43 CFR 3422.3-4 - Consultation with the Attorney General.
(a) Subsequent to a lease sale, but prior to issuing a lease, the authorized officer shall require the successful bidder to submit on a form or in a format approved by the Attorney General information relating to the bidder's coal holdings to the authorized officer for transmittal to the Attorney General. Upon receipt of the information, the authorized officer shall notify the Attorney General of the proposed lease issuance, the name of the successful bidder and terms of the proposed lease sale and shall transmit the bidder's statement on coal holdings. A description of the information required by the Attorney General and the form or format for submission of the information may be obtained from the authorized officer.
(b) Where a successful bidder has previously submitted the currently required information, a reference to the date of submission and to the serial number of the record in which it is filed, together with a statement of any and all changes in holdings since the date of the previous submission, shall be accepted.
(c) The authorized officer shall not issue a lease until 30 days after the Attorney General receives the notice and statement of the successful bidder's coal holdings, or the Attorney General notifies the Director that lease issuance would not create or maintain a situation inconsistent with the antitrust laws, whichever comes first. The Attorney General shall inform the successful bidders and simultaneously, the authorized officer, if the successful bidder's statement of coal holdings is incomplete or inadequate, and shall specify what information is required for the Attorney General to complete his review. The 30 day period shall stop running on the date of such notification and not resume running until the Attorney General receives the supplemental information.
(d) The authorized officer shall not issue the lease to the successful bidder, if, during the 30 day period, the Attorney General notifies the Director that the lease issuance would create or maintain a situation inconsistent with antitrust law, except after complying with paragraph (e)(2) of this section.
(e) If the Attorney General notifies the Director that a lease should not be issued, the authorized officer may:
(1) Reject all bids or many notify the Attorney General in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section that issuance of the proposed lease to the next qualified high bidder is under consideration; or
(2) Issue the lease if, after a public hearing is conducted on the record in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, the authorized officer determines that:
(i) Issuance of the lease is necessary to carry out the purposes of the Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976;
(ii) Issuance of the lease is consistent with the public interest; and
(iii) There are no reasonable alternatives to the issuance of the lease consistent with the Federal Coal Leasing Amendments Act of 1976, the anti-trust laws, and the public interest.
(f) If the Attorney General does not reply in writing to the notification in paragraph (a) of this section within 30 days, the authorized officer may issue a lease without waiting for the advice of the Attorney General.
(g) Information submitted to the authorized officer to comply with this section shall be treated as confidential and proprietary data if marked “confidential” by the reporting company. Confidential information shall be submitted to the authorized officer in a sealed envelope and shall be transmitted in that form to the Attorney General.