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1018T CONGRESS

18T SESSION

H. R. 2392

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

JUNE 8 (legislative day, JANUARY 3), 1989
Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural

Resources

AN ACT

To amend section 37 of the Mineral Leasing Act relating to oil

shale claims, and for other purposes.

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(2) Section 37 of the Mineral Leasing Act permit

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ted oil shale claims that were “maintained in compli

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ance with the laws under which initiated” to be per

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(3) The holders of those oil shale claims that have

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not been patented have been afforded ample opportunity to apply for patents over the last 69 years but have

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failed to take such action.

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(4) Both the Mining Act of 1872 and the Mineral Leasing Act were intended to accomplish the develop

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ment of the mineral resources of the Nation, including

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(5) Almost none of the oil shale claims have been

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developed for their oil shale in the intervening 69

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years.

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(6) The continued existence of these oil shale

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claims restricts the lands from the development of

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other minerals which may exist on the claimed lands.

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(7) The continued existence of these oil shale

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claims interferes with the effective management of

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Federal lands.

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(8) Issuing patents at this time for claims for

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which a right to patent has not vested would likely

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result in non-mineral development contrary to the

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intent of the Mining Act of 1872 and the Mineral

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(9) The lands embraced in an unpatented claim

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remain subject to the disposing power of the Congress until all conditions imposed by law for issuance of a

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patent are fully satisfied.

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(10) Either the conversion of valid oil shale claims

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to leases or requiring diligent work toward production

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on such claims, together with the cancellation of in

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valid claims, would promote mineral development including for oil shale.

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(11) It is in the public interest for these claims to

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be brought to some final resolution so that Federal

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lands affected may be properly managed for their min

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eral and other values in accordance with the laws and

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17 SEC. 2. AMENDMENT TO THE MINERAL LEASING ACT.

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Section 37 of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 193) 19 is amended by inserting “(a)" before the first sentence and by 20 adding the following new subsections at the end thereof: 21 “(b)(1) The Secretary of the Interior shall undertake an

22 expedited program to determine the validity of all unpatented 23 oil shale claims referred to in subsection (a). The expedited

24 program shall include an examination of all unpatented oil 25 shale claims, including those for which a patent application

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1 has not been filed. If a claim is determined to be invalid, the

2 Secretary shall promptly declare the claim to be null and void

3 and cancel it.

4 “(2) Not later than 30 days after the enactment of this 5 subsection the Secretary shall publish proposed regulations in 6 the Federal Register containing standards and criteria for de7 termining the validity of all unpatented oil shale claims re

8 ferred to in subsection (a). Final regulations shall be promul

9 gated within 180 days after the date such proposed regula10 tions are published. The Secretary shall make a determina11 tion with respect to the validity of each such claim within 2 12 years after the promulgation of such final regulations. In 13 making such determinations the Secretary shall give priority 14 to those claims which meet the requirements of paragraphs

15 (1) and (2) of subsection (c) and subsection (f).

16 “(c) Except as provided in subsection (f), after Janu17 ary 24, 1989, no patent shall be issued by the United States 18 for any oil shale claim referred to in subsection (a) unless the 19 Secretary of the Interior determines that, for the claim

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“(1) a patent application was filed with the Secre

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tary on or before January 24, 1989, and

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“(2) all requirements established under sections

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2329, 2330, 2331, 2333 of the Revised Statutes (30

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U.S.C. 35, 36, and 37) were fully complied with by

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"(d)(1) The holder of each oil shale claim for which no

4 patent may be issued by reason of subsection (c) shall make

5 an election under paragraph (2) or paragraph (3) of this sub6 section. Not later than 30 days after the enactment of this 7 subsection, the Secretary shall notify the holder of each such 8 claim of the requirement to make such election. The holder 9 shall make the election by certified mail within 60 days after 10 receiving such notification. Failure to make an election 11 within such period, shall be deemed conclusively to constitute

12 a forfeiture of the claim and the claim shall be null and void.

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“(2) The holder of a claim required to make an election 14 under this subsection may elect to apply to the Secretary for

15 a lease under section 21. The Secretary shall promptly pro

16 vide a lease application to any claimholder who makes such 17 election and the claimholder shall file an application for lease 18 within 90 days after receiving such application. Upon receiv19 ing such an application the Secretary shall issue a lease to 20 the holder of such claim for the area covered by the claim if

21 the claim is determined to be valid. A lease under this para

22 graph shall be issued in accordance with the provisions of 23 section 21 except as follows: 24

“(A) The term of the lease shall be 20 years and

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for so long thereafter as oil shale or associated miner

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