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Appendix B Letter from Chairmen Clarifying Task 147

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148 tCongre`9 Of ~c Web ~. Foul of 3tcprcdentatItc - bind I. 20515 March 2, 1988 Frank Press, President National Academy of Sciences Charles A. Bowsher, Comptroller General U.S. General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. Dear Messrs. Press and Bowsher: Section 5111 of the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act of 1987, recently enacted as part of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, requires the National Academy of Sciences and the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study on the manner by which oil and gas resources are considered in land use plans developed pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management.Act of 1976 and the Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 as amended. The language of section 5111 provides for the study to . recommend any improvements which could be made to ensure that (1) potential oil and gas resources are adequately addressed in planning documents, (2) the social, economic and environmental consequences of exploration and development of oil and gas resources are determined, and (3) any stipulations to be applied to oil and gas leases are clearly identified. As the authors of the legislation which ultimately became the subject of our House-Senate Conference Committee ' Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform like to take this opportunity to meetings on the Federal Act of 1987, we would provide the National Accounting Office with study should examine. Academy of Sciences and General our views on the issues which the It should be noted that the study provision was devised -~=l.~ -~ ~ ~ ~ section S of H.R. 28511 the bill which was reported by the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs and included as section 5004 of the House version of the budget reconciliation legislation (HER. 3545). ~.._; ~ ~ he Inn aS a compromise to -

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149 Section 5 of H.R. 2851 was drafted to address problems in land use planning as it relates to oil and gas leasing based on testimony received during a number of hearings conducted by the Subcommittee on Mining and Natural Resources. The Senate conferees fundamentally disagreed with the House regarding the need for legislative changes in oil and gas leasing land use planning. However, the Senate agreed to examine the issues raised by section 5 in the future. The study requested by section 5111 is to assist in this oversight effort and future congressional deliberations. In effect, the purpose of the study is to examine the issues raised by section 5 of the House bill and to provide relevant data, information, analyses and expert opinion on these issues so as to assist Congress in reaching a consensus regarding the question of whether there is a need for revisions to land use planning or leasing statutes. In accordance with section 5111 of the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act we would find the following information useful. The study, however, should not necessarily be limited to only these items. ~ The adequacy of BLM and Forest Service land use planning budgets. ~ A survey of current BLM and Forest Service land use planning direction as it relates to oil and gas leasing. A catalogue of the treatment of oil and gas leasing issues in existing BLM and Forest Service land use plans. ~ Study of specific impacts of oil and gas exploration and development, including case studies, on wildlife and other resource values. ~ Study of the interrelation between oil and gas leasing decisions and other resource planning decisions. ~ The extent to which the consequences of oil and gas development can be analyzed, or reasonably foreseen, during the land use planning stage prior to actual lease issuance. The effectiveness of lease stipulations. As the study progresses please do not hesitate to contact us if we may be of any assistances. DALE BUMPERS, CHAT SUBCOMMITTEE ON PUBLIC LANDS, NATIONAL PARKS AND FORESTS Sincerely, - NICK J. RAHALL, CHAIRMAN SUBCOMMITTEE ON MINING AND NATURAL RESOURCES

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