American Geological Institute

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Legislative History and Digest of H.R. 1975

FEDERAL OIL AND GAS ROYALTY SIMPLIFICATION AND FAIRNESS ACT OF 1995

SPONSOR: Rep Calvert , (introduced 06/30/95)

RELATED BILL(S): S.1014

TITLE:
A bill to improve the management of royalties from Federal and Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leases, and for other purposes.

COSPONSOR(S):

Rep Brewster - 06/30/95
Rep Dooley - 06/30/95
Rep Tauzin - 06/30/95
Rep Lucas - 06/30/95
Rep Cremeans - 07/13/95
Rep Thornberry - 07/13/95
Rep Ortiz - 07/13/95
Rep Radanovich - 07/13/95
Rep Hayes - 09/08/95
Rep Ehrlich - 09/18/95

COMPLETE BILL TEXT:
The complete bill text is available on Thomas: The Library of Congress Web Site. In Thomas, click on Full Text of Legislation, then 104th Congress Bills, then Search by Bill Number, type in hr 1975 , hit RUN QUERY, and choose the most recent version.

DIGEST (AS INTRODUCED):

Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Simplification and Fairness Act of 1995 - Amends the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act of 1982 (FOGRMA) to set a six-year statute of limitations period for royalty underpayments owed by lessees of Federal lands to the United States, commencing the date on which the obligation becomes due. Declares that the running of such period shall not be suspended or tolled by any Federal action except the commencement of a judicial or administrative proceeding to collect the underpayment, or a written agreement between the Secretary of the Interior and a lessee to extend such period. Provides that a lessee's fraud or concealment in an attempt to defeat or evade payment of an obligation shall toll the statute of limitations.

(Sec. 3) Requires the Director of the Minerals Management Service to issue a final decision in any administrative proceeding within one year from the date the proceeding commenced. Requires the Secretary to issue a final agency decision in any administrative proceeding within three years from its commencement. Prescribes guidelines for: (1) royalty obligations; (2) royalty overpayments, offsets and refunds; and (3) a six-year mandatory recordkeeping period.

(Sec. 6) Modifies the guidelines for royalty interest, penalties, and payments to: (1) permit the Secretary to waive or forego interest; (2) restrict the billing for interest for any net underpayment to not less than one year following the subject reporting month; (3) use the Treasury Current Value of Funds Rate to compute interest due on late payments made by the Secretary and interest owed to lessee overpayment; (4) permit interest to be credited to lessee's net overpayment; and (5) provide a special payment arrangement for leases with minimal production.

(Sec. 7) Authorizes the Secretary to impose an assessment of up to $250 for inaccurate reporting of information.

Restricts audit and collection requirements for specified minimal oil and gas well production to prohibit the Secretary from conducting: (1) royalty reporting compliance and enforcement activities, levy assessments, or bill for comparisons between royalty reporting and production information; or (2) audits on such leases unless the Secretary has reason to believe that the lessee has not complied with certain payment obligations.

(Sec. 9) Amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) to repeal the 60-day notice requirement placed upon commencement of an action by a private person to enforce compliance with the Act.

(Sec. 10) Amends the OCSLA and the Mineral Leasing Act to permit any oil or gas royalty or net profit due the United States to be taken in kind at the Secretary's option. States that delivery of royalty in kind satisfies the lessee's royalty obligation and relieves the lessee of reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Amends OCSLA guidelines governing Federal gas sales to the public to permit the Secretary to sell gas by competitive bidding or private sale (removing the proscription against selling gas to the public at less than fair market value).

(Sec. 11) Amends FOGRMA to restrict royalty payment and information requirements. Bars the Secretary from: (1) imposing additional data requirements, including data on allowances, payor information, selling arrangements, and revenue source; and (2) billing for, or collecting comparisons to productions, assessments, or interest on retroactive adjustments for de minimis production.

(Sec. 12) Amends FOGRMA to repeal the current statute of limitations governing the recovery of penalties. Amends OCSLA to repeal the guidelines governing refunds or credit granted to a lessee for excess payments.

(Sec. 13) Excludes Indian lands from the purview of this Act.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

House Action(s)

Jun 30, 95:
Referred to the House Committee on Resources.
Jul 7, 95:
Executive Comment Requested from Interior.
Jul 7, 95:
Referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
Jul 18, 95:
Subcommittee Hearings Held. Hearings Printed: H. Hrg. 104-27.
Feb 28, 96:
Subcommittee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
Feb 28, 96:
Forwarded by Subcommittee to Full Committee (Amended) by Voice Vote.
Mar 28, 96:
Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
Mar 28, 96:
Ordered to be Reported (Amended) by the Yeas and Nays: 20 - 7.
Jul 11, 96:
Reported to House (Amended) by House Committee on Resources. H. Rept. 104-667.
Jul 11, 96:
Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 341.

(Source: Library of Congress)


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Last updated July 16, 1996 by Heidi Mohlman, AGI Government Affairs intern

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