A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT, REGULATION AND ENFORCEMENT
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES
SUBCOMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES
LEGISLATIVE HEARING ON H.R. 2360 AND H.R. 2803
September 13, 2011
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, I am pleased to be here today to discuss two bills before the committee, H.R. 2360, the Providing for Our Workforce and Energy Resources (POWER) Act, and H.R. 2803, which directs the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), to conduct a technological capability assessment, survey and economic feasibility study regarding the recovery of non-oil and gas minerals from the shallow and deep seabed of the United States.
As we read H.R. 2360, the bill clarifies that the Constitution, all laws, and jurisdiction of the United States courts and agencies that apply to installations and devices that are attached to the seabed and used for the exploration and production of oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) also apply to installations and devices attached to the seabed of the OCS for the production and transmission of energy from sources other than oil and gas.We believe that section 4(a) of the OCS Lands Act already applies to such installations and devices.However, to the extent there is uncertainty as to its application, the language in H.R. 2360 would provide clarification.
H.R. 2803 directs the Secretary of the Interior, acting through BOEMRE, to conduct a technological capability assessment, survey and economic feasibility study regarding the recovery of non-oil and gas minerals from the shallow and deep seabed of the United States.
BOEMRE and the USGS, working in collaboration, have the expertise to conduct the study proposed in this bill with the resources that this bill would authorize.We would also work with our Federal partners as appropriate.However, unless the OCSLA is extended to cover the waters offshore the territories and possessions of the United States, the provisions in OCSLA governing exploration for and development of minerals in the seabed beneath these waters would not apply.The OCSLA only provides BOEMRE the authority to lease and permit mineral exploration and development offshore of the fifty United States. We would also note that funding for a study would be subject to appropriations and Departmental priorities. We would be happy to work with the Subcommittee on refining this legislation.
I thank you for your time and attention and am happy to answer any questions.