This section may be cited as the “Oil Shale, Tar Sands, and Other Strategic Unconventional Fuels Act of 2005”.
In accordance with section 241 of title 30 and any other applicable law, except as provided in this section, not later than 180 days after August 8, 2005, from land otherwise available for leasing, the Secretary of the Interior (referred to in this section as the “Secretary”) shall make available for leasing such land as the Secretary considers to be necessary to conduct research and development activities with respect to technologies for the recovery of liquid fuels from oil shale and tar sands resources on public lands. Prospective public lands within each of the States of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming shall be made available for such research and development leasing.
Not later than 18 months after August 8, 2005, in accordance with section 4332(2)(C) of this title, the Secretary shall complete a programmatic environmental impact statement for a commercial leasing program for oil shale and tar sands resources on public lands, with an emphasis on the most geologically prospective lands within each of the States of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.
Not later than 6 months after the completion of the programmatic environmental impact statement under this subsection, the Secretary shall publish a final regulation establishing such program.
Not later than 180 days after publication of the final regulation required by subsection (d), the Secretary shall consult with the Governors of States with significant oil shale and tar sands resources on public lands, representatives of local governments in such States, interested Indian tribes, and other interested persons, to determine the level of support and interest in the States in the development of tar sands and oil shale resources. If the Secretary finds sufficient support and interest exists in a State, the Secretary may conduct a lease sale in that State under the commercial leasing program regulations. Evidence of interest in a lease sale under this subsection shall include, but not be limited to, appropriate areas nominated for leasing by potential lessees and other interested parties.
The Secretary shall, by regulation, designate work requirements and milestones to ensure the diligent development of the lease.
The Secretary of Energy, in cooperation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Defense, shall establish a task force to develop a program to coordinate and accelerate the commercial development of strategic unconventional fuels, including but not limited to oil shale and tar sands resources within the United States, in an integrated manner.
The Task Force shall make such recommendations regarding promoting the development of the strategic unconventional fuels resources within the United States as it may deem appropriate.
The Task Force shall make recommendations with respect to initiating a partnership with the Province of Alberta, Canada, for purposes of sharing information relating to the development and production of oil from tar sands, and similar partnerships with other nations that contain significant oil shale resources.
Not later than 180 days after August 8, 2005, the Task Force shall submit to the President and Congress a report that describes the analysis and recommendations of the Task Force.
The Secretary shall provide an annual report describing the progress in developing the strategic unconventional fuels resources within the United States for each of the 5 years following submission of the report provided for in subparagraph (A).
Upon written request of a prospective applicant for Federal authorization to develop a proposed oil shale or tar sands project, the Department of the Interior shall act as the lead Federal agency for the purposes of coordinating all applicable Federal authorizations and environmental reviews. To the maximum extent practicable under applicable Federal law, the Secretary shall coordinate this Federal authorization and review process with any Indian tribes and State and local agencies responsible for conducting any separate permitting and environmental reviews.
Not later than 6 months after August 8, 2005, the Secretary shall issue any regulations necessary to implement this subsection.
The Secretary shall carry out a national assessment of oil shale and tar sands resources for the purposes of evaluating and mapping oil shale and tar sands deposits, in the geographic areas described in subparagraph (B). In conducting such an assessment, the Secretary shall make use of the extensive geological assessment work for oil shale and tar sands already conducted by the United States Geological Survey.
In carrying out the assessment under paragraph (1), the Secretary may request assistance from any State-administered geological survey or university.
To facilitate the recovery of oil shale and tar sands, especially in areas where Federal, State, and private lands are intermingled, the Secretary shall consider the use of land exchanges where appropriate and feasible to consolidate land ownership and mineral interests into manageable areas.
The Secretary shall identify public lands containing deposits of oil shale or tar sands within the Green River, Piceance Creek, Uintah, and Washakie geologic basins, and shall give priority to implementing land exchanges within those basins. The Secretary shall consider the geology of the respective basin in determining the optimum size of the lands to be consolidated.
A land exchange undertaken in furtherance of this subsection shall be implemented in accordance with section 1716 of title 43.
The Secretary of Energy shall update the 1987 technical and economic assessment of domestic heavy oil resources that was prepared by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. Such an update should include all of North America and cover all unconventional oil, including heavy oil, tar sands (oil sands), and oil shale.
Nothing in this section preempts or affects any State water law or interstate compact relating to water.
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this section.