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S. 30
TO PROVIDE FOR CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO THE CONVER-
SION OF OIL SHALE MINING CLAIMS LOCATED UNDER THE GENERAL
MINING LAW OF 1872 TO LEASES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

H.R. 2392

TO AMEND SECTION 37 OF THE MINERAL LEASING ACT RELATING TO

OIL SHALE CLAIMS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

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U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

22-757

WASHINGTON : 1989

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office

U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402

COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES

J. BENNETT JOHNSTON, Louisiana, Chairman DALE BUMPERS, Arkansas

JAMES A. McCLURE, Idaho WENDELL H. FORD, Kentucky

MARK O. HATFIELD, Oregon HOWARD M. METZENBAUM, Ohio

PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico BILL BRADLEY, New Jersey

MALCOLM WALLOP, Wyoming JEFF BINGAMAN, New Mexico

FRANK H. MURKOWSKI, Alaska TIMOTHY E. WIRTH, Colorado

DON NICKLES, Oklahoma KENT CONRAD, North Dakota

CONRAD BURNS, Montana · HOWELL T. HEFLIN, Alabama

JACK GARN, Utah
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Virginia MITCH MCCONNELL, Kentucky

DARYL OWEN, Staff Director

D. MICHAEL HARVEY, Chief Counsel
FRANK M. CUSHING, Staff Director for the Minority
GARY G. ELLSWORTH, Chief Counsel for the Minority

SUBCOMMITTEE ON MINERAL RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION

JEFF BINGAMAN, New Mexico, Chairman

HOWELL T. HEFLIN, Alabama, Vice Chairman DALE BUMPERS, Arkansas

FRANK H. MURKOWSKI, Alaska WENDELL H. FORD, Kentucky

MITCH MCCONNELL, Kentucky KENT CONRAD, North Dakota

MALCOLM WALLOP, Wyoming

DON NICKLES, Oklahoma J. BENNETT JOHNSTON and JAMES A. McCLURE are Ex Officio Members of the Subcommittee

LISA A. VEHMAS, Professional Staff Member

TREATMENT OF OIL SHALE MINING CLAIMS

MONDAY, JULY 31, 1989

U.S. SENATE,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON MINERAL RESOURCES

DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION,
COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES,

Washington, DC. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:04 a.m., in room SD-366, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Jeff Bingaman presiding.

OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JEFF BINGAMAN, U.S. SENATOR

FROM NEW MEXICO Senator BINGAMAN. Good morning. This is a hearing of the Mineral Resources Development and Production Subcommittee. The purpose of the hearing is to take testimony on S. 30 and H.R. 2392. These are two bills dealing with the treatment of oil-shale mining claims located on Federal land.

As I have indicated to the witnesses, I am forced to leave about 9:30, but Senator Wirth has agreed to chair the remainder of the hearing and I, of course, thank him for that.

There are currently 1,600 oil-shale claims covering 253,000 acres in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. These claims were

located pursuant to the Mining Law of 1972 prior to 1920 when the passage of the Mineral Leasing Act made oil shale a leasable mineral, but grandfathered valid claims existing at the time of passage.

S. 30, which was introduced by Senator Wirth on January 25, would prohibit the issuance of most oil-shale patents after the date of introduction of the bill. It also requires the remaining claim holders to elect to either convert the claim to a lease under modified provisions of the Mineral Leasing Act or to maintain the claim pursuant to certain requirements. H.R. 2392 provides for the same general approach as S. 30.

These oil shale mining claims have been mired in controversy for decades and remain so today. Currently Secretary Lujan has stated that the Department of the Interior will not issue any patents during this calendar year, and he has stated that he will review the issue.

I would like to commend Senator Wirth for his diligent efforts in seeking an equitable solution to the difficult issue.

I would also like to welcome the witnesses today and look forward to the testimony. I would ask that witnesses try to summarize their remarks in 5 minutes or so.

[The prepared statements of Senators McClure and Wallop, and the texts of S. 30 and H.R. 2392 follow:)

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