43 U.S. Code § 1352 - Oil and gas information program
(a) Access to data and information obtained by lessee or permittee from oil or gas exploration, etc., data obtained by Federal department or agency from geological and geophysical explorations
(A) Any lessee or permittee conducting any exploration for, or development or production of, oil or gas pursuant to this subchapter shall provide the Secretary access to all data and information (including processed, analyzed, and interpreted information) obtained from such activity and shall provide copies of such data and information as the Secretary may request. Such data and information shall be provided in accordance with regulations which the Secretary shall prescribe.
(B) If an interpretation provided pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph is made in good faith by the lessee or permittee, such lessee or permittee shall not be held responsible for any consequence of the use of or reliance upon such interpretation.
(C) Whenever any data and information is provided to the Secretary, pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this paragraph—
(i) by a lessee, in the form and manner of processing which is utilized by such lessee in the normal conduct of his business, the Secretary shall pay the reasonable cost of reproducing such data and information;
(ii) by a lessee, in such other form and manner of processing as the Secretary may request, the Secretary shall pay the reasonable cost of processing and reproducing such data and information;
(iii) by a permittee, in the form and manner of processing which is utilized by such permittee in the normal conduct of his business, the Secretary shall pay such permittee the reasonable cost of reproducing such data and information for the Secretary and shall pay at the lowest rate available to any purchaser for processing such data and information the costs attributable to such processing; and
(iv) by a permittee, in such other form and manner of processing as the Secretary may request, the Secretary shall pay such permittee the reasonable cost of processing and reproducing such data and information for the Secretary,
pursuant to such regulations as he may prescribe.
(2) Each Federal department and agency shall provide the Secretary with any data obtained by such Federal department or agency pursuant to section 1340 of this title, and any other information which may be necessary or useful to assist him in carrying out the provisions of this subchapter.
(b) Processing, analyzing, and interpreting information; availability of summary of data to affected States and local government
(1) Data and information provided to the Secretary pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be processed, analyzed, and interpreted by the Secretary for purposes of carrying out his duties under this subchapter.
(2) As soon as practicable after information provided to the Secretary pursuant to subsection (a) of this section is processed, analyzed, and interpreted, the Secretary shall make available to the affected States, and upon request, to any affected local government, a summary of data designed to assist them in planning for the onshore impacts of possible oil and gas development and production. Such summary shall include estimates of
(c) Confidentiality of information; regulations
The Secretary shall prescribe regulations to
(1) assure that the confidentiality of privileged or proprietary information received by the Secretary under this section will be maintained, and
(2) set forth the time periods and conditions which shall be applicable to the release of such information. Such regulations shall include a provision that no such information will be transmitted to any affected State unless the lessee, or the permittee and all persons to whom such permittee has sold such information under promise of confidentiality, agree to such transmittal.
(d) Transmittal of information to affected State; protection of competitive position
(1) The Secretary shall transmit to any affected State—
(A) an index, and upon request copies of, all relevant actual or proposed programs, plans, reports, environmental impact statements, tract nominations (including negative nominations) and other lease sale information, any similar type of relevant information, and all modifications and revisions thereof and comments thereon, prepared or obtained by the Secretary pursuant to this subchapter, but no information transmitted by the Secretary under this subsection shall identify any particular tract with the name or names of any particular party so as not to compromise the competitive position of any party or parties participating in the nominations;
(i) the summary of data prepared by the Secretary pursuant to subsection (b)(2) of this section, and
(ii) any other processed, analyzed, or interpreted data prepared by the Secretary pursuant to subsection (b)(1) of this section, unless the Secretary determines that transmittal of such data prepared pursuant to subsection (b)(1) of this section would unduly damage the competitive position of the lessee or permittee who provided the Secretary with the information which the Secretary had processed, analyzed, or interpreted; and
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of any regulation required pursuant to the second sentence of subsection (c) of this section, the Governor of any affected State may designate an appropriate State official to inspect, at a regional location which the Secretary shall designate, any privileged information received by the Secretary regarding any activity adjacent to such State, except that no such inspection shall take place prior to the sale of a lease covering the area in which such activity was conducted. Knowledge obtained by such State during such inspection shall be subject to applicable requirements as to confidentiality which are set forth in regulations prescribed under subsection (c) of this section.
(e) Agreement with State to waive defenses and hold United States harmless from failure to maintain confidentiality of information
Prior to transmitting any privileged information to any State, or granting such State access to such information, the Secretary shall enter into a written agreement with the Governor of such State in which such State agrees, as a condition precedent to receiving or being granted access to such information, to waive the defenses set forth in subsection (f)(2) of this section, and to hold the United States harmless from any violations of the regulations prescribed pursuant to subsection (c) of this section that the State or its employees may commit.
(f) Civil action against United States or State for failure to maintain confidentiality of information; certain defenses unavailable
(1) Whenever any employee of the Federal Government or of any State reveals information in violation of the regulations prescribed pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, the lessee or permittee who supplied such information to the Secretary or to any other Federal official, and any person to whom such lessee or permittee has sold such information under promise of confidentiality, may commence a civil action for damages in the appropriate district court of the United States against the Federal Government or such State, as the case may be.
(2) In any action commenced against the Federal Government or a State pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Federal Government or such State, as the case may be, may not raise as a defense
(B) any claim that the employee who revealed the privileged information which is the basis of such suit was acting outside the scope of his employment in revealing such information.
(g) Preemption of State law by Federal law
Any provision of State or local law which provides for public access to any privileged information received or obtained by any person pursuant to this subchapter is expressly preempted by the provisions of this section, to the extent that it applies to such information.
(h) Failure by State to comply with regulations; withholding of information
If the Secretary finds that any State cannot or does not comply with the regulations issued under subsection (c) of this section, he shall thereafter withhold transmittal and deny inspection of privileged information to such State until he finds that such State can and will comply with such regulations.
Source(Aug. 7, 1953, ch. 345, § 26, as added Pub. L. 95–372, title II, § 208,Sept. 18, 1978, 92 Stat. 664.)
Payment of Processing Costs for Data and Information Acquired; Permittees Eligible
Pub. L. 99–349, title I, July 2, 1986, 100 Stat. 732, provided that: “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for data and information acquired in fiscal year 1986 or thereafter, by the Secretary, pursuant to section 1352 (a)(1)(C)(iii) of title 43, United States Code, payment shall be made for processing costs to permittees with permits issued on or before September 30, 1985.”
Payment of Costs of Reproducing Data and Information Provided to Secretary
Pub. L. 99–190, § 101(d) [title I, § 100], Dec. 19, 1985, 99 Stat. 1224, 1232, provided: “That notwithstanding any other provision of law, when in fiscal year 1986 and thereafter any permittee provides data and information to the Secretary pursuant to section 1352 (a)(1)(C)(iii) of title 43, United States Code, the Secretary shall pay only the reasonable cost of reproducing such data and information.”