June 7, 2012
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on May 16, 2012
H.R. 4383 would require the Secretary of the Interior to establish certain fees for activities related to the development of oil and gas on federal lands. Half of the amounts collected from those fees along with half of all receipts from renewable energy projects on federal lands would be available to the Secretary, subject to appropriation, to cover the costs of administering a program aimed at streamlining the approval process for energy projects. The bill also would exempt lawsuits that affect activities related to energy production on federal lands from the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), which requires the federal government to pay attorneys’ fees for plaintiffs that prevail in lawsuits against the United States.
Based on information provided by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and certain environmental groups, CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would increase offsetting receipts (a credit against direct spending) by $384 million over the 2013-2022 period; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. In addition, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $156 million over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.
H.R. 4383 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).