include a
limited amount of contiguous lands.
Makes appropriations for the
agencies for fiscal year 1982.
4053 (Marriott et al.)
Amends the Mineral Leasing Act to revise the authority of the Secretary of
the Interior to lease lands containing oil shale deposits.
28, 1981; referred to Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.
July 27 (H.Rept. 97-202); passed House, amended, July 28, 1981.
Amends the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 to repeal the limitation on the
acquisition of a coal lease or permit by a railroad, and i t requires a
railroad leasing public lands adjacent t o grant lands to use a t least 33 1/3
percent of the revenues from resource development for the operation and
maintenance of the railroad.
Amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
provisions concerning permits and oil
development, or production on the OCS.
and other Acts to revise
- K.R. - 4 7 1 2 .(Conyers - et a1 ,)
Establishes -the Federal Oil and Gas Development
Corporation to.exercise sole control over oil and gas exploration and
extraction operations on Federal land.
H.R. 5121 (Markey et al.)
Provides for a comprehensive accounting system of Federal
interests by amending the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 to require 50 percent
of all money collected in connection with public land sales and rentals to be
paid to the State within which the land is located, except that the rate
shall be 9 0 percent for Alaska.
5260 (Kogovsek et. al)
Amends the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 to provide that beginning with
fiscal year 1 9 8 3 , the balance of money received from sales and rentals of
public lane shall be credited to a Payment in Lieu of Taxes ~ r - u s tFund which
shall be established in the U.S. Treasury.
Prohibits the issuance of mining leases in
Area in Montana.
5282 (Burton et al.)
Withdraws lands within the national forest system designated s wilderness
or wilderness study areas and lands recommended for wilderness designation or
further planning from appropriation or disposition under the mining and
mineral leasing laws.
P r o h i b i t s , under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1 9 2 0 , the issuance of a n y
or g a s l e a s e in the Great Lakes.
5603 (Lujan et al.)
Withdraws the national wilderness preservation system and other l a n d s from
operation o f the general mining a n d mineral leasing laws.
5 7 7 0 (Markey)
Modifies the royalty rates applicable to oil and g a s leases.
Amends the Mineral Leasing Act of 1 9 2 0 to authorize competitive o i l
gas leasing and to modify leasing procedures for onshore Federal lands.
S. 669 (Jackson)
Amends the existing geothermal leasing and permitting l a w s , a n d f o r other
Bill would modify the Geothermal Steam Act of 1 9 7 0 to f a c i l i t a t e
and require accelerated exploration and development of geothermal steam
resources o n Federal lands. T h e bill contains provisions designed t o a s s u r e
competition i n the geothermal industry and protect nationally
geothermal features i n national parks and monuments.
Amends the Mineral Lands Leasing Act to authorize the Secretary o f the
Interior t o l e a s e additional lands to the holder of a n oil shale l e a s e f o r
purposes that the lessee demonstrates a r e necessary for the o i l shale
P e r m i t s the lessee to use the land t o , among other things:
dispose of oil shale waste; and (2) build plants, reduction works, a n d other
S. 1 1 3 8 (Chiles), S. 1633 (Hawkins), and S. 1873 (Chiles)
Prohibits the issuance of phosphate leases in the Osceola National F o r e s t ,
S. 1 4 8 4 (Warner)
A bill t o amend section 2 1 of the Act of Feb. 2 5 , 1 9 2 0 , commonly k n o w n a s
the Mineral Leasing Act.
Introduced July 1 5 , 1981; referred to Committee o n
Energy and Natural Resources. Reported out Dec. 1 1 , 1 9 8 1 , a s "National Oil
S h a l e Leasing Act o f 1981."
S. 1 5 1 6 (Warner) ; H.R.
4 0 6 7 (Santini et al.)
Amends the Geothermal Steam Act.
Redefines "known geothermal resource
area "(KGRA) to remove the economic test of competitive interest i n a tract
a s a n indicator of the geologic presence of geothermal potential i n a n area.
Provides f o r automatic declassification of KGRA lands where there a r e no
Provides royalties of not less than 10% o r more t h a n 1 5 %
for electrical generation, a n d of not less than 5% o r more than 1 0 % f o r
Increases the maximum acreage a single lessee can
hold in any one State from 2 0 , 4 8 0 to 51,200 acres, and authorizes the
Secretary to increase the limitation to 115,200 acres in 1985.
periods of review and adjustment of lease terms and conditions from 10 to 2 0
S. 1516 compares identically with H.R. 4 0 6 7 , with the exception that
S. 1516 does not direct the Secretary of the Interior to establish and
maintain a 15-mile-wide buffer zone around Yellowstone National Park and a
one-mile-wide buffer zone along the southern border of Lassen Volcanic
S. 1542 (McClure et al.)
Amends the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920 to repeal a provision which
prohibits a company operating a common carrier railroad from holding a coal
lease under the Act unless the coal is used for its own railroad purposes.
S. 1732 (Hart et ab.)
Amends the Mineral
S. 1 7 7 4 (Baucus)
Amends the Wilderness Act to exempt certain wilderness
from mining and mineral leasing.
S. 2083 (Sasser et al.)
. . A bill to discourage.the vialation of mineral leasing laws, and to improve
the collection of Federal royalties and lease payments erived from certain
natural resources under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior.
Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries.
Subcommittee on Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation and the
Environment Coordination Act
Congress, on fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (joint
hearing with Subcommittee on Water Resources of the Committee
on Public Works and Transportation).
Washington, U.S. Govt.
Print. Off., 1980. 3 4 6 p.
"Serial no. 96-47"
Congress. House. Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries.
Subcommittee on the Panama Canal/Outer Continental Shelf.
OCS oversight -- part 1. Hearings, 97th Congress, 1st session.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1981. 537 p.
"Serial no. 97-6"
Hearings held Mar. 26-May 5 , 1981.
Senate. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. Amending the
Geothermal Steam Act of 1970. Hearing, 97th Congress, 1st
session. Part 1. Oct. 2 7 , 1981. Washington, U.S. Govt.
Print. Off., 1982. 182.p.
Publication no. 97-57
Amending the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970. Hearing, 9 7 t h
Congress, 1 s t session.
P a r t 2. Dec. 1 2 , 1981. Washington,
U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1982.
1 4 1 p.
Publication n o 97-57
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
Hydrocarbon Leasing Act of 1981. Hearing, 9 7 t h C o n g r e s s ,
1 s t session, on S. 1575. Sept. 1 7 , 1981. Washington, U.S.
Govt. Print. Off., 1981. 3 9 p.
"Publication no. 97-39"
Off-track [ i - e . tract] oil shale disposal. H e a r i n g , 97th
Congress, 1s.t session, o n S. 1073. J u n e 2 5 , 1981. Washington,
U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1981.
9 2 p.
"Publication no. 97-25"
Reinstatement and validation of United States o i l a n d g a s
leases. H e a r i n g , 9 4 t h C o n g r e s s , 1 s t session, o n S. 3 8 3 ,
S. 4 6 6 , S. 6 5 1 , S. 1 4 5 7 [ a n d ] S. 1605.
Sept. 1 7 , 1981.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1981. 66 p.
"Publication no. 97-42"
---U.S.--Congr.ess. Sena.te. Committee an Energy and Natural Resources.
Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Supply. Proposed
5-year plan for oil a n d gas development in the Outer
Continental Shelf. Hearing, 9 7 t h Congress, 1 s t session.
Oct. 6 , 1981. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1981. 1 6 7 p.
"Publication no. 97-43"
T o reinstate the Pauley petroleum leases in the S a n t a Barbara
Hearing, 9 7 t h Congress, 1 s t s e s s i o n , on
S. 506. July 2 2 , 1981. W a s h i n g t o n , U.S. Govt. Print. Off.,
1981. 1 9 5 p.
"Publication no. 97-36"
Committee o n Energy and Natural Resources.
Subcommittee on Energy Resources a n d Material Production.
Federal Oil a n d Gas Leasing Act o f 1979. H e a r i n g , 9 6 t h
Congress, 1 s t Session on S. 1637. Washington, U.S. Govt.
Print. Off., 1980.
"Publication no. 96-89"
O C S oil and gas leasing program.
Hearings, 9 6 t h C o n g r e s s ,
Washington, U.S. Govt.
2 6 session. Mar. 18 a n d 2 0 , 1980.
Print. Off., 1980. 256 p.
"Publication no. 96-100"
H e a r i n g , 9 6 t h Congress, 2d session o n
o i l a n d g a s l e a s e New Mexico 33955.
9 6 t h C o n g r e s s , 2d s e s s i o n o n S . 2 2 7 9 .
Aug. 5 , 1 9 8 0 .
W a s h i n g t o n , U.S. G o v t . P r i n t . O f f . , 1 9 8 0 .
32 p .
" P u b l i c a t i o n no. 96-133"
O i l
S e l e c t Committee on I n d i a n A f f a i r s .
and g a s leases on I n d i a n l a n d s ( p a r t 1 ) .
Congress, 1st session.
W a s h i n g t o n , U.S. G o v t . P r i n t . O f f . , 1 9 8 1 .
Hearing h e l d Feb. 27, 1981.
B i l l i n g s , Mont.
O i l
and g a s l e a s e s on I n d i a n
Congress, 1st session.
P r i n t . O f f . , 1981.
O i l
and g a s leases on I n d i a n
W a s h i n g t o n , U.S. G o v t . P r i n t . O f f . ,
Congress, 1st session.
Hearing held i n Albuquerque, N.M.,
J u n e 1, 1 9 8 1 .
,- S e n a - t e .
S e l e c t Committee.-on S m a l l B u s i n e s s .
1 m p a c t . o f o f f s h o r e o i l a n d g a s d e v e l o p m e n t on G e o r g e s Bank.
H e a r i n g b e f o r e t h e S e l e c t Committee on S m a l l B u s i n e s s a n d
t h e Committee o n Commerce, S c i e n c . e , a n d T r a n s p o r t a t i o n a n d
t h e S u b c o m m i t t e e on E n e r g y R e s o u r c e s a n d Materials P r o d u c t i o n
o f t h e C o m m i t t e e on E n e r g y a n d N a t u r a l R e s o u r c e s , U n i t e d
S t a t e s S e n a t e , Ninety-sixth Congress, second s e s s i o n on
i m p a c t o f o f f s h o r e o i l a n d g a s d e v e l o p m e n t on G e o r g e s Bank.
W a s h i n g t o n , U.S. G o v t . P r i n t . O f f . , 1 9 8 0 .
REPORTS A N D CONGRESSIONAL DOCUMENTS
C o m m i t t e e on I n t e r i o r a n d I n s u l a r A f f a i r s .
Amending S e c t i o n 2 1 o f t h e a c t of Feb. 2 5 , 1 9 2 0 , commonly
known a s t h e M i n e r a l L e a s i n g A c t ; r e p o r t t o a c c o m p a n y
W a s h i n g t o n , U.S. G o v t . P r i n t . O f f . , 1 9 8 1 .
1 2 p.
(97th Congress, 1st session.
R e p o r t no. 97-202)
F a c i l i t a t i n g and encouraging the production
o i l from tar
s a n d and o t h e r hydrocarbon d e p o s i t s ; r e p o r t t o accompany
3975 i n c l u d i n g t h e c o s t e s t i m a t e o f t h e C o n g r e s s i o n a l
Budget O f f i c e .
W a s h i n g t o n , U.S. G o v t . P r i n t . O f f . , 1 9 8 1 .
R e p o r t no. 97-174)
1 6 p.
(97th Congress, 1st s e s s i o n .
F a c i l i t a t i n g and encouraging t h e production
sand and o t h e r hydrocarbon
o i l from tar
t o accompany
H.R. 7242, including the cost estimate of the Congressional
Budget Office. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1980.
(96th Congress, 2d session. House. Report no. 96-1161)
Reinstating and validating U.S. oil and gas leases numbered
QCS-P-0218 and OCS-P-0226; report to accompany H.R. 1946.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1981.
Congress, 1st session. House. Report no. 97-173)
Reinstating and validating United States oil and gas leases
numbered OCS-P-0218 and OCS-P-0226; report to accompany
H.R. 5769. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1980. 1 1 p.
(96th congress, 2d session. House. Report no. 96-1260)
Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries.
Disapproval of certain coastal zone management consistency
regulations; report together with additional and dissenting
views to accompany H.Con.Res. 166. Washington, U.S. Govt.
(97th Congress, 1st session.
Print. Off., 1981. 1 9 p.
House. Report no. 97-269)
Congress. House. Select Committee on the Outer Continental
Shelf. Final report
including proposed legislative changes.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1980. 133 p.
.-Congress, 2d sessian._ House.. Report no. 96-1214)
Committee on Commerce, Science, and
Georges Bank Protection Act; joint report
together with additional and minority views of the Senate
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the
Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on S. 2119.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1980. 4 9 p.
Congress, 2d session.
Senate. Report no. 96-934)
Senate. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
Amending section 21 of the act of Feb. 2 5 , 1 9 2 0 , commonly
known as the Mineral Leasing Act; report to accompany H.R. 7941.
Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1980.
1 4 p.
Congress, 26 session.
Senate. Report no. 96-1023)
Facilitating and encouraging the production of oil from tar
sand and other hydrocarbon deposits; report to accompany
H.R. 3975. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1981. 1 5 p.
Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Act of 1980; report together
with minority views to accompany S. 1637. Washington, U.S.
Govt. Print. Off., 1980. 6 8 p.
(96th Congress, ed session.
Senate. Report no. 96-793)
Providing for reinstatement and validation of U.S. oil and
gas lease numbered M-15450 (ND); report t o accompany S. 466.
W a s h i n g t o n , U.S. G o v t . P r i n t . Off., 1 9 8 1 .
Congress, 1st session.
R e p o r t no. 9 7 - 2 4 5 )
Providing for reinstatement and validation United States oil
a n d g a s l e a s e n u m b e r e d W - 4 6 1 0 2 ; r e p o r t t o a c c o m p a n y S. 6 5 1 .
W a s h i n g t o n , U.S. G o v t . P r i n t . Off., 1981.
Congress, 1st session.
R e p o r t no. 9 7 - 2 4 7 )