The Secretary shall accept nominations of land to be leased at any time from qualified companies and individuals under this chapter.
Except as otherwise specifically provided by this chapter, all land to be leased that is not subject to leasing under subsection (c) shall be leased as provided in this subsection to the highest responsible qualified bidder, as determined by the Secretary.
The Secretary shall hold a competitive lease sale at least once every 2 years for land in a State that has nominations pending under subsection (a) if the land is otherwise available for leasing.
Lands that are subject to a mining claim for which a plan of operations has been approved by the relevant Federal land management agency may be available for noncompetitive leasing under this section to the mining claim holder.
It shall be a priority for the Secretary, and for the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to National Forest Systems land, to ensure timely completion of administrative actions, including amendments to applicable forest plans and resource management plans, necessary to process applications for geothermal leasing pending on August 8, 2005. All future forest plans and resource management plans for areas with high geothermal resource potential shall consider geothermal leasing and development.
If information is available to the Secretary indicating a geothermal resource that could be produced as 1 unit can reasonably be expected to underlie more than 1 parcel to be offered in a competitive lease sale, the parcels for such a resource may be offered for bidding as a block in the competitive lease sale.
The quantity of acreage covered by the lease shall not exceed the limitations established under section 1006 of this title.